OTP Bank has opened applications for next springʼs OTP Startup Partner Program, whereby selected startups have the opportunity to develop a test project or even become the financial groupʼs long-term partner, says a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
Both domestic and international teams may apply until November 22. The newest, third edition of the program will also involve OTP Groupʼs five subsidiary banks abroad. This means that the location of the developments co-created by the bank and the startups will now span the entire CEE region, and not just Hungary.
Furthermore, the three-month test period for the best-performing startups will be extended through a separate six-month “rollout” period, where the bankʼs cooperation will still be present.
Organizers say the program is aimed at startups that already have a viable product, and are in a phase of intensive growth. Besides offering an opportunity for startups to work on projects relevant from the business perspective, the program, with its wide mentoring network, also focuses on supporting participants in building a network of international connections. Accordingly, the program features several well-known domestic and international partners.
The bank awaits applications in the following categories: sophisticated data analytics methods; customer experience and service; internal efficiency; product-specific innovations; corporate banking; and other banking sector-related disruptive and new solutions not fitting other categories.
Applicants will go through a three-step selection process. Following the submission of an online application, the best candidates will receive an invitation to an online interview with OTP Bank. The interviews will be attended by experts in the relevant areas. The final step is a two-day selection camp next January, where participants will have the chance to meet OTP Groupʼs decision-makers personally.
Startups that get through the process will take part in a pilot and mentoring period running between early March and late May next year. The test projects will be demonstrated at a Demo Day in May, attended by OTP Groupʼs management, investors, and representatives of large domestic and international corporations. Afterwards, the most promising participants may take part in the aforementioned “rollout” phase.
“During our last two programs, we examined cooperation opportunities with nearly 500 startups, realizing a pilot project with 17 of them,” says András Fischer, head of OTP Bankʼs Retail Innovation division. “Before announcing a new program, we always strive to integrate our earlier experiences, and this is why we are introducing the six-month so-called rollout period following the three-month mentoring for the first time this year. During the preparation of our current program, many foreign subsidiary banks of the group indicated their intent to join. Thanks to their participation and support, this yearʼs program will be international, but not only because of the applying startups.”
Further information is available at the program website.