The LHoFT Foundation, Luxembourg's dedicated Fintech hub to drive technology innovation, has launched its new brand CATAPULT: a series of Fintech development programmes aimed at pushing ventures to new heights.
CATAPULT is a series of Fintech development programmes produced in-house by the LHoFT Foundation, connecting the domestic and international Fintech community. The brand has been developed in collaboration with Luxembourg's 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 two acceleration programmes 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 European Union (EU), and recognised as one of the most innovative EU countries, Luxembourg is considered an ideal European destination for Fintech to thrive. Both accelerations programmes are designed to push ventures to new heights, enabling the Fintech companies to grow, develop, connect and secure funding.
Catapult: Inclusion Africa 2021
Catapult: Inclusion Africa 2021 is the 3rd edition of the programme, funded by Luxembourg's Development Cooperation. Based on the belief that entrepreneurship and financial services can improve lives around the world, the (technology agnostic) programme targets Fintech companies focusing on financial inclusion in Africa, building bridges between Africa and Europe, and is aligned with the sustainability goals of Luxembourg's finance centre. The programme 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 programme. The Catapult: Inclusion Africa Bootcamp in May 2021 will be followed by an in-person condensed three-day Catapult: Inclusion Africa programme in early December 2021, at the Luxembourg Pavilion of the World Expo in Dubai, with the winner of the May 2021 edition. Applications are open until 30 April 2021 at: www.f6s.com/catapult-inclusion-africa-2021.
Catapult: Kickstarter 2021
Catapult: Kickstarter 2021 is a brand-new programme developed by the LHoFT Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of the Economy. Targeting ten Fintech startups 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 programme aims at helping early stage, innovative Fintech entrepreneurs to develop their business models. Five Fintechs among the ten selected will receive €50,000 each in subsidy from the Economy Ministry based on fulfilment of eligibility criteria. Applications are open until 14 May 2021 at: www.f6s.com/catapultkickstarter.
Franz Fayot, Luxembourg's Minister of the Economy and Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, explained: "In line with the aims of the Ministry of the Economy, Catapult: Kickstarter aims at enhancing the Luxembourg startup ecosystem by enabling young innovative companies active within data, AI, Fintech and cybersecurity, to partner with the financial services industry. The programme 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 programmes: 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 programmes a reality".
Further information is available on the CATAPULT website.