BNP Paribas Plug & Play FinTech & InsureTech Innovation Platform
Two weeks ago, Plug & Play selected us as one of the Top 20 Startups for the BNP Paribas Plug & Play’s FinTech and InsurTech Innovation Platform. This FinTech programme combines a Fintech startup accelerator, access to venture capital, and a platform connecting forward-thinking corporations with world-class startups (such as Grakn Labs!).
This meant we were invited to do a pitch on Selection Day in Paris on July 11, where other finalist startups, 60–80 BNP Paribas Executives, and VCs were also in attendance. The objective of the pitch was to secure a Proof of Concept with one of the business units at the bank.
In the days prior to the event, we worked on creating a competitive pitch to deliver to BNP Paribas and convince them that using Grakn will help them create products that will deliver more value to their customers. The past year taught us that financial services is one of the industries where we have seen strong use cases for our technology, so we used much of this previous knowledge to make sure we would leave an impact on the BNP Paribas team.
Thus, Precy and I arrived Monday night in Paris for this one-day event. The following morning the event started early. The first part consisted of Precy delivering a 5-minute pitch, where she introduced Grakn, the different applications that can be built with it, and an outline of the process of creating a proof of concept with us.
Located at BNP’s offices, the atmosphere at the event was corporate (everyone was wearing suits)— not as techy as other accelerator events we have been to. So we thought we would stand out by wearing our distinctive purple Grakn hoodies! And so we did — during the break sessions many were keen to chat to us and they easily spotted us through the purple hoodie.
In the second half of the day, we sat down with one of the business units at BNP for an in-depth meeting. Here, we learned more about the issues facing the team at BNP. One of those issues related to a chatbot-like/rules engine-type application, and during the meeting we identified that Grakn could be very useful to solve some of their current issues. When the meeting ended, we were excited to see the team eager to learn more and interested in what we do.
After an intense morning and afternoon, we had a few hours left before our train and managed to squeeze in a walk through Paris and see some of the sights. We managed to reach the Notre Dame, and then had an early Parisian dinner in the area!
Having now arrived back in London, we are continuing discussions with two different teams at BNP. We are extremely excited and thankful for the opportunity to help them create cognitive systems and look forward to the future!
Grakn is a database in the form of a distributed knowledge base with a reasoning query language. It allows you to develop intelligent systems that are capable of interpreting complex data. Underneath the inference engine, Grakn provides the logical integrity of SQL, the scale of relationships of Graph databases, and the horizontal scalability of NoSQL.