The Luxembourg-based fintech hub, The LHoFT Foundation, has launched its new brand CATAPULT to drive technology innovation in Luxembourg, furthering the connectivity between domestic and international fintech communities.
As a series of fintech development programmes, CATAPULT has been produced in-house by the LHoFT Foundation, and developed in collaboration with the Ministry of the Economy and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs; whilst additional support is being provided by key strategic partners.
The LHoFT Foundation will run 2 acceleration programmes in 2021, including:
- 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: Inclusion Africa 2021 is the 3rd edition of the programme, 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 programme 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 programme aims to support fifteen game-changing inclusive finance ventures.
After two boot camps, 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 3-days 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.
- CATAPULT: Kickstarter in June 2021 (digital) and November 2021 (in person, if allowed by public health guidelines)
Catapult: Kickstarter 2021 is a brand-new programme 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 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 Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy based on the fulfilment of eligibility criteria.
“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,” comments Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy and Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs. “The programme builds upon the success of Catapult: Inclusion Africa, a programme enabling African start-ups to liaise with Luxembourg players in order to align common sustainability goals and promote financial inclusion.”
As a leading financial centre in the Eurozone, the largest centre for microfinance in the EU, and recognised as one of the region’s most innovative countries, Luxembourg is the ultimate European destination to facilitate fintech expansion. Both accelerations programmes are designed to push ventures to new heights, enabling the fintech companies to grow, develop, connect, and secure funding.
“Luxembourg is a global leader in financial services and an international hub for microfinance and development. At 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 form 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,” comments Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the LHoFT Foundation. “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.”