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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