Posted by & filed under Innovation, Organizational learning, Product development.

It is hard to think of a better time to be a bank, insurance company or other corporation who wants to work with startups. Over the past years, companies specializing in organizing hackathons, incubators, accelerators or any other kind of startup related programs and services have sprung up like mushrooms. And that’s why regardless if it is the first time an organization is embarking on the journey to work with startups or already have well-established systems and processes, they can easily find whatever help they need.

At the same time, there are so many players that finding the partner (or partners) for your organization and your specific goals is definitely not the easiest task. And that is why we created this guide to help you find the right partner for you.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Banking, Collaboration, Corporations, Fintech, Insurance, Startups.

We talk with a lot of interesting people every day (definitely one of the best perks of the job!). We learn every day from these smart people and their experiences and thought why not share all that with you. Cue our new monthly webinar series.

The first six episodes focus on collaboration and specifically piloting. In each episode we have two guests from startups and one from banks, insurance companies or other corporations, who talk about the different parts of the collaboration journey from the first contact to life after the pilot.

While we are waiting for the next episode (live on the 5th of September), I thought I would gather together some of the learnings from the series. I have to emphasize the word ’some’ as it is impossible to fit everything into one post, and I highly recommend checking out the series here for all of the learnings.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Featured, Fintech, Programs, Startups.

We have done 26 programs so far, but still, each new program makes us as excited as if it was the first one. And the same thing happened again with our latest program: startup accelerator with OTP Bank.

Now it has already been a month since the Demo Day and the end of the program itself. While the collaboration still continues, it’s a good time to look back and reflect on what happened.

Three months of collaboration, innovation & results

Last summer when we started designing this accelerator, we mapped our partner’s OTP Bank’s needs with them – like we do with every collaboration program, be it for a bootcamp, a three-month accelerator, or continuous startup-innovation support. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech.

Last week it was finally time to get the accelerator started at OTP Bank! We have worked hard with OTP Bank to prepare for it, and we couldn’t wait. We were looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work with the startups and their counterparts at OTP Bank. Based on the selection period, we had high expectations, and lucky for us, so far it seems like we weren’t wrong!

The first week was a whirlwind of introductions and clarification

On day one we got to know the startups better, and they got to know us better. But even more importantly: the got to know their collaboration partner OTP Bank better. The startups met with their business champion (who will Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech.

Some of the most exciting times of my work are the accelerator periods. It is thrilling to work with the great minds in startups and the partner bank. So much happens every week and I am always amazed when looking back at what really went on. The accelerators are real adventures!

And as we work with early-stage startups the accelerators don’t only show a glimpse into the newest new of the industry, but the future of the industry! If that doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will. Did I already say accelerators are my favorite time…😉

And now it’s time for the next adventure: the Selection Bootcamp of our OTP Bank accelerator just started today! And that means we have the next exciting accelerator adventure ahead of us. But before that, it is time to get to know the finalists and find the startups that best match our partner the OTP Bank.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Corporate Venture Capital, Featured, General, Investing.

The startup event of the year, Slush, was last week and that meant it was also time for our official Slush side event: Corporate Venture Capital.

Together with Helsinki Business Hub, Mawsonia and Global Corporate Venturing we got together the brightest of the CVCs from all over the world. And thanks to the great speakers and our amazing attendees we got an interesting peek into what’s in the minds of the CVC professionals all over the world.

Corporate Venture Capital is here to stay

Corporate venture capital has been on the rise. But lately, some have started questioning whether it’s just a boom that is going to die soon.  Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Featured, Fintech, Startups.

China has been the number one market in fintech for a while now, and India is right behind it. But will 3rd king of the market be the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)?

At first, saying so might feel a bit surprising, random even. Sure, there are some great success stories like Prezi, Ustream, LogMeIn coming from there, but calling the area the next big fintech market – maybe a bit too much. Except when you dig deeper you can see that it has many similarities with the current fintech leaders; in e.g. consumer mentality and environment, regulations Read more »

Posted by & filed under Featured, Guest blog, Insurance, Insurtech.

Guest blogger Petri Ekman Nestholma MentorThis is a guest post from one of our mentors, Petri Ekman. Petri is an experienced executive with a broad and in-depth experience in financing, financial and insurance products and risk management strategies for corporate clients. 

Change Started Later than in Many Other Industries

During my 12 years in insurance, I used to hear numerous times the claims “there have not been any new products in this industry for 100 years” or “this is how we have conducted our business for 120 years, and so far things have been rolling rather nicely.” These arrogant-sounding statements were used to blunt ideas to get some change in, well, most anything.

In reality, a major shift had already taken place then. Many companies had started to drive down their expense ratios to improve the profitability of their insurance operation. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech, General, Programs, Startups.

It’s time for more deals and more pilots! Taviq from our second Nordea accelerator has just signed a pilot agreement with Nordea Private Banking, going live now. And that’s awesome news for Taviq and Nordea, but even better for Nordea’s customers!

Juho Isola on a MoneyFintech panel with Nordea's Ewan MacLeod.

Taviq’s Juho Isola on stage with Nordea’s Chief Digital Officer Ewan MacLeod.

