Google Cloud Special Prize (cash award) was awarded to Spevialk (Romania 🇹🇩) – an innovative concept of “Digital Vagabonding” – a solution to initiate anonymized proximity payment transfers with the help of geolocation and Open Banking payment initiation feature.
Impressive forces in the Central and Eastern Europe financial industry ecosystem joined during the weekend to participate and support the first ever regional fintech innovation competition: Open Banking Hackathon CEE Edition powered by Finqware.
40 fintech teams covering 10 EU countries (Poland 🇵🇱, Romania 🇹🇩,Bulgaria 🇧🇬, Hungary🇭🇺, Austria 🇦🇹, Croatia 🇭🇷, Slovenia 🇸🇮, Slovakia 🇸🇰, Czech Republic 🇨🇿 and Greece 🇬🇷) applied to be part of the challenge to build value creation applications on top of the battle tested Open Banking data aggregation platform provided by Finqware.
After a selection process, the competition kicked off on the 17th of September with the best 12 teams having the mission to develop, in only 3 days, a new innovative fintech application to prove a use case of leveraging connection to banking data that is now available based on Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in European countries.
After nights of designing and programming digital fintech applications from scratch, the best 5 projects got the spotlight of being on the final stage in the Demo event that took place on Sunday, 20th of September, 5 PM CET, broadcasted live on the internet.
The 5 teams that got it to the final gala to showcase their ideas were: Iris Solutions (Bulgaria 🇧🇬), Timed FX (Czech Republic 🇨🇿), Upgrade (Greece 🇬🇷), Spevialk (Romania 🇹🇩) and Lendica (Croatia 🇭🇷).
After a tough deliberation, the jury, formed of 16 C-level representatives of big tech companies and 10 regional banking institutions decided to award the winners:
Google Cloud Special Prize (cash award) – Spevialk (Romania 🇹🇩) – an innovative concept of “Digital Vagabonding” – a solution to initiate anonymized proximity payment transfers with the help of geolocation and Open Banking payment initiation feature.
Asseco SEE Special Prize (PoC partnership) – Lendica (Croatia 🇭🇷) – a fintech startup that leveraged the Open Banking infrastructure provided Finqware to create data analytics models to help financial institutions digitalize lending processes
BIG WINNER Prize (5000 EUR cash) –Timed FX (Czech Republic 🇨🇿) – a platform to solve the need for efficient exchange rates for the companies in countries like the ones in Central and Eastern Europe that have different local currencies using the new features that can be powered through Open Banking
On top of the awards, all the finalist teams received a Runner-Up Prize that included Google Cloud Credits and fast track selection to the Next Fintech Accelerator Program organized by Techcelerator, one of the accelerators supporting the event.
The whole 4 days innovation challenge was supported by Google Cloud and Asseco SEE as Main Partners of the event. Along with them, four commercial banks sponsored the event (Banca Comerciala Romana, Alpha Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International, First Bank) as Silver Partners together with other companies interested to support digital banking innovation (FintechOS, the international law firm CMS and EY Romania).
The event also benefited from services provided by the supporting partners: DHL Express Romania, Mindspace Bucharest and Digital Intelligence, helping to create a memorable experience for the teams, mentors, speakers and jury involved.
In addition, five startup accelerator programs from Romania, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria (InnovX, Techcelerator, Elevator Lab, OTP Lab and Eleven) got engaged to support the event and mentor the teams in the 4 days hackathon to develop a Minimum Viable Product application based of their ideas. CFTE, one of the leading global knowledge companies for banking is also a strong supporter of the event.
“We are looking forward to following up with all the teams that applied and were involved in this competition, because the show is just the beginning of the continuous support that we, as organizers, and the supporting partners, committed to give to these teams. Also, we are already starting to prepare the next year edition, after this remote hackathon experience that proved to be a success”, said Cosmin Cosma, CEO of Finqware, the initiator of this event.
This year, the event was co-organized with How To Web, providing a professional setup and execution needed for such a big international event.
„Tendinţele pe care le-am remarcat înainte de începerea pandemiei s-au accelerat pe perioada stării de urgenţă. Am văzut acest lucru ca o oportunitate, un tipping point pentru bancă. Post-pandemie nu avem cum sa ne întoarcem la comportamentul financiar pe care îl aveam până în februarie a.c. Relaţia românilor cu online-ul s-a schimbat. In plus, cardul fizic se va dematerializa. Vom asista la o scădere a cererii pentru cardurile fizice, respectiv la o creştere a preferinţei pentru componenta digitală a acestora.”