Russia's Sberbank has invited all of its 300,000 employees to take part in an inhouse accelerator programme with a promise to invest in the best ideas to emerge.
This spring, 15,000 of the bank’s employees took part in the first pilot wave of the in-house accelerator. As a result, six winning teams received from Sberbank an offer to deploy their projects within the bank.
Buouyed by the success of the project, the Russian bank is extending the invitation to all employees, who must submit a detailed business plan or working prototype to participate. Thirty-five teams will be selected to join the 12-week accelerator programme with the aim of creating a minimum viable product that can be showcased to the bank's top staff on a demo day.
Deputy chairman Lev Khasis, says: “With the corporate venture area, companies usually purchase start-ups on the markets. We, however, have decided to look inside and offered that our employees carry out their business projects. Every day, they work with retail and corporate clients and interact with partners, and so they have excellent knowledge of the needs and demands of the market. We expect that we will see decent products that will fundamentally extend the possibilities of our ecosystem as a result of the accelerator.”
Teams who win through on demo day will be offered either the opportunity to create a start-up that will be invested in by the bank, or ongoing development of the project in a division of Sberbank or at a subsidiary.