BBVA Open Talent 2015 is focusing its efforts on identifying the most innovative proposals
with the greatest potential to transform the financial industry.
o BBVA aims to build lasting relationships with the winners, who, apart from 30,000 euros in prize money, will get a chance to network with and learn from BBVA Group executives and other industry professionals during a two-week immersion program
o This competition searches for projects from around the world to compete in three regional finals: the U.S. and the rest of the world, Europe and Latin America
o Previous winners’ successes and the growing popularity of the BBVA Open Talent competition make this a key initiative within the Group’s digital transformation process
MADRID – BBVA today announced the opening of registration for its seventh annual global startup competition, BBVA Open Talent. The competition will focus on financial technology innovators in 2015, and will award 30,000 euros in prize money to each of the six winners and offer them a two-week immersion course where they will network with BBVA executives and industry professionals in London and Mexico.
The global competition is part of the BBVA Group’s open innovation strategy, which encourages partnerships with entrepreneurs and developers that are disrupting the financial industry. The strategy is also driving the investments made by BBVA Ventures, the Group’s corporate venture arm, and the acquisitions of digital banking service pioneer Simple, big data startup Madiva and user experience firm Spring Studio.
With its new fintech focus in 2015, BBVA Open Talent seeks to discover innovative startups that could have a direct impact on the financial services industry, or other relevant industries such as e-commerce, user experience or big data, among other fields.
“Interacting with innovation ecosystems has always been a priority for BBVA and BBVA Open Talent, but the 2015 competition is primarily focused on companies and products in financial services or those that are related to pioneering products in the development of the Group’s new digital services,” says Gustavo Vinacua, director of Innovation Centers and Open Innovation at BBVA.
BBVA Open Talent has proven to be a catalyst for participating startups. Last year, Socure, an online security company, raised $4.7 million from a round of financing right after winning the U.S. edition of the contest. The finalist in 2013, Kantox, a foreign exchange platform, closed a $6.4 million round of financing, and that year’s winner, Traity, an online reputation company, raised $5 million.
Interested fintech startups can register for the global competition through July 13 on the BBVA Innovation Center website. Startups will compete in the region where they are registered, and the three regions include the U.S. and the rest of the world, Europe and Latin America. Twenty finalist from each region will be chosen to compete in the finals, where entrepreneurs will present their companies to a jury, which will select two winners from each region.
Winners each receive 30,000 euros in prize money, which can be used to test a concept or service at BBVA, and a two-week immersion course, divided between Mexico and London, during which they will network with BBVA professionals, investors and the fintech ecosystem.
Vinacua said, “We want to build stable, long-term business relationships with these entrepreneurs and their startups, to the benefit of both parties. BBVA can share its knowledge and experience in the banking business, while they can show us a new way of doing things.”