Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech, Startups.

China has been the number one market in fintech for a while now, and India is right behind it. But will 3rd king of the market be the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)?

At first, saying so might feel a bit surprising, random even. Sure, there are some great success stories like Prezi, Ustream, LogMeIn coming from there, but calling the area the next big fintech market – maybe a bit too much. Except when you dig deeper you can see that it has many similarities with the current fintech leaders; in e.g. consumer mentality and environment, regulations, and so on. The potential is there.

We are doing an accelerator with one major bank there, OTP Bank, with 14,5 million customers and presence in 9 countries, including leading position in Hungary. Because of it, I have gotten the chance of digging deeper into the Central and East European market and especially Hungarian banking and fintech sector.

Here are some of the reasons that I am looking forward to doing the accelerator there and following the local fintech scene.

Growing market

First of all the GDP of East European countries is growing fast. Better than fast when compared to other European countries who drag behind. In fact, most CEE economies grew much faster than Western European ones. If I was your average clickbait journalist I would already declare ”The glory days of Western Europe are over. Central & Eastern Europe are taking over!” and case closed. While it is too soon to know what the future holds, something interesting is definitely happening there.

But considering fintech and banking, what I find the most interesting is the conflict in how the consumers and even banks are calling for new innovations, but that at the same time there really isn’t that much of supply, innovators creating those innovations. Let’s dig deeper.


Consumers are calling for banking innovations

Like in China and India, in some parts the usage of banking services seems to be a bit behind also in CEE. For example, cash is still the leading payment method in many if not most countries of the region.

But at the same time, people in most countries of the region have high interest and even demand new technologies. And adoption of new payment methods like contactless and mobile payment are growing fast, in some cases even very fast. The consumers are increasingly aware of what kind of possibilities fintech could bring them. And they will not just passively wait for them, but may even start demanding them. That’s a much better setting for fintech than in many other markets.

Part of China and India’s success was being able to serve the previously under- and completely unbanked population. They jumped from not even having a bank account to using the latest fintech innovations. Something similar could also be possible in the CEE region. And that is a whole new kind of demand to be filled.


…but the current supply of innovations isn’t enough

But at the same time, there is a lack of innovators, the ones that actually create those innovations and bring them to the users. The demand and supply don’t match. Yet.

What usually happens when the demand is bigger than supply? It gets fixed, often fast. The interesting part is by whom. Will it be by international players expanding to the market like some say, or will the fastly growing local startup ecosystem fill the void? Either way, today there is an opportunity there in banking. Tomorrow? Maybe not anymore. Either way, startups and other innovators need to act fast or someone else will take their share.


How to get access to the opportunity?

An EY study found that one of the best models to drive mass adoption of fintech solutions is working with a partner who already has an existing customer base. Thus for a new entrant in banking, it makes sense to work with a trusted and established partner in the market. For example, in Hungary such a partner could be OTP Bank, a market leader and a company often mentioned as an example of innovative companies in the market. Their customers are already used to getting new innovations and even expect them. Having a partner like that could be a clear advantage for startups.

In regions with many countries and especially relatively small ones, it makes sense to have a partner that can give startups access to more than one market or even the whole region. Like OTP Bank who has a presence there in 9 countries. Much better than conquering each market one by one.Partner up with a partner that already has their customer base in the market you want to enter.


The easiest / best way to get such bank partners?

Doing a startup accelerator with them. Coming from someone who organizes startup accelerators for living that might just sound a bit too thick, pure sales talk, but that’s what I truly believe in. I’ve seen the results and what is possible. In an accelerator (at least the ones we do) the bank and startups truly work together, and the bank truly puts in what they can to help the startups succeed. It’s far from just a supplier partnership. It’s a collaboration where both can truly grow, in more than just one way.

And based on what I’ve seen while working with OTP Bank, they are doing all they can to prepare for working with the startups in the program. They are clearly excited and that makes me really happy for the startups.

The program is going to be awesome, and the relationships that start from it are going to be even more so!



Strong, innovative and startup-minded: why startups want OTP Bank

The next big thing in banking, with OTP Bank

Why OTP Bank wants to work with startups

Why does OTP Bank work with Nestholma?



