The 4th OTP Startup Partner Program invited applications from innovative enterprises with more mature, validated solutions to address almost 100 business challenges last autumn. The Program proved to increase its appeal towards the global startup scene, as 469 later-stage startups from 51 countries applied, and 15 had the opportunity to implement joint pilot projects with six members of OTP Group, each with support from dedicated sponsoring business units. Besides the Hungarian headquarters, subsidiary banks tapped into the potential of startup collaborations, thus Albanian, Bulgarian, Montenegrin, Serbian and Ukrainian business units have also tested how innovative startup solutions can strengthen the competitiveness of the group.
The 2020/2021 Program adopted a fully online setup – from the selection process to the pilot period – for the first time, and it also welcomed the Program’s largest batch size to date. During the 3-month pilot phase, besides working hard on their pilots, startuppers got the chance to participate at trainings to support their general business development, providing them with 43 hours of workshop attendance and more than 100 hours of one-to-one mentoring. The cohort companies had also access to the Program’s prestigious partner network, including EIT Digital, HubHub, KiwiTech, Mastercard, Microsoft, McKinsey, and PortfoLion.
Similarly to last year, the 3-month pilot period concluded with an online Demo Day, giving the teams high international visibility as presentations on pilot deliverables and the lessons learned were followed by colleagues from the whole banking group, including the top management of OTP Group and the partners of the Program. At the end of the event, 7 startups received special prizes from the Program Partners and based on the votes of the audience:
- Through a package of media placements and online conference options, support for enhanced visibility within the professional community is offered to Abaka by EFMA, an international professional organization of banks and insurers.
- HubHub deemed 3 teams – PiggyBanx, Proworx Digital and W.UP – to be the best, offering them a 3-month Membership Grant and access to HubHub’s coworking spaces.
- Cantab PI was recognized with the Global Innovation Award by KiwiTech providing high-class product consulting, marketing and investment strategy services and also special invitation to present at KiwiTech investor events.
- Microsoft recognized W.UP with its Best Fintech Scale-up award offering tech and business mentorship.
- The audience acknowledged Cantab PI‘s presentation as the best pitch. The prize allowed the team to name a charity organisation, to which a donation of HUF 500,000 is made by OTP Bank on the startup’s behalf. Based on Cantab PI’s decision, the amount will be donated to SOS Children’s Village South Africa.
OTP Bank Hungary’s Deputy CEO Péter Csányi highlighted the benefits of the group-level programme: “By scaling the OTP Startup Partner Program to group level, we realized various benefits. We ensured that each group member has access to a unified, proven methodology for startup and scaleup collaborations. Pilots run according to the same standards can be compared more easily, with group-level knowledge sharing also built into the process. This enables us to innovate more efficiently, and introduce startups validated in one market to other group members.”
The Head of OTP LAB, András Fischer added: “We operate a rigorous programme, in which decisions about post-pilot collaboration are based on quantitative KPI measurement and business case definition. Considering our previous batches, cumulatively more than 40% of our pilots led to post-pilot partnerships. Based on the results delivered by our current cohort companies, we expect that we will be able to maintain or even increase the ratio of projects approved for rollout this year.”
Below is a list of the Program’s 15 participating startups and their solutions:
- Abaka – AI powered client engagement platform
- Amplyfi – Insights automation platform based on unstructured and structured data
- Appraiser.ai – Digital real estate platform with automated property appraisal and recommendation models
- Cantab PI – Automated machine learning for hyper-personalized customer journeys and credit scoring
- Feedier – Experience management and customer journey monitoring platform
- Katabat – Self-service collections solution with machine learning
- Layer – Modular digital banking platform provided via a layer of microservices
- Lumeer – A flexible project management tool for various task, project and team management use cases
- Mentessa – Mentor-mentee matching platform for purpose-driven mentoring
- Orgnostic – Human capital analytics and diagnostics platform
- PiggyBanx – Financial education and savings application for parents and children
- Proworx Digital – End-to-end communication assets management platform
- Spitch – Omnichannel conversational platform enabling voice and text based customer support services
- W.UP – AI enabled banking personalization platform
- Xeerpa – Advanced marketing tool based on social network profiling
OTP Bank’s 4th Startup Program has proved again that the coordinated management of startup collaborations at group level offers a number of benefits to both participating companies and the member banks involved. Interested startups and scaleups can consult www.otpstartup.com for information about further opportunities to collaborate with OTP Group.