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Participation to the BNP Paribas Group’s International Hackathon

The next BNP Paribas International Hackathon will take place on June 9th, 10th and 11th! BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions has decided to join the 2017 edition in 3 cities.

Let’s create a state of the art customer experience” is the theme of this International Hackathon that brings together employees from the BNP Paribas Group and start ups.

The 2017 edition will take place simultaneously in 10 cities: San Francisco, Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg, Rome, Berlin, Warsaw, Istanbul, Singapore and Nanjing. BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions will take part to the sessions in Paris, Brussels and Rome. The teams will work on specific subjects in each city : contract hire in Paris, IoT and usage economy in Brussels and SMEs’ access to leasing in Rome.

This intense week-end will be the first part of an adventure that will continue throughout 2017.  BNP Paribas is committed to working with startups over the long term. At the end of the 2 days, finalists will work in close collaboration with experts from BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions who will help them develop and fine-tune their solutions. In December, the top startups will come together on Demo Day to pitch their ideas to an international jury made up of a delegation of BNP Paribas Executives.

The last phase of the program consists of an incubation period, in partnership with the Group, in order to transform the prototype into a real solution that can address the new needs of our customers and partners.

HACKATHON, INCUBATORS, ACCELERATORS: what difference?

When it comes to thriving start-up cultures, Europe is steadily catching up with the US. The continent’s capitals, particularly London, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam, are attracting many small businesses eager to disrupt their respective markets with innovative technologies.

These start-ups radiate ideas and energy but, without the right support, many battle to establish a profitable business. There are a variety of initiatives in place to help small business owners and entrepreneurs achieve solid growth. BNP Paribas’ International Hackathon, for example, is an annual event designed to give promising start-ups a boost across not just Europe – but the world.

In this article, we’ve outlined five of the best small business support structures currently in place across Europe.

  1. 1. Business incubators

Starting a business is not easy. There are numerous hurdles and difficult decisions to make. Fortunately, a business incubator can help a start-up successfully navigate these unfamiliar waters. Incubators have been around for decades, exist all over Europe and are often connected through networks and federations. EBN is a good example. This network contains around 150 quality-certified EU business and innovation centres (BICS), plus 100 other organisations that support entrepreneurial growth and development.

Not all incubators are from the private sector, some are government sponsored, but most are particularly interested in supporting disruptive start-ups and business concepts. The type of support they offer varies but typically covers:

  • Networking
  • Marketing
  • Securing loans, funding and access to angel investors and VC
  • Accounting and finance
  • Compliance and legal issues
  1. 2. Accelerators

Accelerators and incubators are often assumed to be one and the same. While they are very similar in concept, they are not the same in practice. As their names suggest, incubators are more about nurturing and incubating disruptive ideas and innovation. Accelerators are focused on fast growth and scaling a business quickly. Their goal is to achieve one to two years of business growth in just a few months.

Accelerator programmes are generally more selective than incubators and operate within tight time-frames. Start-ups that sign onto an accelerator programme have to achieve important objectives almost overnight, though with the help of concentrated mentorship. Accelerators typically offer a start-up seed investment in exchange for equity.

According to VentureBeat, Europe now has more start-up accelerators than any other region in the world.

  1. 3. Government-led support programmes

Governments and related organisations play an important role in supporting start-up culture across Europe. Most European governments are now offering loans and grants to start-ups, as well as training programmes. This includes the European Union: direct funding grants are available from the European Commission for projects with specific objectives.

Many well-known start-up support networks are government-sponsored. During his tenure as British Prime Minister, David Cameron launched Tech City UK in 2010. Across the channel, former French President Francois Hollande launched The French Tech Hub in 2014 to support growing technology businesses.

Elsewhere in Europe, similar government-led initiatives are underway. Ireland’s Seed and Venture Capital Scheme has plans to directly invest €100 million into commercially-focused VC funds. The Belgian government has introduced the SPRL Starters business structure that only requires €1 as the minimum capital to start a business. In Finland, the government has put nearly €1 million into The Startup Foundation which funds The Start-up Sauna accelerator programme and the Slush tech conference.

  1. 4. Bank-led support programmes

Banks like BNP Paribas have developed initiatives to help start-ups and growing businesses find solutions to common problems within the financial sector. As mentioned above, our International Hackathon is a great example of how a bank can support and benefit from disruptive start-ups.

Some banks, such as BNP Paribas, have developed initiatives to help start-ups develop products and solutions for the financial sector. As mentioned above, the International Hackathon is an excellent example of how a bank can support and benefit from the advances of disruptive start-ups. These programs help anticipate market changes and turn them into opportunities for customers. A sure-fire way to do this successfully is to combine the creativity, agility and resourcefulness of entrepreneurs with the expertise of banks. BNP Paribas’ International Hackathon puts the spotlight on some of the best start-ups from around the world. These businesses come together to participate in a competition that challenges them to solve issues in banking, finance, investment and personal insurance.