Posted by & filed under Guest blog, Insurance, Insurtech.

Guest blogger Petri Ekman Nestholma MentorThis is a guest post from one of our mentors, Petri Ekman. Petri is an experienced executive with a broad and in-depth experience in financing, financial and insurance products and risk management strategies for corporate clients. 

Change Started Later than in Many Other Industries

During my 12 years in insurance, I used to hear numerous times the claims “there have not been any new products in this industry for 100 years” or “this is how we have conducted our business for 120 years, and so far things have been rolling rather nicely.” These arrogant-sounding statements were used to blunt ideas to get some change in, well, most anything.

In reality, a major shift had already taken place then. Many companies had started to drive down their expense ratios to improve the profitability of their insurance operation.

What Is Driving Change in Insurance?

Now that the no-brainer measures, streamlining and downsizing, have to a large extent been done, what will come next? What are the external factors that will force change upon insurance? My list would include:

  1. change in regulation
  2. blurring of industry boundaries
  3. ..and connecting to everything, advancement in information technology and the changes in consumer behavior and needs it has generated.


  1. Change in Regulation

Legislation based on the IDD (EU Insurance Distribution Directive) will require much more transparency on selling insurances and structuring them to meet the customer’s needs. It carries a strong resemblance to the MiFID2-directive in banking and asset management. And it will bring about a change in the way insurances are sold and how the sales force is incentivized.

Another major change driver will be GDPR, the EU directive protecting a customer’s personal data. It requires insurance companies to keep track of, and if the customer requests it, erase all data they have on him. Also, Solvency II, the capital adequacy directive, increases regulatory reporting substantially and requires the companies to compile much more detailed information than before on their operations to their regulators.

All of these are “must-dos” and put a strain on insurance companies’ and their IT suppliers’ resources.

New regulations will change insurance industry
  1. Blurring of Industry Boundaries

Other industries have made their inroads to insurance: throughout Europe, big companies in for example retail and automotive industries have started their own insurance companies, typically serving the needs of their most profitable customer group, consumers, and households. Bancassurance is another example of crossing traditional industry borders.

Insurance is an increasingly sought-after component in ancillary services to strengthen the supplier-customer bond and to gain “ownership” of the customer on top of the value chain. There will be more non-insurance industries crossing the borderline with time.


  1. Information Technology

The insurance industry was an early adopter of ICT, hence its systems tend to be old, big, and rigid. Thus in turn, the most obvious game changers, are newly established, fully digital insurance companies – which have not yet won a major share of the market. In many countries, cyberspace has plenty of comparison websites for the more standard products, like for example motor TPL and motor hull insurances. This reduces the parameters of competition to premium only.

Insuretechs are adopting new technologies and concepts

Some incumbents and niche players have introduced completely new concepts relying on mobile distribution, automated processes, also with some kind of sensor technology. Consumers do no longer want to fill paper or papery-looking forms in digital. They require customer-friendly apps, preferably in a mobile format. New cybersecurity risks and needs have arisen. Not only to companies but also to the average internet- or credit card-using consumers.

Internet of things will have a major impact on insurance over time. I see the biggest and most immediate impact in motor LoB’s, as car manufacturers will have a big information advantage in the data their cars collect. Insurtech is on a rapid rise, only a few years behind fintech. Perhaps the reason for the delay in insurance is caused by the absence of obvious growth drivers like PSD2 or blockchain technology. Companies actively learning to use insurtech startups will put enormous pressure on their competitors. I am following Munich Re’s Digital Partners, for example.

Change Is Here

So, where are these factors leading the incumbents? Change in regulation is pressing companies to put a lot of effort and money in modifying their systems and working models to comply with the new requirements.

The other two major drivers are pushing them towards a commodity and balance sheet provider position. That means in the wrong direction, away from “owning the customer.” On the other hand, ICT enables incumbents to disintermediate their distribution by bypassing tied agents and brokers. They will have the opportunity to gain a tighter hold of their customers. This, too, will require new thinking and new ICT applications. Especially in countries in which distribution has traditionally been outsourced to third parties.

