Last week, we were invited as a 2017 laureate on the Demo Day of ING FinTech Village. Being here again one year after demonstrating our proof of concept on stage, it was great to re-experience the excitement. And now we took the stage again, when asked to explain our experiences with ING FinTech Village. That triggered us to write down our own experiences with the program.
Not just another accelerator
Similar to our participation last year, the six FinTechs selected for 2018 have completed a 16-week program to confront great tech concepts with the reality of a top-tier bank. The goal: sharpen the focus of their business, grow as a company various master classes, but most importantly: implement a proof of concept in close collaboration with ING Belgium. Guided by several mentors of the business, the program is created to be the fastest way to pilot new technologies and move to a commercial relationship if successful.
If we were to mention one thing about ING FinTech Village, it would be that last point. In our experience, the program is not just another accelerator or incubator; it encouraged us to collaborate and to do business. During the three-month program, this collaboration resulted in a proof of concept of our data access management platform supported by the business and one year ago, on the 2017 Demo Day, we demonstrated that proof of concept to the rest of the bank.
Buy-in of the business
Crucial to the success of this kind of program is the buy-in of the business. Exactly that is the second point that sets ING FinTech Village apart from other accelerators.
During the program, we experienced a huge buy-in from ING Belgium. Not only our sponsors Philippe Tasset (CISO) en Annick Loks (IAM), but really any relevant person within the ING organization answered questions and allocated time in their often busy schedules. It really says something about the people behind the program (last year Philippe Bergez, this year Stephanie Van Avesaat) how much energy for innovation is unleached in the whole organization thanks to the program.
Work like a start-up
And finally, the third key to the success of ING FinTech Village is that you collaborate with an enterprise, but in an open start-up atmosphere: short powerful sprints, sprint demos involving all business stakeholders and honest (sometimes confronting) feedback.
Also very inspiring was the interaction and collaboration with the other companies in the program: Beyond Verbal, Infinity Mobile, Inpher, Maestrano, Minalea, Neuro Profiler, Nummularii and XM, and partners such as Deloitte, SWIFT, Innotribe, B-hive, and The Bridge.
Early-stages turbo booster
Our participation in ING FinTech Village helped make Elimity the company that it is today. The proof of concept and the many things we had learned, have given us the confidence and trustwortiness to approach and win customers.
We see this as mutual learning. Elimity was by far the youngest start-up, which characterizes ING as large international organization that shows the willingness to collaborate with such a young small company.
Thanks to the program, our product has evolved nicely ever since. The purpose of our product is helping large banks manage who has access to which data. Started off as a platform to make IAM access reviews more understandable by linking roles/entitlements to relevant business activities, our product has now evolved to an IAM anlytics platfom. It further streamlines the internal efforts of the organizations with regard to IAM compliance verifications and evolve further toward continuous compliance.
Clearly, we are very positive about ING FinTech Village :)
On this year’s edition, we watched the proof-of-concept demonstrations of six new fintech start-ups: Accountable, Asteria, Koopol, REGnosys, Rockestate, and Snapswap. It really showed that the program and the new generation of start-ups are doing great as well.
Great achievement for all of you! We look back with a smile to our time in ING FinTech Village and wish the new generation all the best!