Invisible to the untrained eye, imperative to bankers who will do anything in their power to maintain their top position. Let’s start at the beginning – what is it and what can PwC Startup Collider do about it? We met with Anna Maj, who recently became FinTech Leader at PwC Polska, to discuss fintech scaling and what she’ll be looking for in the next cohort.
“There are numerous fintech solutions nowadays available to us and they cover all possible aspects of modern finance. They can range from digital wallets and payments, via lending, to virtual assistants and bots. Therefore, we at PwC focus on selected areas that we consider strategic, such as, for example, data analytics or bot technologies,” explains Anna.
The name of the program itself – PwC Startup Collider – suggests that it aims at cooperation with startups. Potential “Collidees” must offer not only innovative fintech solutions or products but they should also demonstrate a sound market readiness as well as potential to scale. It is vital they fit in the PwC strategy with regard to financial services. Their solutions should be suitable for integration with PwC’s advisory competencies to build an end-to-end value chain as well as to create value for banks and other financial clients. We asked Anna what she has been looking for in startups (she was one of the mentors in the pilot PwC Startup Collider cohort two years ago).
“The fintechs we select, simply put, have to be the best of the best. What actually counts is their potential to permanently impact the financial services industry as well as how they deliver their solution to their clients and execute their market strategy,” she explains and adds, “They should also be ready to “plug and play” with PwC.”
Innovative financial services have always been essential to PwC. After all, we’re an institution embedded in global finance. That’s why we always look forward to a potential breakthrough, a gamechanger, solutions ahead of their time and the third cohort will be no different.
The program, as the people behind it describe it, is a powerful vehicle for scouting and scaling. On the one hand, for startups, this is the perfect opportunity to upgrade one’s company and technology. It serves as an eye-opener and checkpoint, during which startups have the time and are given the tools to analyse what they have accomplished so far, what can be optimised, and what possibilities there are on the road ahead of them.
On the other hand, Startup Collider is also a platform for the broad PwC network of partners and clients to fish the most prospective solutions out of the sea of innovation. In CEE alone, there are thousands of entities cooperating with us on a daily basis. For them, the program can be eye opening as well – we introduce a startup and a corporation to one another, and suddenly they see how much they can achieve together, how corporate processes may be streamlined or products enhanced. Synergy at its finest!
And after two years of successful operation, we can with a clear conscience say that it has become a true global powerhouse. Of course, we’re located in the CEE region from where we operate and where the startups participating in the Startup Collider program scale up their businesses, but we’ve had applicants from all over the world, who see the potential of cooperating with industries and institutions on CEE markets.
“The 3rd PwC Startup Collider cohort is coming soon. The application period begins this autumn. So if you have what it takes to become the next successful fintech Collidee, get ready to apply!”