In Private Banking and wealth management, too many clients drop off during the first meeting. That’s because the first meeting is like a cold blind date. Except the customer and the wealth advisor know even less about each other. The first meeting is spent figuring each other out; if the wealth advisor even is the right one to handle their money. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech, Global Fintech Accelerator, Press release, Programs.

It has been a hard to keep our lips zipped with all these exciting news, but now we can finally give the first peek into the Global Fintech Accelerator – the first ever fintech accelerator done on such a global stage! We couldn’t be more excited to introduce new bank partners in the program.

 

Yes Bank

Fintech experts have been calling China the hottest place for fintech for a while now, but now they are turning their attention towards India. And not without a reason!

India is a huge market. Just the sheer size of the country itself is humongous with 1,3 billion people and counting. And while the size of the country and its market are impressive, their fintech adoption rate is even more so. It is the top of the world with 52%, only second to China and far ahead of Europe (source). The market has very different conditions than the traditional western countries and they lack many of the legacy systems and old innovation-stifling regulations many banks and countries in the West have. No wonder India is hotter than hot in fintech!

That’s why for an accelerator focused in fintech, partnering with one of the strongest players in Indian banking scene Yes Bank could not be better news!

Yes Bank is the fifth biggest bank in the enormous market of India, they are highly awarded and even have a massive following in their social media channels (They are for example, the most followed bank in the world in Twitter). If India is hot in fintech, Yes Bank is even hotter! We can’t think of a better partner for startups than the Yes Bank Accelerator to take over the Indian market.


Our next partner comes from an equally interesting marketplace: Eastern Europe. China has had the fintech innovation crown for a bit now and India seems to be taking over. But is Eastern Europe the next hotter than hot market for fintech?

 

OTP Bank

Eastern Europe has been able to fly under a radar for a while. But that won’t be so for long, especially when banking and fintech are in question. GDP of East European countries is growing nicely, in fact, better than nicely when compared to other European countries who drag behind. They also have a very interesting opportunity in the banking sector. What China and India have been able to pull off in fintech doesn’t seem too much of a fairytale for East Europe either. They do after all have many similarities in the consumer environment, regulations and other key issues that made China and India succeed.

East European consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the possibilities fintech innovations bring, and they will not just passively wait for them. They will demand them and they will demand them from their banks. Consumers still prefer banks over startups to provide their banking solutions, including new innovations. The local startup ecosystems are still just evolving, and there aren’t even that many real competitors for banks to provide such solutions. There is demand for fintech innovations but not much local supply. Game-changing innovations are expected to come from international players.

Overall, there is great potential for fintech startups in Eastern Europe to fill up the gaps in banking and disrupt the existing systems. But due to the strong status of the existing banks, not just any startup can do it. The fintechs need a way in. And that’s why we could not be more proud to partner up with OTP Bank, one of the biggest players in Eastern Europe.

OTP Bank has a presence in 9 East European countries (including dominating position in Hungary). And they are called the leading innovator in their market (more about it here). All in all, for startups there could not be a better partner to work with to conquer Eastern Europe.


At the heart of the Global Fintech Accelerator is, of course, banks working with startups, but also with other banks. The best results are when different kinds of banks with different experiences and knowledge work together. And we are proud to say that is exactly what is happening in Global Fintech Accelerator.

 

The Nordics

When you think about fintech you can’t help but also think about the Nordics. The Nordics have a flourishing startup environment that is attracting a high proportion of investments in Europe. Stockholm is the second largest fintech hub in Europe, and the whole Nordic fintech market is rapidly growing. The Nordics are also home for ginormous success stories like Klarna and iZettle, which have brought the area high to fintech investors interests.

A big part of the fintech’s success in the Nordics is its markets uniqueness. The Nordic countries are forerunners in many areas of banking. And that has made adopting new fintech innovations much easier for both the companies and the general public.

For example, consumers in the Nordics are avid smartphone users. In fact, smartphone ownership is almost universal, more than 9 out of 10 internet users have one. Nordic countries are also often referred to as cashless societies. Cash is not seen convenient and you can easily live your life without using cash pretty much 100% of the time. The Nordics also have strong electronic banking systems in place, and they have warmly welcomed innovations like e-invoicing. For example, 89% of large and even 59% of small businesses in Finland use it, and the usage is growing fast.

These and many other similar market conditions have made Nordics a very favorable for fintech innovations. Thus the Nordics just had to be a part of our Global Fintech Accelerator.

And we are very happy to have such a close relationship with Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordics.

Nordea

Nordea has over 10 million personal customers and over half million corporate customers. They are also one of the top 10 largest universal banks in Europe, and have a presence in 16 countries around the world. They are also one of the very few European banks to have an AA- rating. We can’t think of a better bank to work with in the Nordics. Especially as they are already well immersed in the startup world.

We have already done three great accelerators with Nordea and we have had an amazing time working with them. Thus we couldn’t be happier to continue working with them!

These banks from such different areas and market situations will be giving amazing opportunities and insights for both the participating startups and banks. We are expecting to see great innovations, big changes and most importantly: more satisfied banking customers. Stay tuned for amazing results!

If your bank wants to get access to those results, there is still time! We have several models from marketing partnership to full accelerator in the Global Fintech Accelerator. Just contact Antti at [email protected], and let’s find together the best solution for your bank!