Visa Europe Collab and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants are opening a digital innovation hub in Berlin-Kreuzberg in Autumn 2015.
The joint venture brings together corporates, experts and start-ups to develop and support digital innovations as well as business models and enables cross-industry knowledge transfer. It provides different formats such as start-up pitches, networking events, coaching sessions, co-working spaces and the programming or building of prototypes or testing of business models. Both partners contribute their perspectives as service providers and consultants, their expertise of the payment industry and the consulting business as well as their wide-ranging networks. The Visa Europe Collab innovation centre in Berlin, specialising in fintech, will be the first project to be established within the digital hub.
Visa Europe Collab Berlin represents the continuing expansion of the payments business’s innovation centres, the third to be opened following launches in London and Tel Aviv earlier this year. Visa Europe Collab and its partners from across the digital and fintech ecosystem offer start-ups and technology entrepreneurs tools, expertise and connections to enable them to develop technologies and services which will change the way people interact with payments. Visa Europe Collab focuses on fintech founders and start-ups who can test their ideas in a 100-day proof of concept phase.
For Roland Berger, the digital hub contributes to the company’s broader strategy in defining and reshaping the way corporates do business in an emerging digital economy, across all business units and workflow methodologies. It is one of the projects of Terra Numerata™, a digital ecosystem the consulting firm initiated last year. This is an undertaking that transcends national boundaries to bring innovators, investors and talent together. Both of the initiatives, Terra Numerata™ and the digital hub, are intended to drive the digitisation of Europe’s economy.
“What is special about the digital hub is that it links large companies, start-ups and experts from across industries in a spirit of partnership,” said Charles-Edouard Bouée, CEO of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. The hub is open to all industries from all countries, Europe in particular. “Hub participants take the new knowledge back into their companies and use it to advance their digital transformation. We are thrilled to be working on this with Visa Europe and the other partners.” Prof. Björn Bloching, head of Roland Berger’s digital practice, added: “While most digital labs focus on creating technical and business model innovations, we go further: digital transformation affects the entire value chain as well as all functions and processes of a company, including cross-functions like human resources or finance, which are often neglected in digital initiatives. Therefore, we will make the digital hub a key place for companies to experience, discuss and develop new ways of working and to master the cultural change.”
“The key to innovation is collaboration,” said Dr Steve Perry, founder and co-creator of Visa Europe Collab. “We want to give Germany’s most innovative companies access to a lively exchange with a community of like-minded organisations - from the smallest start-ups to our member banks - for the greater benefit of the whole community and ultimately, the consumer.“
Visa Europe Collab, with its centres in London, Tel Aviv and now Berlin, aims to take a minimum of 20 ideas through its unique 100-day innovation funnel in its first year of operation. One idea from Visa Europe Collab London, recently delivered as a successful proof of concept, saw the creation of a contactless charity donation tin to test the viability of contactless payments to grow charitable giving.