Companies with modernized systems will be able to challenge incumbents with new innovations and short times-to-market. New entrants will probably approach their business potential from a customer need angle (as opposed to processes first). With the support from an ecosystem of startups and other agile partners, they are able to test and launch new services much faster than incumbents resorting to the industry’s traditional approach to development. The latter would be well advised to quickly start looking at insurtech.The trend in investment to insurtech is rising

And, for the record, there is now “the first new product in 100 years”. And a very important and growing one: cyber insurance. As for the need of it, just read the papers about the Equifax hack or the new botnet Reaper.

What do you think? What is the need for urgency in insurance?


P.S. In my next blog I will drill deeper into what I think is holding the industry back from changing faster.


Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech, Global Fintech Accelerator, Programs.

Collaboration between startups and corporations is not easy. Most attempts to cooperate actually fail. There is a cultural divide between their two worlds. This why you need a mediator who understands both of those worlds: to make the collaboration a win-win for both the corporation and the startups.

Luckily, our area of expertise at Nestholma is exactly that: collaboration. Turning it into an actual business. Making the magic happen. “Banks and startups speak a different language”, says András Fischer, Head of Retail Innovation. “We need an interpreter”. Tweet this. And we’re proud to say that they have chosen Nestholma as such an interpreter.

But what does Nestholma bring into the mix for the startups and the corporation, as an acceleration partner? Let’s dive into that!


World-class expertise in collaboration

Our most important role is that of a coach, both for the startups and for the corporations. We meet with both sides. We mediate in some of the meetings. And we make sure that they cover all the relevant details so that they don’t find pitfalls down the line.

“When we start something new we look around the world who can give best class service”, states Tamás Schenk, Head of Digital Transformation Program Management Office. “When searching for a partner, we found Nestholma has a really good reputation”.

With the experience of 21 accelerators, we have seen what makes or breaks a partnership. And we’ve seen traits that make startups or corporates fail in their collaboration. So we avoid those before they happen. We prepare both the corporation and the startups.

“They are more efficient and more seamless than other accelerator programs”, says Peter Csanyi, Head of Digital Sales and Development Directorate, “to make it pain-free for the bank and for the startups”.

Nestholma working with startups

Becoming better through collaboration

Of course, we also have a strong coaching programme for our startups and for employees of OTP Bank. It’s not only key to understand the other side: you also need to understand yourself. Tweet this. And having a good sparring partner makes you understand your own business better. And to understand your customers better, so you can build something that they will love.

One of the effects of corporate-startup collaboration is that they both become stronger. Tweet this. The startup ends up with a validated business model and strong access to the market. Corporations end up with a much healthier corporate culture. One that has a more open attitude towards innovation.

“They are a bridge between us and the fintechs”, says Ferenc Böle. “They mitigate the differences in the culture. They can educate both of us about the other’s way of thinking”.

OTP Bank has a very open attitude towards innovation. And they are willing to learn. “We need a partner who teaches us how to learn”, adds Fischer. OTP Bank is willing to adapt its ways of working, to become more agile. And this is good news for the startups: a more agile partner reacts quicker and opens more doors.


The investor mindset

Last but not least, at Nestholma we are ourselves entrepreneurs and investors. We invest in the startups that join our programs, for two main reasons.

The first one is that we don’t believe in three-months-and-kick-them-out. Tweet this. Startups get a lot of value from us, but it doesn’t stop there. After the accelerator, they are still part of our portfolio, and we help them continue growing. We help them get in touch with other partners or investors.

Secondly, and almost as important: we help the startups understand how investors think. We help them prepare for those conversations. We introduce them to investors, both in our network and in the local ecosystem. We sometimes also sit on their side of the table, when preparing a funding round.

We have our startups’ back. Long after the accelerator finishes.


But don’t take our word for it. Take our startups’:

Are you interested in working together with us, Nestholma and OTP Bank? Then apply now!




Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech, Innovation, Startups.

It’s clear that for startups, having a big bank as a partner is crucial. And that OTP Bank is such a partner. It can make it or break it. It makes your startup bank-validated. But collaboration is not a one-way street. Tweet this. You also need to understand your partner and their motives; why they want to collaborate with you. After all, those are the things that will shape how the future collaboration will really be in practice.

