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BBVA wants to forge links with innovators through Open Talent, Red Innova and its investment in the 500 Startups fund
- Some 500 projects entered the BBVA Open Talent & Red Innova 2012 competition for innovators.
- More than 36,000 users voted on-line to support their favourite project: www.centrodeinnovacionbbva.com.
- BBVA is also extending its collaboration model for innovative groups via a venture capital fund called “500 Startups” in Silicon Valley.
Some 500 projects battled it out for more than two weeks to become a user favourite in the fourth edition of a competition organised by BBVA Open Talent and Red Innova. From March 29th to May 15th more than 36,000 votes were received for the different projects. The winners in that round are now being evaluated by a panel of experts. The competition is part of BBVA’s open innovation strategy that encourages collective talent and seeks to listen and learn from innovative people as it simultaneously supports the creation of projects entailing technology.
Projects are competing in two categories: innovation & technology, and financial services. Spain was the source of 305 projects, followed by Argentina with 60, Colombia 29, Chile 23 and Brazil 21.
The only task remaining in this year's competition is the assessment of the selected projects. This job has been entrusted to a panel of well-known personalities and venture capitalists. Work started on May 16th and ends on June 7th with the selection of 20 finalists who will put their projects on display on June 14th and 15th via Red Innova. BBVA will sponsor the winners (one per category) with grants of up to ¤100,000 in the form of promotion or investment.
BBVA is extending its co-operation with innovators
Along the same lines as its collaboration with innovators of new business models, BBVA has become an investor in 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley venture fund that boosts new projects in the digital world. BBVA’s aim is to gather intelligence on developments in technology and new business models in areas that are strategic for the bank such as mobility, e-commerce and customer behaviour analysis.
It has been working for years to transform its business model to one focused on customers and on the development of a comprehensive technology platform that is modular and intelligent. As part of this strategy BBVA last year opened a new office in Silicon Valley to identify new trends in technology, to develop strategic alliances and to invest in start-ups.
Over the last few months the Silicon Valley team has contacted a lot of companies, incubators and venture capital funds to identify possible partners and to increase its knowledge of the industry’s most innovative developments.
The first investment was in a seed-capital fund called “500 Startups”. This fund was set up by Dave McClure, a person who is highly respected in the valley for his success as an engineer and innovator. He was previously in charge of marketing at PayPal. The 500 Startups fund accelerates innovative projects by supporting companies in their initial development stage. So far it has invested in more than 200 companies in the digital services area. Some of these are developing new business models in financial services such as Simple, inDinero, PeerTransfer or WePay.
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BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid position in Spain, it is the largest financial institution in Mexico and it has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States. Its diversified business is biased to high-growth markets and it relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. BBVA ranks among the leading euro zone banks in terms of ROE and efficiency. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. The Group is present in the main sustainability indexes.