FinTech Hub Slovakia now live
By Robin Amlot
FinTech Hub Slovakia has been launched with the backing of the Slovak FinTech Association, Mastercard and Vacuumlabs. As well as offering members a physical workspace, the Hub will be a toolbox for founders. They will be able to access the networks, regulatory guidelines and tech support they need to accelerate ahead in the region. Interested parties may start their application process immediately.
Based in Bratislava, Slovakia and claimed to be the first FinTech Hub within Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the founders were inspired by successful regulatory sandboxes that work and prosper in many countries from the UK to Singapore. “We wanted to choose the best of similarly functioning platforms and combine it under one roof. We build our approach mainly on openness and accessibility,” said Juraj Králik, executive director of FinTech Hub Slovakia and Head of the Slovak FinTech Association.
The goal is to support innovation and digitisation in the financial sector in the CEE region. The Hub is looking to bring companies the opportunity to test the validity of their solutions in a secure environment. All the resources needed can be provided, along with expert help and advice.
Members of the programme will be able to use the platform in three main directions – technological, legal, and mentoring. They will get priority access to the proprietary testing environment provided by Hub’s technology partners. They will be able to build faster, more efficient go-to-market journeys under expert guidance. Each selected participant will benefit from a designated mentor who will oversee the progress. And above all, a physical workspace for innovative startups in the heart of Bratislava.
“We are happy to contribute to the development of these goals. We will support those interested not only with the expertise of the Mastercard team but also with our technologies so that we can speed up the entire process. I’m talking not only about technologies from the traditional card world but also outside it, such as open banking, peer-to-peer payments, solutions using big data or artificial intelligence, user-friendly ways of authentication, tools for better security and more,” said Mastercard CEO for Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Michal Čarný.
The programme is open to any type of company, whether start-up, scale-up, or well-established. To get accepted, the Hub is looking for the uniqueness of the product, concept, or prototype as well as the success and suitability of the product for the region. The Hub will further help members to obtain the necessary licences in the sector. “As soon as the company completes the program in the FinTech Slovakia Hub and launches its service on the market, we can guarantee not only technical but also administrative support in applying for the necessary license,” added Juraj Králik.
Commenting on the Hub’s location in Slovakia, Matej Ftáčnik, CXO of Vacuumlabs, said: “We are members of the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance. We belong to the Schengen area and, last but not least, we have the Euro, which is a great advantage over other local Visegrad Four players. The proximity of Vienna is also a great benefit in terms of arrivals and departures. And last but not least, Slovakia has a large number of talented people needed for companies to grow further from here.”
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