We had a chat with key people in OTP Bank to find out and share with you. And let me tell you, startups are in for a treat.

“When we find something exciting for our customers, we devote to developing it here”, says Tamás Schenk, Head of Digital Transformation Program Management Office.

Here are some of the core ideas that stood out. Let’s dive into them:


New ways in banking

It’s no surprise that banking is being transformed. Digitalization has a great impact on the way that banks operate. This affects both their internal process and their interaction with customers.

And whenever there’s big change, you need to explore many options, to make the best out of the change. “It’s not likely that all the best ideas are the ones that we have”, says Schenk. “Startups can provide us with innovative business opportunities”, adds Peter Csányi, Head of Digital Sales and Development Directorate.

OTP Bank themselves are innovative, but they recognize that the world is full of great ideas. And that’s why working with others like startups just makes a lot of sense. Tweet this.


New partners

But ideas are… only that, ideas. In the startup world, we know that it’s all about the execution. Tweet this. And in the case of fintech and banks, a good execution requires knowing with whom to collaborate. “Banking will be different. That’s the reason why we need external input also”, says Ferenc Böle, Head of IT Project Management and Methodology Directorate.

In this sense, OTP Bank is taking a step towards that future. They’re looking for startups that can make a difference. “Solutions that can shake the whole market”, clarifies Peter Benyó, CEO of OTP Mobile. Tweet this.

They have a will to work together with startups, to transform banking for the better. “Many banks see startups as competitors, but we don’t”, states András Fischer, Head of Retail Innovation Department.

Instead of competing, they’re looking for the right startups to be working with.


New ways of working

The third big reason why OTP Bank wants to collaborate with startups is to learn. “To transform our way of work and our thinking”, adds Schenk. “Startups can accelerate our learning”, adds Fischer. They even put learning as one of the program themes!

Corporate-startup collaboration is not easy. One of the biggest barriers is rigidness or bureaucracy on the corporation’s side. That’s why startups need to pick big banks who are willing to learn and adapt during the process. And OTP Bank is such a partner. They are ready to really work with the startups instead of just expecting results with no work from their side.

All in all, OTP is looking for startups who think outside of the box. Startups who are looking to enter a fruitful partnership. Tweet this. And startups who will help them become better themselves.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably such a startup… so what are you waiting for? Read more and apply now!




Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech, General, Programs, Startups.

It’s time for more deals and more pilots! Taviq from our second Nordea accelerator has just signed a pilot agreement with Nordea Private Banking, going live now. And that’s awesome news for Taviq and Nordea, but even better for Nordea’s customers!

Juho Isola on a MoneyFintech panel with Nordea's Ewan MacLeod.

Taviq’s Juho Isola on stage with Nordea’s Chief Digital Officer Ewan MacLeod.

In Private Banking and wealth management, too many clients drop off during the first meeting. That’s because the first meeting is like a cold blind date. Except the customer and the wealth advisor know even less about each other. The first meeting is spent figuring each other out; if the wealth advisor even is the right one to handle their money.

”Does this person understand me and my situation, what I really want? Will s/he push me something I am not ready to do? Will s/he be bold enough?”

Private Banking is one of the most trust-sensitive industries. Customers need to feel sure that the bank and especially the advisor handling their money really understands them. Handling money is far from numbers on the screen, it is about trust and personal connection. And that is why the usual kind of blind first meetings leave a lot to be desired. As a result, a lot of customers drop at this stage.

That was before Taviq.

From first cold meetings to personalized experience

Taviq helps wealth advisors know their customers beforehand and thus improve the customer experience by making it more personal. From blind and cold meetings to personalized service. As a results banks get up to 60% more business!

”Banking is all about trust. When the customer doesn’t feel like the bank understands him or her, he looks for something else. The bank loses the customer and the customer doesn’t get what she or he wants. Our solution changes that,” explains Juho Isola, the CEO, and Co-founder of Taviq.

Juho Isola from Taviq pitching at Nordea Demo Day

Taviq pitching at our Nordea Demo Day.

