National Bank of Romania and two other central banks in the region to participate in NEXT Fintech

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Central and private banks in Romania, Georgia, and Northern Macedonia, including the National Bank of Romania (NBR), Banca Transilvania, TechVentures Bank, and TBC Bank Georgia, will participate on February 24th in NEXTFintech – The Bridge to Inclusive Finance. The virtual event represents the culmination of the most important acceleration program for fintech startups in Romania.

NEXTFintech is the first accelerator program specifically designed to offer investment readiness and go-to-market support to startups in financial services and related industries. The program was initiated in 2020 by Techcelerator in Romania, with the support of the Development Facility of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE DF). The early-stage companies that participated in the acceleration program will now have the opportunity to present their products and progress and potentially attract funds from investors.

NBR, EFSE DF, Banca Transilvania, and FintechOS among the speakers

The event will take place online, on February 24th, between 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM EET. The agenda of the event and the registration details can be found here.

Among the NEXTFinTech speakers are representatives of central and private banks in Romania and the region, as well as of the EFSE DF and fintech companies and investment funds.

Some of the speakers are Markus Aschendorf, Chairperson of the EFSE Development Facility; Bogdan Mihai, Deputy Director of the National Bank of Romania – Financial Market Infrastructures and Payments Oversight Department; Papuna Lezhava, Deputy Governor and Member of the Board, National Bank of Georgia; Nika Kurdiani, Deputy CEO of TBC Bank Georgia; Tanja Jakimova, Senior advisor in financial stability at the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia; Mihaela Nădășan, Deputy CEO of Banca Transilvania – IR & FI and Markets, Romania; Olimpiu Balaș, Founder of TechVentures Bank, Romania; Teodor Blidăruș, CEO of FintechOS; Ashot Arzumanyan, Partner and Co-founder of Smartgate VC (US/Armenia); Aylin Lim, Finance Director of Technolera, Turkey; Dan Oros, Head of Marketing at Google & Youtube Romania; Cristian Dascălu, Partner at GapMinder VC, Romania.

The host of the event will be Thomas Ohr, Editor & CEO at EU-Startups.com.

From early adopters to mainstream

Each Techcelerator program ends with a showcase event, where startups have the opportunity to present their products and what they have validated over the three-month program. The fact that central and private banks in Romania, but also the region, including the NBR, are joining us on this journey shows that fintech startups in the Southeast Europe region have proved their status and potential. The field of financial technology is no longer just for technology enthusiasts, for early adopters, but has become a mainstream one that is changing our lives,” says Cristian Dascălu, co-founder of Techcelerator and GapMinder VC Partner.

Techcelerator is organizing NEXTFintech with the support of the EFSE Development Facility, Google for Startups, GapMinder VC, TechAngels, RoFin.Tech, Stripe, and the Department for International Trade at the British Embassy in Bucharest.      

“When entrepreneurs and individuals can access the financial resources they need to succeed, the whole economy benefits. Yet according to a recent study conducted by the Romanian Association of Banks, just 67% of Romanians currently use banking products or services. Financial technology is a key tool for expanding financial inclusion for the underserved – a core aspect of EFSE’s mission to promote economic development and prosperity. We are honored to be a part of this important initiative, through which we hope to boost the dynamically growing fintech segment in Romania”, says Markus Aschendorf, Chairperson of the EFSE Development Facility.

The 11 startups that passed through the 12 weeks of acceleration and will present their projects on the NEXT Fintech virtual stage are 22Trust Venture, AlphaBlock Technologies, ENSO Business, Finpathic, Investory Toy Factory, KidsFinance, Leaseman, OptimRent, Monett, TimedFX, ZoomReport.

The NEXTFintech acceleration program included four intensive mentoring modules: sales & matchmaking with financial institutions in the region, product marketing, transition strategies to the international market, and preparation for attracting investments.

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