BNP Paribas and its US subsidiary Bank of the West are looking to bolster their relationship with Silicon Valley through a partnership with the fintech platform of giant technology accelerator Plug and Play.
The banks have signed up as Plug and Play corporate partners in a move they hope will give them opportunities - such as scouting and engagement with new firms, technology monitoring, and learning expeditions - in the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem.
Plug and Play is currently running its third fintech accelerator programme, providing support to 23 startups bidding to change the financial services landscape. BNP Paribas and Bank of the West are among a host of big name FS firms backing the programme.
Dan Rosenbaum, SVP, corporate development and head of innovation, Bank of the West, says: "Plug and Play's global fintech ecosystem will provide new opportunities for us and our customers, and give us an efficient way to identify and work with the companies that are changing our business."
BNP Paribas says that the partnership with Plug and Play is part of its open innovation ecosystem: partnering with selected stakeholders in the digital world, whether they are giants of the sector, fintech developers, or startups.
Last month the French bank picked eight fintech startups to take part in a four month accelerator programme that will see each firm work on developing products and services for specific areas of the bank's business.
It has also started accepting registrations from startup firms for its second international hackathon taking place in eight cities globally between July and November. Sponsored by four business lines and ten group entities, the programme comprises a digital bootcamp for the selected startups, a Demo Day in Paris on December 2, and finally, the design of a prototype in 2017.