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Frequently asked questions

Program

  • Innovation is one of the four pillars of OTP Group’s strategy besides stability, profitability and growth. OTP Group aims to become the most successful universal banking group in Central and Eastern Europe and we understand that openness to innovation is indispensable to achieve this goal. For this reason, OTP Bank is committed to develop convenient and modern services that are easier and faster to access and meet the challenges of the digital age and the expectations of our customers. Besides this, OTP Bank created its innovation hub, OTP LAB, where our expert colleagues, startups, businesses based on innovative technology and educational institutions are working together on developing the banking products and services of the future. Today, we have several hundred development projects underway and we are building partnerships with the leading fintech firms in the region.
  • The 3+6 months long partnership program is designed to ensure that bank-startup collaborations can deliver tangible results for both parties. It is achieved by ensuring strong integration with OTP Bank’s business through a dedicated sponsor department and hands-on mentoring from senior experts and highly ranked executives of OTP Bank and by offering dedicated project coordination and budget support starting from the pilot phase until the initial rollout period. Our goal is to carry out a Proof-of-Concept or Pilot project with the participating startups, which validates them within the banking group and opens the door for long-term collaboration. The cohort companies may even receive capital investment to achieve their objectives, with the help of PortfoLion Venture Capital Fund, a member of OTP Group.

  • Check out the Focus areas in the upper section of the website for the detailed list. Although we are eager to learn about as much innovative solutions as possible, please note that our program cannot accommodate:

    • Consulting firms
    • Marketing or PR agencies
    • Ideas only or not market-ready prototypes
    • Companies with fewer than two full-time team members
  • We typically accept 10-15 companies per cohort and we run one cohort per year.
  • Our program has two main phases: a 3-month pilot phase, followed by a 6-month rollout phase, which is available for the cohort companies conducting the most successful pilots.

  • During the 12-week schedule of the pilot phase, you will have three special weeks (kick-off week, mid-term week and the final week leading up to the Demo Day) when onsite presence or remote participation will be required. These weeks will be packed with key status meetings and workshops on wide-ranging topics such as B2B sales, growth hacking or fundraising. Besides this, you will have weekly online meetings with your dedicated mentor. During the regular weekly meetings, you will discuss your accomplishments from the previous week and your action plans for the following one. It is also a great occasion to identify areas, in which you need help, or people and organizations you need introductions to. Related to the topics discussed during the workshops, you can also book office hours with our highly ranked external experts for tailored support. Occasionally, you will be also invited to offline or online networking and knowledge sharing events with fellow startuppers participating in the program or to other meetups where you will have the chance to be introduced to potential customers, decision makers, and influencers within the industry.
  • Not all, but the majority will be OTP senior experts and executives since each startup will be assigned to a sponsor department at a bank belonging to OTP Group and will have dedicated internal mentors. Besides this, you will also have access to our leading Program Partners. They will put forward their global networks of expertise and relationships to support your business.

  • The Demo day is going to be held on 26th May 2021. You will present in front of OTP executives and key people, our Partners, including several VCs and large corporates.
  • After the program, you can be part of our alumni community and remain in contact with OTP LAB, the Bank’s innovation hub. We will occasionally notify you about collaboration opportunities or relevant events offering powerful and valuable exposure to your business.

Application

  • We accepted application for the 4th batch of OTP Startup Partner Program until 23rd Oct 2020 (11:59PM CET). The next application period will open in autumn 2021.

  • We accepted application for the 4th batch of OTP Startup Partner Program until 23rd Oct 2020 (11:59PM CET). The next application period will open in autumn 2021.
  • We will notify all applicants about whether they are invited to the Selection Days by 24th November, at the latest.
  • Our program team will review the submissions based on the following factors: team, product/technology, market opportunity and traction, business model, fit with OTP Bank’s strategy and target markets.
  • This year, our program accepts applications from 15th September and 23rd October 2020 and we evaluate submissions on a rolling basis. We do not accept late applications for the program but if you think that you have an exceptional solution with great business fit for OTP, you can reach out to us on otplab@otpbank.hu and we will evaluate the possible synergies for our other ongoing initiatives.
  • No, there is no fee to apply.

