Finance Forward Europe 2020
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 COVID-19 pandemic will have an unprecedented effect on the financial health of Europeans, with low-income groups and small businesses heavily impacted.
The accelerator is a collaboration between Finance Forward Founding Partners Village Capital, MetLife Foundation, and PayPal, and Program Partners F6S and Impact Hub Berlin. 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.
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, top selected startups will receive a MetLife Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Grant of up to $75,000.
February 25, 2020
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April 25, 2020
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June & September 2020
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)
Founder & CEO, OptioPay
Chief Commercial Officer, OptioPay
General Manager, MetLife
Nick de la Forge
Founder, Planet A
CEO, The Irish Social Enterprise Network
Digital Incubation, Project Together
Senior Relationship Manager, PayPal
Managing Director, Founders Factory
Financial Health Lead at MetLife Foundation
FinTech Lead, Egon Zehnder
Triodos Investment Management
Founder & CEO, Verum Capital
Legal Director, PayPal