Taviq has created a web-based questionnaire that helps wealth advisors get to know the customer before their first meeting. It’s simple and easy for the customer to fill, but gives just the kind of information the advisor needs to give personalized service already on the first meeting. The bank gets a happy customer, and the customer gets the kind of service he or she is looking for and nothing less. A win-win.

And now Taviq will help Nordea achieve the same:

“Our collaboration with Nordea started in the Nestholma startup accelerator, and we are excited to continue our work in the pilot. Nordea is committed to serving their customers better and we are excited we can help them do just that,” Juho continues.

All in all, exciting times ahead for Taviq, Nordea and especially for Nordea’s customers!

Want to learn more about how Taviq can improve your customer experience? Read more here or contact Juho at [email protected]

Related post: What’s hot in fintech: new regulations, customer focus, collaboration & China


Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech, Innovation, Technology.

Digital technologies have transformed the way we do… everything. And it continues to transform it, every day. We often read about new technology that looks like science fiction… but we’ve exploited only a fraction of the technologies available today.

On October 3rd and 4th I was lucky to take part in OTP Group’s Digital Meetup in Kecskemét. Participants included key people from OTP Group, from its 9 different countries. It also included partners that OTP Bank is working with – such as myself from Nestholma.

I got to see very interesting points of view on digitalization. Banking is going to change a lot in the upcoming years. And not only in the obvious ways. Here are some of the things I learned in that event.

We use our mobile phones an embarrassing lot

I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise. Millennials check their phone 150 minutes per day. It improves their relationships. We, people, spend hours on our devices.

We spend huge amount of time on our mobile devices.

This has created a subset of customers that want everything in their pocket. Even services that are not “pocketable” in an easy way. We’ve already seen many banking services invade our mobile phones. And this trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Technology is more than mobile

The widespread of mobile is making many people reconsider the role of bank branches. Many even assert that they will become obsolete. The fact that all of them share is that is that consumer behavior in relation to the branches is changing.

But there is one fact to bear in mind. There is more than one type of customer for banks. And many are not ready to forego branches yet. Customers still want part of their services in a face-to-face environment. They might want a different type of branch, but they want a branch nonetheless.

But this doesn’t mean they don’t want innovation. They expect the same high-quality personalized service. Technology should support the face-to-face interaction.

Of course, it requires different types of bankers. And different types of devices. And different types of support tools. This is a space where many startups could find good business. Are you one of those startups? You should check out our OTP Bank accelerator.

OTP Bank is an innovation leader

On top of all the learnings, I got to understand why OTP Bank is often celebrated as such an innovative bank. They’ve led many innovations in their region, many of them very impressive! And they’re working on ‘the next big things’ themselves as well!

OTP Bank is often celebrated as such an innovative bank and here I really got to know why.

One of the sections of the conference was my own presentation. I shared – surprise surprise – insights about how to collaborate with startups.

We discussed different pitfalls and opportunities when collaborate. I shared some experiences and anecdotes about the differences between startups and corporations. We had some excellent discussions about the attitude towards cooperation. And how important it is to keep a focus on the win-win.

Both startups and corporations have something that’s very valuable for the other side. And they also have something to win.

It was the best audience to present to, and to discuss with. I spoke with dozens of people willing to engage with startups. And it was, in a way, like preaching to the choir. People know the value of working with startups. And they’re open to learning with them. And that’s going to make our upcoming accelerator very productive. For OTP Bank and for the startups participating.

Are you one of those? We’d love to see your application!


Posted by & filed under Corporations, Innovation, Organizational learning.

Hurricane Ophelia decided to pay a visit to Ireland at the same time that we were visiting Dublin for an event about collaborating to make the best out of PSD2. And one can learn a lot from seeing how people react to a hurricane. In a way, dealing with a hurricane can be like dealing with changing markets. Change is like the wind, and when it’s fast and sudden, it’s a hurricane. The hurricane of disruption. Tweet this.

Many industries are going through their own “disruption Ophelia” at the moment. Fintech is going through a regulation hurricane. Knowledge-based industries, in general, are bracing for the AI hurricane. All industries deal with the hurricane of digitalization, one way or another.

