Village Capital

Finance Forward Europe 2020

Partners

Finance Forward Partners

About the Program

Village Capital, MetLife Foundation and PayPal are launching an investment readiness program for startups in Europe (including the EU and neighboring countries) that are using tech to help low-income individuals and families manage their finances, save for the short- and long-term, and ultimately build wealth.

The accelerator is a collaboration between Village Capital, MetLife Foundation, and PayPal. We’re encouraging applications from entrepreneurs building high-growth, scalable solutions that will help low-income communities and/or small businesses build strong financial health outcomes for themselves.

Most traditional financial products, from credit lines to saving accounts, are focused on the needs of high-income people and large corporations. Nearly 40 million Europeans are excluded from the mainstream financial system, which means they struggle to manage their money, access credit or save for the future. Entrepreneurs can fill this gap. Startups have the potential to create high quality, affordable solutions for underserved populations.

Apply today!

Program Overview

Village Capital, MetLife Foundation and PayPal will select 12 startups that are developing products to improve the financial health of low- and moderate-income populations across the European continent. Through 8 days of interactive workshops startups will receive training in investment-readiness and milestone-based planning for business growth and scale through Village Capital’s VIRAL methodology and mentoring from industry experts, including the investors and ally networks they need to grow their business.

Additionally, every startup that applies to this program will be invited to join Village Capital’s global Abaca online network, with over 1,000 investors and organizations that are supporting social entrepreneurs. 

At the end of the program, two out of the twelve participating ventures will receive a $50,000 grant from MetLife Foundation.

Program Timeline

Applications open

February 25, 2020

Apply on this page

Applications close

March 20, 2020

Applications close at 23.59 EST

Cohort confirmed

May 15, 2020

Participating ventures will be confirmed and displayed on this page

Workshop #1

June, 2020

Dublin, Ireland

Workshop 2

July, 2020

Berlin, Germany

Eligibility

We invite participation from start-ups focused on developing products for the European market that enable low-income communities and/or small businesses to access and use financial products in an accessible, affordable and appropriate manner. This could include, but is not limited to, products focused on:

AVAILABILITY: Ventures that help disadvantaged populations access financial wellness products such as identity solutions or credit building or credit transfer products

USE: Ventures that build affordable and relevant financial wellness products such as basic payment accounts, credit or credit history products, debt management products, wealth building savings products and/or insurance products

STABILITY: Companies building tools that decrease income volatility, increase pay equity, provide consistent housing options, and offer long-term insurance coverage.

Eligible ventures must have/be:

• Legally incorporated as a for-profit entity

• A market-based solution that tackles a financial health challenge for low-to-moderate income communities in Europe

• Operations in or have the ability to expand business to the European market

• A minimum viable product (MVP), and raised less than $3M in equity

• At least one full-time founder based in Europe

• A meaningful customer or business validation (not limited to revenue, can also be successful pilot studies, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships)

Apply today!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the main goal of the program? The program is designed to help startups identify early milestones and prepare for their next round of capital (if relevant). In short, through in-person workshops, we deliver a targeted, award-winning curriculum and provide countless connections to prepare startups for growth. 

Do you require us to move to the cities of the program? No. We require one founder/C-suite member to travel to the cities where the workshops will be held, only for the length of each workshop. We require that the same founder/C-suite member participates in both workshops. One additional team member is welcome to join the workshops. Startups are eligible to receive a stipend for one (1) founder/C-suite member to travel to the workshops.

Do you take equity in your programs? No. Village Capital is structured as a non-profit and cannot take equity.

Please reach out to marta.zaccagnini@vilcap.com with any further questions.