Joining Forces for the World’s Largest Financial Services Hackathon

On the weekend of the 20th of June, BNP Paribas Group organized the largest hackathon in the financial service industry worldwide. Simultaneously in 10 cities, 160 startups were trying to find an answer to improve the banking services and product offers of the group.


Group of people in front of a building

One of these cities is Brussels, Belgium, where BNP Paribas Fortis and its’ own internal incubator, Home for Innovation, welcome 18 teams at Co.Station. Choosing Co.Station as an organiser of the International Hackathon was not a coincidence. Co.Station is one of the most active tech startup communities in Belgium and, bridging between Corporates and Startups, is their core expertise.

“From the bank’s perspective open innovation is definitely one of the tools to succeed in its digital transformation and this hackathon is just one of many initiatives we undertake. For startups our hackathons have been proven to be an entry door into our complex organization and the starting point of our collaboration with them” says Corentin Poels, Innovation Synergist of “Home for Innovation”.

Throughout the weekend the teams have been working on one of the following themes:

  • What are alternative ways of interacting with Retail clients?
  • In the limelight of digital transformation, which e-services could be offered to wealth and private banking clients?
  • How to improve leasing solutions with IoT and the reality of sharing economies
  • How can we make corporate clients smarter by using data intelligence?

All participants had access to experts from Microsoft  Accelerator’s London team to bring out the best in them and prepare them to present to a very demanding audience.  Microsoft Accelerator brought its  own expertise helping more than 520 startups and scaleups worldwide to get “Enterprise Ready” in order to increase their chance of success with the BNP Parisbas Fortis group.

“One of the main motivations for our participation was the presence of the Microsoft Accelerator London team. We’ve learned from past participants of Microsoft Accelerator – including CoScale – how much this helped propel their business, and were looking forward to being able to spend time with Warwick, Gonzalo, John and Kevin. Working with them, going through our business and technology, was a real highlight. There’s not a doubt in our mind that the feedback we got was instrumental in helping us win.” – Jorim Rademaker, CEO of

But this hackathon has not only exceeded BNP Paribas Fortis’s expectations, it has also beaten the industry standards. In fact, gender equality has never been this good!!!

Group of people in front of a building

On Sunday four teams were chosen to take part in the final in Paris.  All winners worldwide will be invited to attend the demo day at the group headquarters in Paris 1st  December when the lucky winner will also be annouced. Microsoft Accelerator wishes good luck to all the competitors – Who will the lucky one be?

Microsoft Accelerator London is now open for applications until the end of June. If you are a scale-up born in cloud and want to get access to worldclass tech experts and worldwide clients, you can apply here.