Selection Camp 2019
Between 9th and 11th of January 2019, the Selection Camp took place, hosted by MKB Fintechlab right at the heart of Hungary in Budapest, with us participating in it, where over the three days filled with learning, working and competing with other teams we were represented by Łukasz Klejnberg and Michał Warczok.
The selection process had actually started earlier for us, as during the 2018 Impact Cee conference conference in Łódź we were the official partner of Startup City, presenting BASTION to a broader audience. During that conference, we had a chance to talk with Mr. Borbás Zoltán, who is the Investment Manager at MKB Fintechlab, and while expressing his interest in our entire idea of BASTION he encouraged us to send our application for their acceleration program. We did. It worked, we were selected for the lucky 18 out of more than over 114 startups and at the same time it was one of the milestones that we fulfilled in 2018. On top of that, we also started the new year 2019 with a bang, as the main organizer of Impact Cee called it while wishing us success – thank you 😊
On the first day of MKB Fintechlab had great lectures prepared for us, as well as work on the key assumptions for the product and a meeting with mentors. There were also delicious refreshments 😊
One of the more interesting lectures we participated in was a lecture on how to successfully sell your idea, make use of what you have and what you can build in a short time at low cost – generally speaking, how to talk about your idea to make it develop in the right direction.
Another very interesting topic was Lean Startup, where we really liked how they compared Waterfall, Agile and Lean as well as all those examples describing the instances of using the Lean methodology in practice. Since we try to work in the Lean methodology every day, it was quite a valuable lecture to us – we know what else we can improve.
After that topic Daniel Szabo talked about blockchain with use cases. It was a great lecture. We had a chance to talk with Daniel about interesting topic in case of privileges inside blockchain.
The lecture featuring a Google representative, on the other hand, was very valuable in terms of presenting your services or products on the web. He used examples to present to us how important it is to promote on such channels as YouTube and other social media. The first question he asked us was
Who among you is holding a phone in their hand right now? And who’s having one in their pocket?
And at the same time it was an introduction to the lecture’s clue – quick access to information. Generally speaking, the digital world is so organized at this point that there will always be a consumer for our solution as long as we can feel like a consumer of our own solution, because if we think and feel that we need it then there will also be others thinking similarly to us, but we have to give them the chance to notice us. There’s a growing trend among the young generation to target ads and information at themselves, which makes it so important to choose the right communication channel when promoting own products. We are used to being able to have access to information instantly and we don’t hesitate to make use of it.
Other very interesting and informative lectures given by Mary Collins were the topics of how to talk with mentors and how to talk with clients/customers – in short, how to tell if they have a positive attitude towards us. It is important, as receiving false good information without being able to spot it might bring certain distortion when generating a product, promotion or sales.
After the lectures part we got a chance to talk with the mentors. Here’s where MKB Fintechlab did a very good job as well. The mentors had been selected earlier to make it easy to start interacting after analyzing at the time the extent of a particular startup. We got a chance to talk with four great individuals that we got a handful of very useful information from, which will allow us to develop further and faster – on the topic of validating a product, marketing, venture capitalist and blockchain.
On the second day, we got a chance to meet companies, young moneymaking startups that are already cooperating with a bank and listen to their feelings, what problems they faced etc.
On that day, we also conducted a very interesting technical conversation on our project with IT bosses at the MKB bank. After the conversation, we continued working on our assumptions and pitch, which we were to give the next day as a conclusion of the entire Selection Camp event. This task was made much easier for us by the pitching lessons, as we learned what to especially pay attention to during the short speech, mostly how to get prepared. The transition from day two to day three was very dynamic and it lasted from the morning until late at night – it involved the entire business team with Rafał supporting Łukasz and Michał in preparing the pitch – on the day before, we had created a “A communicator and the privacy in business” research, then presented it in a closed group of entrepreneurs.
All that is left to do now is to collect the results and present them during the speech. The IT team also wouldn’t give up while we were working on the business, the team was finalizing important tasks related to sending documents under the BASTION Chat. Everyone did a great job!
The last day was mostly working on the assumptions, getting ready for the Pitch Demo Day and, as the end result, a public appearance before all the participants and jury. It was also the time when all the teams were getting familiar with one another, which made it a perfect moment to continue networking.
The pitch given by us was well-received, it included all the guidelines we were meant to prepare and we also utilized the advice we had gotten during our conversations with the mentors.
We stayed for another 2 days in Budapest in order to do some sightseeing in peace, stroll around, see how the public transportation works (there’s a great app where we can find a route in any direction). People are open, positive. There’s a whole lot of small local stores, delicious coffee, great coffee shops and art galleries.
If you are from the Fintech area then MKB Fintechlab is a great way to grow. Join them – it’s worth it – we’ve checked it! We are not from the Fintech area but we were honored by inviting us to the Selection Camp and for us it is very valuable because we get a chance the opportunity to cooperate with the MKB bank and we’ve learned a lot of new things!Lukasz (Luke) Klejnberg / CEO & CTO
And now at the end of March we plan the first commercial implementations of BASTION Chat in Poland and abroad.
Stay tuned and be safe!