Availability of information

The thing that struck me the most was the availability information. Of course, we had heard about the hurricane before getting into the plane. Particularly, that it could reach speeds of more than 100 km/h! But once we landed:

  1. Everybody that we spoke with shared the information they had. We heard about when the storm would be strongest. We heard how people thought one should react.
  2. The hotel reception gave us a one-pager with some official recommendations. It had information about the size of the storm, how we should act, and other useful information.
  3. The TV covered the storm almost all the time. We saw how the storm was affecting other parts of the country, and how people were preparing.

At first, the information struck me as an overload. And compared to what I was actually seeing during the storm, it felt like an overreaction.

But then I noticed: as travelers, we were just getting an extra load of the signals. Most people only see a few of those. That’s why they need to spread fast (and much). Otherwise, people might be optimistic, and a bit foolhardy.

I can imagine many people saying oh, I still have time to go get my groceries, I’ll just quickly jump into the car, when the hurricane is already there and it’s too late. But when everybody is talking about it, everywhere, you make sure that everybody is at least a bit worried. Enough to make sure they stay safe. Get those groceries later.

The lesson learned for corporations: you can do the same with big changes:

  1. Make sure you encourage your employees to discuss the changes. Tweet this. They will be more prepared to transform your business. And that means your business will be agiler. And you also get more ideas of how to take advantage of those changes. You never know where the best ideas might come from. Tweet this.
  2. Have clear ways of working for and with the change. Have clear policies. And make sure you deliver them in many places. Tweet this. Like the one-pager in our hotel. Having constant reminders and “official guidelines” makes a great difference.
  3. Keep people informed. One official piece is not enough. When the changes are big enough, your employees want to know more. When you engage with startups, your employees want to know more. One press release is not enough. They will feel like something is happening, and then move on to day-to-day. You must have a constant stream of information about how you’re reacting to the change. Make sure that their discussions are not far away from your official view. Tweet this.

“Startups often try to change things” pointed out John O’Dwyer, Head of Digital Investments and Innovation at AIB. “And they encounter departments that don’t want to change”. That’s also in our view the biggest hurdle of organizational change. That’s what stands in the way of renewal. You could even say, that is renewal itself.

So let’s learn from the Irish reaction to Ophelia:

  1. By keeping everybody discussing the change, they will acknowledge the change. They will be open to changing things. They might even be the ones suggesting the change. When working with startups, have many people involved. In many ways. You are making them ready for when it’s time for their department to get involved.
  2. By having clear processes for the change, they will know how to react. They will propose things that fit into that process. And you will be able to control that process. You will be able to identify what are the best reactions to change, and apply those. You will be able to identify the best startups to work with, and how to do it.
  3. By having a clear stream of communication about the change, you keep the discussion informed. You make sure people understand that the change is coming. You make sure people understand the size. And you make sure people understand how it will affect them. When an innovation touches them, they will be more open to it. Because they saw it coming. Because they wanted it to come.

Of course, in this story, we have a very big advantage in comparison with a hurricane. In this case, your corporation can come out much much stronger! So let’s learn the lesson!


Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Customers, Fintech, Innovation, Programs.

Telling the future is difficult. And even more in banking right now, with so many innovations happening. New fintech startups (like you?) claim to disrupt the industry every day. By collaborating with a big bank you can improve your chances of success. And that makes those banks more ready for the future. But in which areas can we make the biggest changes?

For our upcoming program with OTP Bank, we’ve taken a shot at defining the key areas of banking that need new innovations. If your startup can improve the lives of OTP Bank employees or customers in these areas, you are just what we are looking for!


Banking for the family

With the rise of fintech startups, we have seen banking touch many other areas of our lives. Families are one of the most important units in society. So fintech should transform the way we deal with finance in the family unit!

For example, technology can play a huge role in the financial education of kids. And nobody doubts the importance of financial education. We can make sure that the kids of the future as a whole know how to handle money better than we do. Tweet this

OTP Bank has a strong vision when it comes to this area. They want to work with startups to improve their offering in this area. Do you have the next big thing for banking for the whole family? Then this is your opportunity!

