FAQ – SBC Colab

Your Most Frequent Questions Answered

What is SBC Colab?

Colab is an innovation program for mature markets. It provides established industry players early access to relevant growth stage companies. Through a theme based approach, Colab is designed to equip corporates in mature markets with the capability to create engagement and solve real business problems. Created in 2017 by the founders of Rainmaking and Startupbootcamp FinTech, and powered by a global network of entrepreneurs, partners and mentors, Colab brings together enterprise-ready businesses, industry leading companies, investors and mentors in a new format.

The Colab FinTech program in London and New York is supported by Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, Rabobank, Santander, Addleshaw Goddard and Wilmer Hale.

What is the Colab model?

The Colab model is a theme-based industry innovation program, providing established players with the capability to create real engagement with growth stage companies. Focused themes allow for targeted sourcing of external innovation and deeper insights into specific sectors within FinTech, whilst ensuring that partners of the program can engage different business units and solve specific problems.

What does the program do?

Colab allows corporates within an industry to connect to relevant growth stage companies, sourced in waves around targeted themes. The program helps FinTech businesses develop their commercial relationships with large organizations and provides additional introductions to relevant mentors and investors.

Why is a Colab model required?

FinTech startups are relevant for the financial services industry, and growing numbers of established players engage FinTech businesses via hackathons, accelerators and competitions. Increasingly startups and financial institutions see each other as potential partners – and less as competitors – as more startups are developing solutions at the core of the industry that can help established players cut costs and develop new service offerings. Startups can address business problems in ways that existing organizations struggle to do internally.

However, mature FinTech markets like New York and London, are experiencing accelerator fatigue with multiple accelerators per market, and therefore require a new engagement model. Growth stage companies can be put-off by the traditional accelerator model which takes equity and demands a 3-month relocation.

Established players have moved on from “just” wanting to meet & greet early stage startups. The focus is now on creating real projects together, and this requires growth stage companies with proven technology and business models capable of implementing solutions/value at scale across large organisations.

How are the partners involved?

Each program will partner with several corporate and financial services organizations. The partners will benefit from working with growth stage companies focused on areas of FinTech of most relevance to their businesses. The partners will define the theme for each cycle based on specific industry problems and opportunities to be addressed.

How will you decide the themes and what will they be?

Themes could range from anything around wealth management to regulatory tech, from robo advisory to trading technology. The partners will define the theme based on specific industry problems and opportunities to be addressed.

What stage of a company are you looking for?

Colab’s reach is global. We are looking for companies who have raised between Seed and Series A, and/or companies who have a solution ready to go to Proof of Concept (POC) with financial institutions.

How do I apply to SBC Colab?

Colab doesn’t have open applications. We have dedicated scouts who scour the globe for scaleup companies relevant to problems identified by partners within each theme. We scout online, at events and conferences, and through word of mouth.

What stage of a startup are you looking for?

We accelerate a variety of startups at different stages. Typically the earliest stage a startup enters our program is A) having a core team with diverse skill sets in place, and B) has a product built that initial customers are using.

Who leads the program?

Colab was created by the founders of Startupbootcamp FinTech, and powered by a global network of entrepreneurs, partners and mentors, Colab brings together enterprise-ready businesses, industry leading companies, investors and mentors.

Nektarios Liolios, co-founder and CEO of Startupbootcamp FinTech, acts as the program’s CEO, and Helene Panzarino, is Managing Director for Colab FinTech.

How can I get involved?

If you would like to partner with the program or get involved through mentorship or as a growth stage FinTech company interested in the program, please get in touch via ColabFinTech@startupbootcamp.org

Finally, why has Colab transitioned from Rainmaking Colab to SBC Colab?

The program was launched in 2017 and following an initial validation period in early 2018, Colab will continue to operate under the SBC (Startupbootcamp) brand to offer a consistent migration path for corporate partners and a clear value proposition for growth stage companies, at different stages of their maturity.

For more information, visit:

https://www.startupbootcamp.org/program/colab-fintech-london/ and


I have more questions!

Feel free to get in touch with the program you’re interested in by visiting the program page where you’ll find a ‘Contact Us’ link.

For non-program related questions, you can find relevant contact details here.