Catapult is a series of Fintech development programs produced in-house by the LHoFT Foundation, Luxembourg’s dedicated Fintech hub to drive technology innovation in Luxembourg, connecting the domestic and international Fintech community.
Catapult has been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of the Economy and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, and is supported by key strategic partners. The LHoFT Foundation will run 2 acceleration programs in 2021, for which applications are now open.
• CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa in May 2021 (digital) and December 2021 (in person, if allowed by public health guidelines at the Luxembourg Pavilion of the World Expo in Dubai).
• CATAPULT: Kickstarter in June 2021 (digital) and November 2021 (in person, if allowed by public health guidelines).
As a leading financial centre in the Eurozone, the largest centre for microfinance in the EU, and recognised as one of the most innovative countries in the EU, Luxembourg is the ultimate European destination for Fintech to thrive. Both accelerations programs are designed to push ventures to new heights, enabling the Fintech companies to grow, develop, connect, and secure funding.
Catapult: Inclusion Africa 2021 is the 3rd edition of the program, funded by Luxembourg’s Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs. Based on the belief that entrepreneurship and financial services can improve lives around the world, the program, technology agnostic, targets Fintech companies focusing on financial inclusion in Africa, building bridges between Africa and Europe, and is very much aligned with the sustainability goals of Luxembourg’s finance centre. The program aims to support fifteen game-changing inclusive finance ventures. After two bootcamps, Catapult: Inclusion Africa now includes an active community of 24 Alumni companies, half of which have raised funds or concluded major strategic partnerships following the program. The Catapult: Inclusion Africa Bootcamp in May 2021 will be followed by an in-person condensed 3-days Catapult: Inclusion Africa program in early December 2021, at the Luxembourg Pavilion of the World Expo in Dubai, with the winner of the May 2021 edition.
Catapult: Kickstarter 2021 is a brand-new program developed by the LHoFT Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy. Targeting ten Fintech start-ups from around the world with the shared aim to shape the future of financial services, Catapult: Kickstarter will support Fintech firms that provide tools to traditional financial services firms to digitalise their businesses (B2B) or develop new and improved services direct to customers (B2C). The program aims at helping early stage, innovative, Fintech entrepreneurs to develop their business models. Five Fintechs among the ten selected will receive 50,000 EUR (each) in subsidy from the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy based on fulfilment of eligibility criteria.
Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy and Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs stated: “In line with the aims of the Ministry of the Economy, Catapult: Kickstarter aims at enhancing the Luxembourg start-up ecosystem by enabling young innovative companies active within data, AI, fintech and cybersecurity, to partner with the financial services industry. The program builds upon the success of Catapult: Inclusion Africa, a program enabling African start-ups to liaise with Luxembourg players in order to align common sustainability goals and promote financial inclusion.”
Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the LHoFT Foundation commented: “Luxembourg is a global leader in financial services and an international hub for microfinance and development. As the LHoFT, we act to drive innovation in financial services to ensure it best meets the needs of tomorrow. Both our Fintech development programs: Catapult: Inclusion Africa and Catapult: Kickstarter are a core pillar in our strategy, bringing together inspiring entrepreneurs committed to developing the financial services of tomorrow, creating social change and delivering real impact. We are immensely grateful for the support of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of the Economy, the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, and all our strategic partners, for their amazing support in making these programs a reality.”
Application Calls open: key Information for both programs
CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa
• What: One-week acceleration bootcamp
• Target: 15 Fintech companies, technology agnostic, focusing on financial inclusion in Africa and Europe.
• Date: May 19th to 28th, 2021
• Application call open until April 30th, 2021: https://www.f6s.com/catapult-inclusion-africa-2021/
• What: Four-week acceleration bootcamp
• Target: 10 B2B Fintech firms with solutions in Regtech, Wealthtech, Insurtech and Cybersecurity using Blockchain, AI and Big Data technologies.
• Date: June 1st to 25th, 2021
• Application call open until May 14th, 2021: https://www.f6s.com/catapultkickstarter