The way we do transactions (of all sorts) is changing. Technologies such as blockchain and AI have affected the way we do our banking, insurance, legal work, administration, investments, etc.
But I’m preaching to the choir. Many of you who read this are already part of the next wave of fintech. Or they have the new killer insurtech solution. Or you’re using using blockchain to make some current operation obsolete.
At Nestholma we believe in proximity. Employees of financial institutions and entrepreneurs need to stay close to learn from each other. We need to be there as well, to make sure collaboration happens productively.
But… fintech startups are born global. Fintech startups are not bound by national borders. They need to look past the few big players in their country and build a network of international connection early on.
Tough combination, right?
It seems like we must be everywhere at once. And even worse: financial institutions are expected to keep up with everything that’s going on!
In order to be closer to the financial and fintech ecosystems in Southern Europe and Latin America, we’ve decided to open an office in Spain. Read more »
We have run 26 different collaboration programs in the past. And in many of them, we helped financial institutions run a corporate accelerator. Because of that, I often the get asked if “we are an accelerator”. And no we’re not: we have expertise in that area, but we are far from that.
In fact, because of those moments, I’m starting to hate the word “accelerator” a little.
But there’s an even funnier part. I often realize that people are confused about what accelerators are. So let’s take a step back, and start there.
The best innovations come from collaboration. Yet most attempts at collaboration fail. Most corporates blame the lack of strategic alignment or maturity. Most startups blame bureaucracy and internal politics.
And they’re both right: most of the time, there’s some building block missing. When you buy furniture, you wouldn’t leave half of the pieces “for later”. But with collaboration, that often happens. Neither startups nor corporations come with an Ikea-like manual.
That’s why we’ve decided to put together the elements of startup-corporation collaboration. After 25+ programs, we’ve seen a lot of what can go well, and a lot of what can go wrong. And many of the pitfalls are predictable, to some extent.
Most corporate accelerators fail in giving tangible results. Many corporations don’t even have a clear vision of what they’re trying to do with it! Some succeed in bringing only a few innovations to the market. Rarely the ones that can create real change. And most fail at changing the corporation in any meaningful way at all. This is entirely predictable. If that’s you, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Innovation is messy: you don’t know much at the beginning of the process, of what you’re going to get. Unfortunately, many people feel like they can’t prepare because of this. When it comes to corporate transformation, it’s exactly the opposite. Both sides (the startups and the corporation) must do their homework. Before and after the accelerator.
In fact, the accelerator should be no different than normal business Read more »
Corporations benefit in many ways from having an accelerator. In our whitepaper, we already analyzed those benefits in depth. But one question that is sometimes tricky for people is: how much?
This is especially relevant when preparing a business case. Should you or should you not do an accelerator? What are the benefits, the costs, what do the numbers say? And sometimes you have to discuss with others in the corporation, why it’s a good idea to engage with startups. For those moments, it’s good to have some figures with you.
That’s why we decided to build an economic model of the benefits; the Nestholma Business Case Builder. And we’re sharing Read more »
While promoting our accelerator programs, we get lots of questions regarding logistics, financing, or other parameters that might influence your decision. Here are some answers to the most common questions:
Do I need to relocate to the program’s location?
The accelerator program is on-site: it requires the founders to be physically present in the corporation partner’s premises. Building a fruitful collaboration takes time (many meetings, involving many people from the corporation, etc). You need to be ready to invest those 3 months in the collaboration.
During that time, we also help you develop your business better in many ways, which in turn helps you structure and define the collaboration. This also requires decision-makers from the startup (the founders and/or anybody that you decide) to be physically present. You need to be able to make strategic decisions quickly during the program.
Of course, we understand time or travel constraints Read more »
Digital technologies have transformed the way we do… everything. And it continues to transform it, every day. We often read about new technology that looks like science fiction… but we’ve exploited only a fraction of the technologies available today.
On October 3rd and 4th I was lucky to take part in OTP Group’s Digital Meetup in Kecskemét. Participants included key people from OTP Group, from its 9 different countries. It also included partners that OTP Bank is working with – such as myself from Nestholma.
I got to see very interesting points of view on digitalization. Banking is going to change a lot in the upcoming years. And not only in the obvious ways. Read more »