About the application process

How does the application process work?

The application process starts with filling out the online application form, which will be open for about two months (until end of June). In the online application you will introduce your product, the market you are operating in, your team, business model, traction and roadmap to give us an adequate overview of your start-up. Also, you will be asked about your potential use case with RBI Group. After the application is submitted, the Elevator Lab mentors screen and evaluate it.

How detailed do I have to be in my application?

Your application should be as detailed as needed for an outsider to understand your business concept and market opportunity. As bankers, we love data and are used to make decisions on growth KPIs. Regarding your application, we take our decision based on the information in the application form, pitch deck or videos provided by you and – most importantly for the semi-finalists – based on the information we get during the video pitch and Q&A. If you want to provide us with a business plan, please feel free to do so.

When will I hear back about my application?

We try our best to notify:

All applicants after their online application: approx. one month before the video pitches

Semi-finalists after the video pitches: within two weeks after the video pitches

Finalists after the finalist days in Vienna: immediately during the pitching event on the last evening of the finalist days

If you could not make it into the program, we’ll also let you know accordingly.

Can we still apply if we have received prior funding?

Yes, of course. Please include details regarding past rounds of financing to your application.

About the selection process

How does the selection process work?

The selection consists of a three-step process:

  1. After your application has been submitted onto our online platform, our Elevator Lab mentors will screen and evaluate your application based on the information you provided us with in the application form.
  2. Shortlisted candidates (semi-finalists) will then be invited for a video pitching session via Skype for Business (beginning of September). The video session consists of a pitch and Q&A. In the pitch you should shortly present your solution and value proposition (keep it short since our mentors already have a basic clue about your concept), introduce your team and explain your use case for Raiffeisen (How could a potential cooperation with RBI look like from your point of view?). In the Q&A session our mentors will ask their open questions.
  3. After the video pitches, the Elevator Lab finalists will be selected to come to the finalist days in Vienna (beginning of October). In the course of the finalist days you will work together with our experienced mentors in defining the potential pilot project with Raiffeisen and you will get coaching by experts from the start-up industry. At the end of the finalist days you will pitch the result of the 1:1 mentor-start-up session and the Innovation Board, chaired by our CEO, Johann Strobl, will decide upon the participants for the Elevator Lab partnership program.
What are the criteria the start-up selection is based on?

Elevator Lab is looking for start-ups with proven innovative fintech products and technologies. Thus, if you have a strong team, at least a working minimum viable product with first market traction and you can show us that you know and understand your market, you are a strong candidate!

During the selection process we will place great emphasis on the following criteria: your solution/product, your team, market potential & scalability and your proposed use case for Raiffeisen.

Does it make a difference where I am from – in case I need a visa?

Everyone is welcome to apply. If you are accepted to the program, you must – of course – have a legal travel document to be able to enter and the permission to stay in the EU. Should you be accepted into the Elevator Lab, we may assist you with the organization of required documents.

About the Elevator Lab partnership program

How long is the program?

The duration of the program is 5 months (October 2018 – February 2019).

What role will Raiffeisen Bank International AG take in the Elevator Lab?

The participants of Elevator Lab will work on pilot projects together with experts from RBI. The pilot projects are funded out of a € 200.000 PoC fund. All participating start-ups receive a contract with RBI becoming an official vendor to RBI for the time of the pilot project.


What do we do during the pilot project?

Together with supporting RBI experts from head office and/or network banks you will scope the pilot project. Your work will be ordered by Raiffeisen Bank International and covered out of the pilot project budget. This way, for the pilot project you are becoming a vendor to us.

Do you support companies that are competitive with each other?

It is our aim not to select companies which are competitors within the same Elevator Lab batch. However, it is possible that there may be competing companies in the broader network.

Do you only support startups in banking and finance?

No, the Elevator Lab also supports startups with technologies, solutions or services that might be used in banking and finance. Please refer in your application on how you think your startup could cooperate with us.

Who are the mentors?

The Elevator Lab offers a selected pool of Experts and Mentors out of the vast Raiffeisen network. Further, the program offers the opportunity to work with leading industry companies, serial entrepreneurs, FinTech experts and others.


Location and Living

Where will we live while we are there?

If you’re accepted into the Elevator Lab partnership program, we cover travel and accommodation (flight & hotel) for up to two persons per start-up for the Elevator Lab hosted events.

Do we have to move to Vienna during the Elevator Lab?

No, it is not required that you are based in Vienna, since Elevator Lab is a virtual program and is structured in modules with compulsory attendance. We are convinced that you will benefit from the close cooperation with other start-ups, experts from RBI and your mentors here in Vienna. By the way, Vienna actually is one of the best cities in the world to live in.

Who covers travel and accommodation expenses?

Travel and accommodation (flight & hotel) of the finalists and the participants for the Elevator Lab hosted events are covered by the program for two persons per start-up.

Do you still have questions?

Please send us an e-mail