Case study: The open vault at ocbc

Helping financial institutions solve their most pressing business challenges.


In January 2016, OCBC Bank called upon Nest to run its first innovation programme in Singapore - The Open Vault at OCBC FinTech Accelerator. For OCBC, the objective was simple: to locate and foster early-stage firms with financial technology that could be quickly integrated into the business and have a material impact on its customers.

Nest leveraged its extensive international network to run a global call-out to FinTech startups and by the end of March 2016 we had received more than 200 applications from 28 countries. From these, just eight were selected - not just for their relevance to OCBC’s innovation needs but also for their passion for delivering the future of financial technology.

What made this accelerator so unique was the ‘data sandbox’ that the founders could use to validate their businesses / test their products. In addition to the mentorship, guidance and educational elements of the programme, the founders were able to use anonymised data from OCBC to conduct proof of concept (POC) trials - making the validation process both efficient and effective. OCBC was also able to see from an early stage if the startups were relevant to the business and its customers.

In just 12 weeks, a real impact was made and the programme achieved exceptional results including:

  • 7 out of the 8 startups met OCBC’s stringent criteria for POC
  • 3 out of the 8 startup teams confirmed Pilot schemes with the bank
  • 4 startups began negotiations to run their own Pilots or continue their relationship with OCBC

With the support of Nest, OCBC was able to put these early-stage companies in front of real customers after just 12 weeks, helping accelerate the sales cycle and enable startups to achieve meaningful commercial validation within the Asian corporate environment.

The programme culminated with an investor Demo Day in which more than 350 members of Singapore’s finance and investment community attended the event. OCBC’s overt commitment to innovation was significant for Singapore and consequently the audience was impressive. Ms. Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director of MAS attended as a guest-of-honour as well as representatives from 22 government-backed funds. In addition, more than 60 venture capital firms and early-stage investors and 70 corporations were also in the room.

The Open Vault at OCBC Fintech Accelerator


200 applications from 28 countries

8 startups pitching to over 60 VCs, investors and 70 corporations

7 POCs leading to 3 Pilots with OCBC