Banking for the family - do you have the next big innovation?


Data in banking

Data is everywhere. And that’s what fintech is about. Clever use of data is what makes most fintech startups successful. Tweet this

OTP Group includes a wider range of services than usual for a bank. That means that they have access to a breadth of data. And they are open to using that data to deliver better service to their customers.

Do you have some clever application to brings new useful data for OTP Bank?Some smart way of using OTP Bank’s existing data for the better of their customers? Or some other creative way of making business through data with OTP Bank? If you said yes in any of those questions, then this one is for you!


Automation of personal activities

We live in the age of digitalization and automation. And still, there are many tedious tasks that we need to do every day. For example, many people still handle household documents by hand. Where are the robots, to rid us from those tasks? Tweet this

OTP Group connects many different types of customers. And they want to support their day-to-day activities the best way possible. That’s why they’re looking for startups that make their workflows more efficient. From better car-sharing to better mortgage evaluation.

If you can make it more efficient for the bank’s customers, you are just what we are looking for!


Making customers day-to-day lives



It’s no surprise that OTP Bank is a big organization. And as such, their ways of working are key to their success. Collaboration between departments or sections can sometimes make it or break it.

And the challenge doesn’t stop there. As such a big group, there are many partnerships to manage. Communicating and coordinating with those partners can also be a challenge! Tweet this

Does your startup help teams, departments or partners collaborate better? Then we want to work with you!


Technology-driven change

One of the main drivers for fintech has been technological advances. Digitalization and mobile themselves are a starting point. But we also have recent hypes. The internet of things, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence… you name it!

Sometimes innovation comes from technology opening a new opportunity. And it looks like we live in the times for that. Tweet this

Have you spotted such an opportunity? Do you think it can make the banking on real estate markets better? Can it deliver a better customer experience, online or in the branches? Or make the whole process more efficient? In that case, we want to hear from you!


Is your technology going to change banking? Make the lives of SMEs better?


SME administration

OTP Group has a strong focus on SME’s. In particular, one of OTP Bank’s subsidiaries is OTP eBiz. They are the mobile financial assistant for SMEs. Oh, and they work like a startup themselves!

And if you’re working in that space, it’s your lucky day. They’re keen on getting partners to collaborate! The focus is to make the life of SME’s easier. SME’s should be able to concentrate on their core business. Let’s make the rest of the tasks easier and more efficient for them. Tweet this

If you have a great tool to make the day-to-day of SME’s easier, this is your chance!


Surprise us!

Do you have an awesome idea where we could cooperate? We know we can’t put every idea in one of the boxes above. Tweet this. Especially because your idea might be very out-of-the-box (pun intended)! But OTP Bank is open to working with very different companies!

If you’re working the next big thing, and you can work together with OTP Bank to make it a reality, don’t hesitate! Read more here, and apply now to OTP Bank startup accelerator:



Posted by & filed under Corporations, General, innovating, Investing, Organizational learning, Product development, Startups.


Corporate venture capital has been an excellent way for many companies to increase shareholder value. Research shows 30% better increase of share value with companies with strong Corporate Venture capital activities.  And if you look for example at the biggest Chinese giants, most of that valuation increase is because of good investments, not operative business.

But it’s usually done only with later-stage companies.

Many corporations have a very profitable business, but visibility to the future is getting shorter every year. Earlier-stage companies have the newest ideas and willingness to adapt according to your objectives. So, it’s time to get engaged also with earlier-stage companies.

Working with startups

Working together with startups is the most effective way to become ready for the unknown future. And to learn how to work with startups, you only learn by working with them. And then you’ll also learn to work like them.

The challenge is: how can you work with them? Can you renew your organization to treat startups like equal partners? Can you support them with the right facts?

If you can support them effectively they can deliver new products that are close to customers, much faster, with iteration. As Boston Consulting Group says, successful corporations are already reaping the benefits of their venture investments opening up new markets with innovations originally developed by their portfolio companies.

