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Telenor Accelerate Holds Promise to Improve Financial Education

The waiting is over: corporate startup program Telenor Accelerate is finally under way for the second time to offer five months of training to the best three selected applicants. Among them is Family Finances, which is not only developing a virtual wallet, but it also aims to improve financial awareness for adults and children alike by teaching them how to manage household money better.

As Family Finances cofounder Gábor Fodor Papp tells the Budapest Business Journal, the selection procedure was very transparent and smooth, and now they are enjoying all the benefits the program has to offer.

“The workshops have kicked off and we find them very nice,” he says. “You gain a comprehensive knowledge from finance to pitching, and you are taught by experts you are free to reach out to afterwards as well, which is really cool.”

The workshops also provide the opportunity for team members to catch up on core skills they may lack, or get familiar with areas regarding which so far only other team members have had deeper insight.

Working with the assigned mentors is a key element. Balázs Vinnai from Misys Digital Channels is the perfect match considering his expertise in B2B sales and banking software development. On the other hand, Péter Oszkó from Oxo Group will be able to share invaluable information on how to secure funding.

Such expert guidance will be needed, indeed, to accomplish the ambitious goals set by Family Finances. The business plan envisages growth both in B2B and in B2C, the latter greater initial significance to gain short-term market traction and validation.

Creating Loyalty 

“Our B2B operation is more important in the longer run, but it also takes more time to build up,” Fodor adds. “The idea is to approach banks or telco companies and offer to customize our digital solution to their needs. In this way their clientele, including adults and kids alike, can start using it, which then should help turn them into long-term loyal customers.” The app should be ready for download by early next year.

Zoltán Takács, Telenor’s vice-president in charge of innovation points out, “Family Finances is a great business idea, but it also contributes to financial education, and thus the entire population can benefit.” As he adds, the team can profit from a newly structured startup program that will put a greater focus on the winning startup teams compared to last year.

The number of workshops was cut from 12 to eight, two mentors have been assigned to each team instead of one, just three teams were selected rather than the five of 2016 and the length of the program has been extended from three months to five.

“Our impression is that the overall level of standard has improved, teams were a lot more prepared and pitched better than last time,” Takács notes.

“A growing number of young people tend to decide to found a startup of their own and make ever bigger efforts to improve. We can see it during the workshops and it was apparent in the selection procedure as well. In fact, one of this year’s participants rehearsed their pitch to one of the selected teams in 2016, and they improved their performance greatly as a result. This shows that members of the local startup ecosystem are sharing good practice with one another, and in the end, everybody wins. Telenor Magyarország is pleased to be part of this process.”