OTP Bank’s second startup program has been concluded

The OTP Startup Program, OTP Bank’s second international accelerator program has come to an end. On the closing Demo Day, the 9 companies participating in the Program presented the results of the 12-week-long joint work to experts, potential investors and the credit institution’s management. The development of the best solutions is set to continue, along with the joint efforts of the Bank and the startups to incorporate them into the Bank’s operations.

​Last autumn, OTP Bank announced its second open call for startups. There was a great deal of interest in the OTP Startup Program, which is clearly demonstrated by the fact that 310 startups from 65 countries applied for the program. After the preliminary selection process, the nine most promising growth-stage startups and scaleups started working with the Bank this March in order to continue the development of their solutions together with the Bank.

Additionally, during the 12-week acceleration period, the representatives of the various teams had a chance to take part in over 35 hours of professional workshops and 76 customized, individual mentoring sessions related to the most relevant subjects, previously selected by them, at OTP LAB, the innovation hub of OTP Bank. The Program involved prestigious international and Hungarian partners in the startup mentoring process, including the experts of Mastercard, Microsoft, EIT Digital, McKinsey Panorama, Jet-Sol, and PortfoLion. The program enjoyed wide-ranging cooperation within the banking group with nearly 30 organizations supporting the realization of the pilot projects.

The program was officially concluded with the Demo Day event on 23 May, where the startups presented the results of the 3-month development process to over 150 guests as well as a panel of experts comprised of the management of OTP Group and the partners of the Program. Since the aim of the OTP Startup Program is to forge long-term partnerships with as many of the participating companies as possible, the Bank did not announce any winners after the startup pitches, however, the Program’s professional partners presented three special awards to the teams they deemed to be the best:

  • The Austrian Pioneers, which operates an innovation ecosystem focusing on deep tech, provided Staffino with the opportunity to participate in one of Europe’s leading technology events, the Pioneers ‘20 conference, free of charge.
  • Bluecode won HubHub’s special award: for a six-month period, its team members can use the inspiring office space of one of Budapest’s latest co-working spaces free of charge.
  • Finally, EIT Digital presented Talk-A-Bot with the special award for “The Most Innovative Team for a Strong Digital Europe”, which includes an invitation to Europe’s biggest digital innovation conference, the 2019 EIT Digital Conference.

“OTP received an enormous injection of ideas from the startups, from which it gained a great deal of inspiration for its developments, whilst the startups had the chance to put their ideas to the test with the support of their mentors in a major bank environment, therefore the last three months have been advantageous for all participants,” said Tibor Johancsik, Deputy CEO of OTP Bank.

According to András Fischer, Head of OTP LAB, over the recent months, all the participating companies worked on exciting subjects that are relevant for OTP Bank. “This is already the second startup program implemented by OTP Bank to actively reinforce its ties with innovative technological companies, the cooperation with which enables the Bank to develop its services even more effectively. The joint work will continue with several participants of the recently concluded program in order to develop our shared ideas.”

The startups involved in the program and their fields of development are as follows:

  • Alyne Saas (a platform supporting efficient legislative compliance and risk management)
  • Bluecode (cross-border barcode scanning-based mobile payment scheme)
  • Evrotrust (remote customer identification and electronic authentication solution)
  • Heatventors (thermal energy storage solution for server parks and office buildings)
  • Kasko (a platform supporting flexible insurance services)
  • Staffino (a solution enabling service quality monitoring and direct customer feedback)
  • SymbaSync (a platform supporting external and internal recruitment for the unbiased, skill-based identification of talent)
  • Talk-A-Bot (chatbots serving a wide range of functions for the automation of customer service tasks)
  • Tresorit (encrypted, secure cloud-based storage and file sharing solution)

Two years ago, OTP Bank launched its own acceleration program focused on cooperation, as it deems it important to incorporate innovative solutions into its operation and customer service, whether from sources inside or outside its organization. The OTP Startup Program has proved to be an efficient platform for extensively mapping promising startup solutions on the market and for identifying potential partners, therefore the Bank will incorporate the experience of the recently concluded program and continue to work with various players of the startup ecosystem to develop ever wider ranging, mutually beneficial partnerships.