It is evolving very well. On the one hand, we have improved many aspects of the hackathon in order to offer startups the best possible program. On the other hand, we’ve learned a lot from getting close to startups and the ecosystem.
Plus, the German entity of the BNP Paribas group, Consors Bank, joined last year. We are happy that Berlin—the undeniably influential Hub of startups in Europe—is in our map now.
Organizing the hackathon is great because it brings together our large corporation and the startup world. The program starts with just a 48-hour event, which means we have to make this very short amount of time as efficient as possible. The challenge is to provide startups with useful information, give them good tools to work with efficiently, whilst fostering a calm and positive hacking environment for them to deliver a proposal or a solution within only a few hours. We make an effort to offer startups a smooth, fruitful, yet fun hackathon weekend.
We do work on AI, blockchain and other technologies in Germany, as well as in other business units of the BNP Paribas group. But this year we want to take data exploitation to the next level. Today, data is the biggest resource tank in the world (bigger than oil or any other known resource). Its potential is tremendous. Through other opportunities, like group contests, startup events, accelerators and incubators, we have met so many smart emerging startup teams. We thought, why not working together on the data challenge? Our data management team is very keen to meet, talk and work with the selected startups in the upcoming hackathon.
It’s doing great. Aboalarm was our winner, standing out among many other very interesting startups. The team at Aboalarm has done a great job in proposing and adapting a truly innovative solution to our needs. Now the challenge is on our side and we are working to roll out their solution as soon as possible.
Banks and fintechs are simultaneously innovating and disrupting. The fintech boom in Asia is a totally new dynamic and is shaking up the industry, giving greater momentum and taking on bigger challenges. Fintechs are, to me, as legitimate as traditional banks for improving and reinventing the sector. Whatever the size of the company, banks and fintechs are addressing the same services for the same market. It is up to both to boost the banking sector.
I do believe in a complementary configuration with win-win opportunities when it comes to fintechs and large corporations working together. Banking is a highly regulated market. I believe banks have the experience that, when working in collaboration, can help startups to move in the right direction. Large banks have also a large customer market that they can open up to startups, so that they can work to provide new solutions. Startups are undeniable solving problems in the sector with specially designed platforms and accurate features. We, as banks, wish to work closely with them so we can rapidly scale these new features for clients. Collaborative work should always benefit the bank, the startup, and, of course, first and foremost the client.
No-one knows, but that’s the best part of it. I can only imagine a world with transparent payments, security operations with transparent authentication, and insurance benefits without claims. Basically, removing anything getting in the way of our customers’ journey.
Startups can apply to the BNP Paribas International hackathon via F6S until June 1st latest.
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Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different.
Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally.
Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.
Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.
Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte
Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.
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