Corporate Venture Capital - official SLUSH side event

Large corporations know how to do business today and they could also leverage startups’ business. Make them scale faster: scaling with your organization may be the thing for the startup to become really valuable. And you should take your share of that. Not only of the business they do with you, but also for the business outside your scope. And that’s only possible when you invest in them. True win-win.

You’ve seen it work with later-stage companies.  But could it also work with early-stage startups?

In order to discuss why and how to invest in early-stage companies, we have partnered with Mawsonia and Helsinki Business Hub to create an official Slush side event: Corporate Venture Capital. Register now here, we have very limited seats.


Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech, Global Fintech Accelerator, Programs.

Collaboration between startups and corporations is a great formula. That’s why fintech startups are looking for good financial institutions to work with.

That’s why we’ve picked the best partner for you at the Global Fintech Accelerator: OTP Bank! It has all the traits you need. It’s a strong partner. It’s also an innovative one. And the people working there have an attitude of getting stuff done (tweet this).

A strong partner

OTP Bank is a 65-year-old institution. But don’t let that fool you: they have had to live through great changes, you could even say it comes from a different era. And they had to change fast, so they know how to adapt to new environments.

OTP Bank is not only the biggest bank in Hungary, it’s also the biggest banking group in the Central Eastern European region. They are present in 9 different countries, with around 14,5 million customers. With a strong focus on retail banking, they have the financial background and know how to help your startup. According to Peter Csanyi, Head of Digital Sales and Development, you will be able to “verify the value proposition of your startup, and see how it can work in the long run”. It’s your best chance to become bank-validated! (tweet this)

But OTP Bank is not just a bank. It’s a group, with very different subsidiaries. This gives you the opportunity to test your business idea in a live ecosystem. Big markets can be tough to enter, but with a partner like OTP Bank, you have a chance to validating your business in it, knowing what you’re doing.



“We know the local market, we know what’s realistic” adds András Fischer, Head of Retail Innovation. Their dominating position gives them the capability being ambitious and delivering. And it also gives them access to lots of data, that they’re willing to use to make the customer experience better. Big data? No: huge data!


An innovative partner

OTP Bank is renown in its region for its innovativeness. This means that their customers are used to trying new products and services. “We are not relaxed, thinking that we are the biggest in Hungary or in the region”, says Ferenc Böle, Head of IT Project Management and Methodology. Instead, they are committed to bringing new innovations to the market.

One of the effects of their openness towards innovation is their decision-making process. During the accelerator, in the OTP Bank’s headquarters, decision-makers are all at your reach. “All decisions happen very fast, very efficiently, every good idea can be executed”, adds Böle. If it’s a good idea, they’re in! And working with your startup is a good idea for OTP Bank, right?

This shows in their attitude as a company. “Traditionally OTP Bank is superior in technology innovation”, comments Tamás Schenk, Head of Digital Transformation Program Management Office. “If something is really exciting to our customers, we are devoted to developing it here”. They’re keen on working with startups, to bring the next disruptive idea to the market (with you).

Evidence to this attitude is the fact that they have already developed two internal startups themselves! “OTP Bank has the power to rise these solutions to a mass level”, shares Peter Benyó, CEO of OTP Mobil, one of those startups. “We run lean startup, we have the flexibility, with the strong financial background”, adds Tamás Jósvai, CEO of eBiz, the other OTP Bank startup. This means that OTP Bank knows very well how to work with a startup, which will make the collaboration with you so much easier!


A partner with the right attitude

Last but not least, people at OTP Bank are generally open, hard-working, and very structured. “Once something is decided, they are devoted to carrying it out”, adds Schenk. They have an attitude of doing business and getting things done.



“We don’t try to pretend”, adds Böle. OTP Bank doesn’t work with startups just “to be cool”. They have the capability – and the will – to bring value to customers. And they strongly believe that they can do that better working with startups. “I believe that our colleagues provide a very welcoming atmosphere”, adds Fischer.

Collaboration requires the right attitude, and the right ingredients (tweet this). And OTP Bank has both. And they are looking for startups to join the OTP Bank’s Startup Accelerator with us.

So now is your chance to join one of the best accelerators for your business. If you haven’t applied yet, what are you waiting for? It’s your chance to validate your business with one of the best partners.