The FINTECH Labs weekend, held this past May 12-14, drew more than 100 participants from a variety of sectors. All were there to meet the challenge: Create a startup in the fintech[1] field in just 50 hours. RCI Bank and Services supported the event to help promote open innovation.


The fintech sector has been experiencing powerful growth since 2008: global investments totaled more than $22 billion in 2015. Fintech’s expansion potential lies mainly in the realms of big data, artificial intelligence and, naturally, blockchain, all three of which are of strategic importance to our company. This was the impetus behind RCI Bank and Services’ support for Fintech Labs in promoting open innovation.

A look back on 50 hours of competition

During the first part of the event, twenty-four participants presented their ideas in a one-minute “elevator pitch”[1] in hopes of being one of the projects selected by popular vote. Next, eleven teams were formed of ambitious tech specialists from wide-ranging backgrounds: web developers, data scientists, and fintech experts, of course, as well as employees from large companies. The weekend’s highlight: the final pitches on Sunday afternoon before the judges’ panel.

RCI Bank and Services staff involved throughout the week-end

To develop their projects’ economic models, the teams received help from twenty-five mentors, including two RCI Bank and Services staffers.


These two days have been a great chance to meet others and share experience, all in a very stimulating environment with extremely motivated participants,” says Binta Lopes-Rodrigues, who coached several teams during the event.

Binta, a Six-Sigma method specialist, helps guide numerous projects at RCI Bank and Services


For Manon Daher, “This style of event is a great source of inspiration in terms of both content and form. So much so that now I want to do it again, but as a participant.”

Manon regularly implements direct marketing operations to attract new customers and retain existing ones for our France subsidiary.


This is the second time we’ve taken part in this kind of event, having also been at the Startup Weekend Women in October 2016, and there’s always such contagious energy,” enthuses Jean-Christophe Labarre, Head of Innovation and Partnerships at RCI Bank and Services and a member of the judges’ panel. “This event format showcases everyone’s ability to develop concrete projects in under three days by working agilely and responsively. It wasn’t easy to choose the three best projects, because the overall innovation level was superb!


The adventure continues for the three winning projects

After close deliberations, the judges announced the winning trio:

  • 1: Just Me, a project designed to help companies comply with the European GDPR[3] on personal data protection, which goes into effect in 2018
  • 2: Piggy, a solution to transfer pocket change to one’s bank account
  • 3: Fifi, providing personalized advice to help its users manage their budgets


The three finalist teams now hold all the cards to make their leading-edge dreams a reality: Their win earned them membership in Finance Innovation, a global competitiveness cluster dedicated to developing innovative projects in the financial sector, as well as coaching in venture capital[4], from the BlackFin Capital Venture company and, best of all, the chance to pitch their project at Viva Technology; the global catalytic innovation conference and trade show being held in Paris in June.


Learn more at:

[1] Fintech refers to startups using technology to rethink the finance, insurance and banking sectors.

[2] A succinct, vivid presentation to sell one’s idea to a potential investor or partner, as though in the space of a shared elevator ride

[3] General Data Protection Regulation

[4] Capital invested in a project in which there is a substantial element of risk, typically a new or expanding business.