Events - EIC Corporate Day with PKO Bank Polski: Let’s Fintech!
On 17 and 18 November 2020 the European Innovation Council (EIC) touched down in Poland, albeit it virtually. Together with PKO Bank Polski, the EIC organised their first Corporate Day in the Central-European country, inviting 12 EIC-backed companies from 10 countries to pitch their Fintech-innovations to well over 70 corporate representatives.
PKO Bank Polski Group is the largest financial institution in Poland, and one of the leading financial groups in Central and Eastern Europe: a strong and modern universal bank that combines a traditionally dominant role in the retail sector with the gradual strengthening of the market position of the corporate and investment segments. Today PKO Bank Polski has over 11M clients and 5M users of their mobile banking app.
More than a bank
Scouting new start-ups, getting to know what’s going on in the EU start-up ecosystem, that was the goal of PKO Bank Polski, according to Grzegorz Pawlicki, Head of Innovation and Joanna Misiewicz, Innovation Expert. “Within our startup partnership program Let’s Fintech we usually cooperate with Polish start-ups, so joining forces with the EIC is another way of sourcing international companies, companies that have already been reviewed by an authority like the EIC.” This was however not the only reason. “Banking has changed, especially after COVID-19. The profitability of the business changed dramatically, while at the same time our clients are more demanding than ever”, commented Aleksandra Sroka-Krzyzak, Head of Strategy. To be able to compete with tech companies on matters like client experience and mobile app quality, PKO Bank Polski leverages external partnerships, also with Fintech companies: “In this current situation we need to deliver innovation as efficient as you can. Every source matters, so events like today give great traction. When we can find a nice solution for our clients, we will be there.”
In addition to ‘traditional’ Fintech-solutions, several companies also pitched innovations in the fields of HR-tech or digitalization of processes: “These areas are a bit less exploited than the traditional areas where start-ups are present. I saw fresh, new ideas and some shining stars”, Aleksandra noted. Grzegorz and Joanna concurred and added “we saw a lot of diversity, with 10 different countries present, and many different solutions in the fields of blockchain, enterprise solutions and HR-tech. We had several departments that expressed further interest in the pitches of the start-ups, so we hope new links will be forged in this upcoming period.”
It wouldn’t be a pitching competition without a winner. Dublin-based CreditLogic took home the prize with their CL Platform, a mortgage application platform that simplifies the mortgage application process for mortgage advisors, mortgage lenders and consumers. It does this by streamlining and integrating application data between all stakeholders and automating many processes. CL Platform makes the mortgage application process quicker, more efficient and cheaper for mortgage advisors, mortgage lenders and consumers. Eddie Dillon, CEO and Gavin Bennett, CTO, explained that events like the Corporate Days represent one of the key benefits of the EIC: “having access to corporates, advisors and influencers is as valuable as the actual funding. This gives us both tangible financial benefits as well as strategic ones”. By finding new partnerships through Corporate Days, Eddie and Gavin hope to tap into new markets: “a Corporate Day with PKO Bank Polski, a very dominant player in Central and Eastern Europe, provides a perfect use-case for us. Days like these are an invite rather than a sales call, we get to speak to key people straight away. All in all, very constructive”. As to what they further hope to get out of the event, Eddie and Gavin commented: “we firmly believe in our proposition. We would welcome a proof of concept, to be able to show our solution and demonstrate how agile it is as a platform.”
Want to learn more about the EIC Corporate Days? Check out our Corporate Day Highlight report and video for more impressions. Do you want to pitch to corporates and exchanges ideas yourselves? The EIC regularly hosts Corporate Days, for the moment fully online, with applications running through the EIC Community. Those wishing to meet with Europe’s largest corporates and fellow EIC-beneficiaries, please keep an eye on our calendar.