Slovakia is a burgeoning fintech region and home to the best IT-ranked developers in the world. To promote and nurture the rising innovation, three industry leaders have come together to create the official FinTech Hub Slovakia. The esteemed Slovak Fintech Association, global payments heavyweight, Mastercard and expert software development firm, Vacuumlabs first began to unveil signs of the new Hub in December 2020. Today FinTech Hub Slovakia has launched, and start-ups or scale-ups looking to enter the region can now apply to join the program. As well as offering members many perks, including a physical workspace, the Hub will be a vital toolbox for founders. They will be able to access the networks, regulatory guidelines and tech support they need to accelerate ahead in the region. Those interested can start their application process immediately.
Based in Bratislava, Slovakia, this is the first FinTech Hub, designed to support innovation within the CEE region. It demonstrates the serious intention to build up Slovakia as the next global leader in financial technology. All of the founding members, Mastercard, Vacuumlabs and the Slovak Fintech Association have a well-established record of supporting companies that accelerate change in global financial services and make up the ecosystem.
The creators were first inspired by the successful regulatory sandboxes that work and prosper in many countries from Great Britain 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," says Juraj Králik, executive director of FinTech Hub Slovakia and Head of the Slovak FinTech Association.
The overarching goal is to support innovation and digitization 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 program 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, and successful go-to-market journeys under the experts’ 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," explains support members of the hub Mastercard CEO for Slovakia and the Czech Republic and partner of FinTech Hub Slovakia Michal Čarný.
The program is open to any type of company whenever it's a start-up, scale-up, or well-established company. 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. Interested companies can submit their application at www.fintechhub.sk.
The Hub will further help members to obtain the necessary licenses 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. This is one of the reasons why the Hub has a neutral built as a neutral platform. We look to uphold and promote the common interests of all market participants. This will contribute to the continuous high-quality innovations appearing on the market", explains further Juraj Králik.
One of the most interesting and sought-after benefits of the Hub is Slovakia itself. "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", concludes Matej Ftáčnik, CXO of Vacuumlabs.
More information and application for the program can be found on the official website - www.fintechhub.sk.