With the support of the minister and the economy
On Friday the winners of the international student workshop entitled Bytes of Banking, organized by Halcom and the EESTEC Electrical Engineering Students' European Association, were announced. At the closing ceremony, which took place on the premises of NLB, the project’s partner, the Minister for Education, Science and Sport, Dr. Maja Makovec Brenčič, Ljubljana University Chancellor, Dr. Ivan Svetlik, CEO of Halcom d.d., Mr. Marko Valjavec and Chairman of the Board at NLB d.d., Mr. Janko Medja addressed the aspiring students with advanced skills from 11 different countries.
Between July 17 and 24, an international workshop for students entitled Bytes of Banking was organized by Halcom in cooperation with EESTEC Electrical Engineering Students' European Association and with the support of partners; NLB, Management group, Lenovo, Si.mobil, Plastika Skaza and BTC. The focus of this year's advanced skills workshop, the second one in a row, is social media banking, today one of the trends in the banking industry. The selected 24 students from 11 different countries (China, Russia, Germany, Poland, Spain, Albania, Greece, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Slovenia) searched for innovative solutions and co-created digital banking trends with the help of experts in banking. They were grouped into interdisciplinary teams, and their main challenge was to collectively develop the technical approach and business model of their idea that solves a specific challenge in the field of banking via social networks.
At Friday’s final event, which took place at the Innovative Entrepreneurship Centre of NLB (CIP), students competed in front of a jury in two categories; Best pitch and Best prototype. The competition was fierce as it actually is between the competition in the global economy and the differences that stood out helped the jury to decide. The winner in the “Best pitch” category is team Elegidios, the members of which come from Germany, Spain, Albania, Russia and Slovenia. The winner in the “Best prototype” category is team Honey Badgers, the members of which come from China, Poland, Serbia, Macedonia and Slovenia. The winner of the workshop that had the overall score is team Honey Badgers with a prototype Hal M-Bank Social Suite. The best individuals were also rewarded with a paid internship for the academic year 2015/16. The minister for Education, Science and Sport, Dr. Maja Makovec Brenčič, Ljubljana University Chancellor, Dr. Ivan Svetlik, CEO of Halcom d.d., Mr. Marko Valjavec and Chairman of the Board at NLB d.d., Mr. Janko Medja addressed all the guests of the event. They expressed all the participants of the workshop are winners for standing the heat, for the enormous work they did and for all the strains of acquiring and implementing new digital skills.
The Minister for Education, Science and Sport, Dr. Maja Makovec Brenčič, stated her opinion about such international initiatives for further development of the economy in Slovenia and said “today is a special Friday because young energetic people, the proactive companies as well as universities that are looking ahead have gathered in the same location. The three represent the best triangle that can be formed in the society. The government and especially the Ministry for Education, Science and Sport is responsible for integrating the three in a creative way”.
Halcom’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Marko Valjavec has said: “Students that were competing in the workshop are thinking out of the box and have a fresh attitude towards solving everyday obligations, such as banking errands. Young bank customers are digital, global, have free mind and are extremely quick in making everyday decisions. We believe that the students have acquired new knowledge about IT technologies and modern business models in Halcom that can help them in their further career development paths.”
After a successful last year's first international student workshop aimed to acquiring professional knowledge and competences in banking, today, the second workshop was finished with a festive event. What was special about the last year’s workshop is that it was noticed by a wider business audience, since the American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia awarded it as the best business practice in the field of innovation in the program Best of the Best. And because of the success of the last year’s workshop, this year’s workshop attracted two very important partners. The first one is NLB bank that joined the project as a silver partner with its business challenge. The other partner is the Management group of the Faculty of Economics, and the participation of students from this faculty will enable the organizers to form interdisciplinary teams which will contribute to the attractiveness of solving business challenges and acquiring new competences.
The Bytes of Banking workshop as a positive initiative represents a fresh approach to connecting the young and the economy, where young individuals as well as companies learn from each other during the innovation process and acquire valuable skills the Slovenian economy needs for creating competent advantages in the international market and creating jobs with a higher added value.
Photo: Simon Tomažič