Sparklab, the incubator program brought to life by NN Insurance Hungary is already open for applications since March 14. We asked István ’Steve’ Südy, head of Sparklab, 10 questions you might also want to know the answers to. See what told us.
NN Insurance announced that Hungary will host the next Sparklab after the Netherlands at the end of February. Chosen teams, and founders will have the opportunity to build their innovative projects with the help of a mentorship program. Sparklab expects ideas and solutions that can improve quality of people’s lives. On the other hand, insurtech and fintech projects are also welcome.
10 things You should know about Sparklab
1. Fintechzone: Who can apply for the program? Private people, corporate entities, teams, doers?
Steve: We are open to private individuals and teams as well. The ideal applicant is a team which encompasses business and technological competences as well.
2. What kind of commitment do you ask from the teams in order to be approved?
Steve: If selected, the applicants must dedicate full attention to their project during the entire program. We provide a dedicated space in a coworking office where they can work on their startups.
3. How many teams will be selected and approved in the program?
Steve: We plan to start working together with a maximum of 5 teams starting this spring.
4. What is the selection process?
Steve: The applications can be submitted through an online form. In the first round they will be evaluated by the mentors and we will set up a short-list based on the feedback. This list will be presented to the leadership of NN Insurance Hungary where the most promising projects will be selected.
5. How the program is set up and what will the teams get during the program?
Steve: Sparklab is a 3-month incubation program built on 3 pillars:
- The first pillar is „Discovery” where the selected founders and teams learn about the world of insurance, they discover their potential customers and their needs.
- The second pillar is „Building”. Here we show the teams how they can consider the needs of their customers in the early development phase and how to build those into the development process.
- The third pillar is „Selling”. This pillar is to acquaint the startups with sales and marketing methodologies, tools and tactics to sell their value proposition on the market.
6. What does Sparklab ask from the teams? Equity?
Steve: We don’t take equity in return for the program. We only ask the teams to fully focus on the project and to develop products or services which are ready for the market .
7. How much effort do they need to invest on a weekly basis?
Steve: We organize many workshops where the startups will get „homeworks”. The purpose of these tasks is to have a working prototype or – ideally – a market-ready product by the end of the program. This is basically a full time job.
8. Will the teams hear about the operation and plans for innovation of NN Insurance Hungary?
Steve: It’s very important for us to give a comprehensive overview on NN Insurance’s aims, operation, and digital plans for the future to the participants. Therefore, we will involve NN Insurance’s experts and if it’s necessary they will serve as mentors to the teams. The more we get to know each other the easier it will be to create successful projects together.
9. What should the teams achieve by the end of the program?
Steve: We expect the teams to have a working prototype by the end of the program which can be prepared to launch on the market.
10. What is your plan with the teams at the end of the program?
Steve: The teams will have to present their progress and results at the Demo Day. The presentations will be delivered not only to the NN Insurance leadership, but to investors, business angels, corporations and other interested parties as well.
+1 What areas do you accept solutions from?
Steve: Mainly, we are looking for solutions that improve the quality of life of people. These solutions can be related to healthcare, sports, and safety among others. Actually we do not want to limit the applicants’ creativity on what they feel “improving quality of life” means. These could even be insurtech and fintech related solutions as well.