Banking Innovation Awards: together they are building the bank of tomorrow!

More than 60 startups and SMEs participated in the fourth edition of the Banking Innovation Awards (BIA), formerly the Banking CyberSecurity Innovation Awards (BCSIA). Cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and data are the key words of this startup contest organized each year in a collaborative way by Wavestone and Société Générale. On October 6, 2020, the award ceremony allowed a high-profile jury to reward 4 startups among the 8 finalists of the competition. The 4 winning startups will now have the opportunity to integrate Shake’Up, Wavestone’s startup accelerator program, and to test their solution within Société Générale.

For more information, watch the video presentation of the contest.


For the fourth edition of the contest, data and AI come along with Cybersecurity!

While previous editions of the competition rewarded only startups specializing in the field of cyber security, the 2020 edition has broadened its scope to include new topics, such as artificial intelligence and data, which remain key components of the cyber ecosystem.

All the participating startups, of French or European origin, were able to share all the richness of their diverse technological expertise. Below are the top 5 topics covered by the participants this year:

  • Fight against fraud
  • Digital identity protection
  • Development of artificial intelligence for business
  • Data integrity protection
  • Detection of incidents and vulnerabilities


A high-profile jury, with analyses and strong messages!

This ceremony was obviously intended to reward the big winners of the 2020 edition, but not only. It was also an opportunity for all the jury members to share their analyses of the current startup ecosystem.

This year, the jury was composed of Claire Calmejane (Group Innovation Director – Société Générale), Christophe Leblanc (Group Digital Resources and Transformation Director – Société Générale), Pascal Imbert (Chairman and CEO – Wavestone), Reza Maghsoudnia (Strategic Development Director – Wavestone), Guillaume Poupard (Managing Director – ANSSI), Jamal Attif (Professor at Dauphine-PSL, head of the MILES team) and a college of experts (Thierry Olivier, Christina Poirson, Julien Molez, Gérôme Billois, Ghislain de Pierrefeu and Severine Hassler).


Lessons and perspectives of the crisis

Although this health crisis is not yet over, it seems in any case a little bit better controlled than in March, when this disease was still unknown to all of us. On that topic, Pascal Imbert and Christophe Leblanc brought their analysis of this crisis and its impacts.

According to them, this crisis has revealed the fragility of both the companies and of our current economic models, but it has also accelerated the trend, with digital technology recently taking an even more important place. This makes the transformations deeper and faster. However, it is not without consequences for companies, which are seeing an acceleration of their transformations, with the need to integrate new factors, such as a better balance between efficiency and resilience, together with a major focus on technology, which represents an economic, technological and sovereignty challenge. According to Pascal Imbert, the startup environment, which is being honored with this competition, is one of the key elements that should enable us to regain control over technology and how it is used.

This crisis is both a factor of digital and strategic transformation, of which data and cybersecurity are an integral part, a factor of agility, with the acceleration of teleworking and the necessary adaptation of IT security rules, and a factor of “stress-testing”, for our economic and technological models.


Artificial intelligence and data at the service of the crisis

Jamal Attif reminded us all from the start: “the value is in the data”. However, according to him, AI as we know it today is unable to solve this crisis. It can help fight it, for example by using bibliographic data mining algorithms to understand the effects of certain drugs. It can also speed up and improve medical diagnostics, through image recognition, but it cannot predict what has never been seen before, such as this epidemic, which has grown very rapidly.

The startup ecosystem today has a real impact on our business models, but he deeply thinks that it is important to combine all the forces, whether from the world of research, large companies or startups, in order to achieve breakthrough innovation that will enable us to respond to such issues.


Cybersecurity: evolution of the threat and innovations

Guillaume Poupard notes two major points concerning digital and cybersecurity today.

First of all, he raises the positive side of the digital transformation, which helped overcome the lack of activity during this period. However, according to him, we must remain cautious, especially in the face of the particularly worrying growth of cybercrime, which now targets large companies, with very serious cases multiplying (50 ransomwares in 2019, against already 130 in 2020, and it’s not over yet). The issue of combating cybercrime is therefore a topic of major importance. It is then useful to perform new risk analyses and information system audits to detect possible cybersecurity flaws that were created in these few months. Like Jamal Attif, he reiterates the importance of public and private stakeholders of all sizes, with different motivations, working together to strengthen our cybersecurity defenses. According to him, it is necessary to put forward those who innovate, and this is one of the objectives of the cyber campus, which should soon be created, in the Paris region.

The other point is to continue to raise these issues at the European Union level, and even beyond, by setting up networks so that all stakeholders can work together. This is notably the objective of the recent launch, by the member states of the European Union, of the Cyber Crisis Liaison Organisation Network (CyCLONe).


Focus on the innovation and startups ecosystem

Reza Maghsoudnia shares the very essence of the startup ecosystem, which is to think outside the box, to challenge established players, and to innovate in order to give more value to the various transformations we are experiencing. The crisis is further increasing the need for innovation, and it is of deep importance for Wavestone to continue to identify these sources of innovation, to support and accompany them.

That is for this reason that, in 2015, Wavestone created a startup accelerator program (Shake’Up), enabling it to be in constant interaction with several hundred innovative players on the market and to identify great startups to accompany them. As of now, more than 40 startups have been supported, including real success stories such as Alsid and Citalid, in the field of cybersecurity. Regarding the French Cybersecurity startup ecosystem, we invite you to read the analysis of our experts, following the 2020 startup radar conducted by Wavestone.


61 startups competed, 8 startups retained and 4 startups rewarded

Isahit, Special Prize – Data for good & Ethics

Founded in 2016, the French “Tech for Good” Isahit offers companies a digital impact sourcing platform for processing digital tasks that cannot be handled by artificial intelligence.

Watch the video presentation of the startup Isahit.


CryptoNext, Special Prize – Cybersecurity Made in France

Founded in 2019, CryptoNext has developed an encryption technology to make data resistant to the power of quantum computing. Its software is intended to be implemented in the offerings of major players in the IT security sector.

Watch the video presentation of the startup CryptoNext.


Inqom, Data & AI Grand Prix

Founded in 2015, Inqom has built a SaaS software for automating accounting production, allowing real time generation of the balance sheet. Using artificial intelligence, the solution processes and enriches accounting data to create centralized, standardized and intelligent accounting.

Watch the video presentation of the startup Inqom.


Hackuity, Cybersecurity Grand Prix

Founded in 2018, Hackuity provides a platform that rethinks the way IT vulnerabilities are managed across the enterprise by collecting, standardizing and orchestrating all security assessment practices, whether automated or manual.

Watch the video presentation of the startup Hackuity.

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