Eligibility

  • We are looking for later-stage startups and scaleups, which offer relevant solutions for financial institutions, have an assembled team, a market-ready product possibly along with a growing customer base. Ideal applicants are startups and scaleups aiming to conduct a Proof of Concept or Pilot project with OTP for further technology validation and increased experience in corporate collaboration; and ultimately to have long-term partnership with a key banking player like OTP Group.

  • Yes, our program is completely international so it is open to companies from all over the world.
  • Unfortunately no, we are looking for startups with at least two full-time founders preferably with both business and tech understanding.
  • No, we do not read business plans. If you would like to apply, it is enough to thoroughly complete our online application form.
  • Yes, your company should be established at the time you submit your application.

  • Yes, and since we do not fund startups upfront, we do not dilute your ownership by taking equity, so your current investors will be even happier.
  • No problem. Our focus is on conducting Proof of Concepts or Pilot projects with cohort startups and potentially transform them into long-term partners so chances are that there will be little overlap between your experiences at the OTP Startup Partner Program and other accelerator programs.

  • No, but you must be able to travel to Budapest or the HQs of the subsidiary banks located in CEE on a regular basis during the 12-week program.
  • We expect that you commit yourself to achieve significant development compared to your initial product by investing sufficient effort during the program and to present your working product to OTP executives and potential investors at the Demo Day. However, we understand that you may work with multiple clients and partners and some of them can be our competitors. We generally do not require exclusivity on the partners and clients you work with, but please be transparent about your previous, ongoing or planned Proof of Concepts or Pilot projects with our direct competitors or with our program partners. Indicate these activities in your application and we will evaluate these submissions on a case-by-case basis.

Funding

  • No, we do not invest in startups directly as part of the program and we do not take equity of any kind.
  • If your business needs money, you may receive investments with the help of PortfoLion Venture Capital Fund, a member of the OTP Group or thanks to introductions to our VCs and Angels network.

Logistics

  • We run a non-residential program with three special weeks taking place either in Budapest or online (kick-off week, mid-term week, final week followed by the Demo Day). We expect program participants to attend these three weeks (kick-off week and Demo Day in person, mid-term and final weeks online), but no relocation is required for the whole duration of the program.
  • If the COVID-19 related travel restrictions permit, we will require startups to attend the kick-off week and the Demo Day in person in Budapest, all other activities will take place online. Participants admitted to the program will have to bear all travel and accommodation costs they incur to participate at the activities of the kick-off week and the Demo Day.
  • We provide visa support to startups admitted to the program upon request. We cannot arrange the visas for you, but we can put you in touch with agencies and services, which can assist you with visa requests.

Legal

  • We sign mutual non-disclosure agreements (NDA) with all startups invited to attend the Selection Days meaning that both you and we agree not to disclose any information shared during this event or – in case of admission – during the program. As for the information provided in your application form, we do not sign an NDA, but we are committed to use this information only for the purpose of evaluating your participation in the program. You are not required to provide any proprietary information or intellectual property material during the application process.
  • OTP Bank will sign a participation agreement with the startups selected for the program. This document will detail our respective rights and obligations. Accepted startups will be supported with personalized mentoring from OTP and our partners and with business model validation. Besides this, they will get access to facilities, visibility and relevant industry connections.
  • No, it is fully at our discretion as to whether we intend to conduct a Proof of Concept / Pilot project or enter into any commercial agreement with a cohort startup. There are no obligations on your side, either.
  • Yes, but you are required to disclose your affiliation when submitting your application form.
  • Yes, OTP Bank will sign a participation agreement with the startups selected for the program. This document will detail our respective rights and obligations. We will share the preview of the agreement upfront with the startups invited to the Selection Days.
  • You are not required to provide any proprietary information or intellectual property material during the application process and you will retain the ownership of all your protected IP. We just need to have sufficient information to evaluate the business fit between your solution and OTP Bank’s objectives. Should we start a collaboration involving co-development or sharing IP assets belonging to OTP Bank or its partners, this will be regulated in a separate agreement.