Brazilian banking giant seeks startups

Bradesco bank will pick 10 ideas that can be implemented to its product and service portfolio

Brazilian banking giant Bradesco is looking to attract startups from the sector to accelerate its own innovation processes.

Bradesco is the second largest bank in Brazil. Its open innovation program InovaBRA is aimed at selecting technologies that can add value to the business areas of future banking, digital channels, products, payment mechanisms and insurance.

"To an organization like ours, growth without innovation is not sustainable. We can grow for a certain period of time, but not for too long if we are only looking at old business models," says Maurício Minas, executive vice-president at Bradesco.

The Brazilian bank is known for pursuing tech-based innovation, being the first to use ATM machines in the country, as well as the fourth bank globally to roll-out Internet banking and the first in Latin America.

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The selection process for the new innovation initiative will take place during a period of four months. At that stage, the startups will share information about their ideas and/or existing technologies and the bank will then analyze whether its business model fits with Bradesco's products and services.

After that, 40 startups will be picked to be exposed to the ins and outs of Bradesco in a process of business immersion, which will serve to adapt the new ideas to the bank's environment.

Eventually, 10 groups of entrepreneurs will be selected by the bank's board of directors for the program itself, which will last for a period of six months and includes mentoring, monitoring and management of the development process for the tools leading up to the final delivery.

According to the bank, the advantages to the selected startups - since the initiative does not have money prizes - revolve around being able to apply their technologies to a large-scale business environment with the oversight of the bank's top executives, as well as the kudos of taking part in the program.

In addition, Bradesco could invest in the startups within a period of 12 months after the end of the program and will also be a preferred buyer of the technologies developed by the participant startups within the same period of time.

Only Brazilian startups that have at least one beta product that can be applied to the five areas of interest to the program can apply. Interested parties can submit their applications until October 17 through the initiative's website.

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