Posted by & filed under Collaboration, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, Team.

Our team is getting some more brilliant people along! We are excited to welcome Nick, Rudi and Raghu on board!

Quan Dinh -also known as Nick – was part of Nestholma’s intern taskforce already this spring creating mind-blowing 2M reach social media campaigns for our clients and contributing to our marketing strategies. Nick is now working as our Marketing Specialist, taking care of our social media, marketing, sales support, and data analytics!

Rudolf Vogl – Rudi – has been our mentor already for a year now, sharing always so inspiringly his senior & exec. level HR business partnering knowledge and vast experience from both big corporations (banking, retail, pharmaceuticals) and entrepreneurship! He’s an expert in cultural transformation and digital leadership and also strengthens our coaching language capacities in German-speaking countries for future projects!

Raghunath Koduvayur – Raghu – will be supporting the Nestholma team as Coach and Marketing Advisor, bringing in his talent as a global marketing leader, entrepreneur, and investor from startups and Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Nokia, Tieto, and P&G. He also brings into our team knowledge from health tech and is a board member of Finland India Trade Association.

With these new folks and together with Raquel, Daniel and Antti we have a bold vision.

We want to turn challenging times into new business opportunities and give an entrepreneurial boost into the societies.

“We at Nestholma want to challenge the leaders of HR departments, governments, outplacement companies and any other organizations that contribute into social responsibility to rethink the support that we can provide for the massive talent pool of unemployed people. 

Let’s support people towards new beginnings as entrepreneurs and build the future innovations together.” 

Virpi Jalonen, CEO of Nestholma

Contact us to hear more about the Journey to Entrepreneurship – program and stay tuned as our webpage is being renewed too!

Posted by & filed under Human Resources, Innovation, Press release, Team.

We at Nestholma have always valued changes and for that exact reason, we are happy to announce our new direction. In the new online-embracing-world we live in, we are shifting our direction towards HR and will be focusing even stronger into:

  1. Providing virtual entrepreneurship accelerators for laid-off employees to create new businesses, as we’ve done in the past with Nokia and Microsoft
  2. Helping HR departments turn the cultural transformation into reality by giving an entrepreneurial boost into the organization
  3. Bringing new innovation into your company by finding high potential startups around the world

For driving this new direction, Virpi Jalonen has been nominated as the new CEO, bringing over 10 years of international HR, talent acquisition and entrepreneurship experience aboard. At the same time Daniel Collado Ruiz, the previous CEO, moves into a new role focusing on building sustainable and green technology companies at Fairforce, remaining as part of the Nestholma community. In addition, Raquel Ortega Gómez will continue as the Ecosystem Orchestrator leading Nestholma’s business development and projects further, supporting Nestholma’s wide variety of startups.

Virpi & Raquel (Photo: Distrito Digital)

Daniel has been successfully leading Nestholma and expanding the business globally, ramping up Nestholma’s Spain office in Alicante and together with the team has been creating great new business opportunities for both Nestholma, its partners as well as for Nestholma’s startups. 

“It has been a pleasure to guide this ship during the past years, and I’m excited to see what this new focus will bring to our customers and startup companies.” says Daniel.

Virpi has been part of Nestholma’s office since the beginning in Alicante as Renewal Strategist and earlier this year has taken the role as COO of Nestholma. She is experienced in leading strategic HR projects, driving cultural transformation and as the founder of The Career Atelier is also expert in building new online business and coaching people towards new beginnings in their careers. From the background, she is an HR and talent acquisition expert and has worked in gaming and tech companies such as Wisar, Hatch, Rovio and Nokia.

“Nestholma’s core is renewal, innovation and collaboration – we are experts of turning challenging situations into new business opportunities and have the expertise to bring new innovations inside the organization. 
I’m excited to have the chance to develop Nestholma further and continue building on the great foundation that Daniel, Antti Kosunen and the whole Nestholma team have created.” says Virpi.


Does your company take social responsibility seriously, taking good care of your employees also in challenging layoff situations? We are happy to work either directly with you or partner with your existing outplacement partners providing entrepreneurship accelerator support as additional service for those employees who are interested to start new business.

We are also experts in bringing innovation inside your organization – whether it would be training programs for your people or finding the best startups to collaborate with.

Contact for more information

Virpi Jalonen, CEO

Spain +34 69 445 1550

Finland +358 50 487 2578

[email protected] www.nestholma.com

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Fintech, Global Fintech Accelerator, Insurtech, Startups.

If you could ask anything from the innovation experts of Bankia, BBVA, Sanitas, Santander or Sparklab of Nationale Nederlanden – what would you ask? Have you wondered what innovative ideas the financial and insurance sector might be having for the future? What are the hottest trends and technologies the banks and insurance companies are after right now?

Join the Distrito Digital Virtual Bootcamp

on Friday, June 12th 2020 

at 9:00 to 12:30 CET

…and see which finance, insurance and blockchain solutions the financial institutions are currently looking for! 

We like to do things a bit differently so be ready to witness a one of a kind Virtual Bootcamp. See the top fintech and insurtech startups from 12 different countries pitching live, ask questions from the partners joining the fireside chat and jump inside the online networking and connect directly with the people you want to talk to!

This Virtual Bootcamp is the first part of Nestholma’s global Blockchain & Fintech Accelerator Program that continues connecting startups and financial institutions around the world!  

So what are you waiting for? Go and sign up here and see you at the Distrito Digital Virtual Bootcamp!

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Fintech, Global Fintech Accelerator, Insurtech, Press release, Startups.

Press release, Alicante Spain, June 2, 2020

The Comunitat Valenciana Digital District maintains its firm commitment to the Fintech and Blockchain sector with the online version of the I Bootcamp Blockchain Fintech Accelerator that was postponed in March.

This Virtual Bootcamp is part of The Comunidad Valenciana Digital District’s plan to become an innovation factory that attracts talent and creates new business opportunities. 

The Comunidad Valenciana Digital District has transformed the I Bootcamp Blockchain Fintech Accelerator @Alicante into online format including various collaboration days between startups and financial institutions and an online webinar called Distrito Digital Virtual Bootcamp, that will be held on June 12. The best 20 startups of the Fintech and Blockchain sector from 12 countries will be participating in this Virtual Bootcamp, together with financial institutions including Bankia, BBVA, Sanitas, Santander and Sparklab (Nationale Nederlanden Spain).

The I Bootcamp Blockchain Fintech Accelerator @Alicante was postponed last March for security reasons due to Covid-19. The Blockchain and Fintech Accelerator team, managed by the company Nestholma, evaluated for this challenge the projects of more than 3,000 startups from 62 countries, and contacted more than 1,500. For the final phase, a total of 20 companies have been selected.

The Virtual Bootcamp will take place as online webinar on June 12 and is open for the public around the world to join with prior registration through this link: Distrito Digital Virtual Bootcamp.

The 20 startups selected to participate in the Virtual Bootcamp come from countries such as the United Kingdom, Mexico, Sweden, Spain, Poland, Finland, Hungary, Lebanon, Ireland, Estonia, Bulgaria and Greece.

These companies represent the categories of most interest to participating financial institutions: practical blockchain applications for banks and insurers, financial education, smart contracts, well-being and accessibility, tokenization and traceability, international payments and commercial financing.

Aware of the significant growth of the fintech sector, Distrito Digital has made a firm commitment to promote and drive this online program, with the aim of attracting the best talent and supporting the development of the technology business, so that it joins the ambitious innovation ecosystem.

ACTIVITY PROGRAM

The Distrito Digital Virtual Bootcamp will be held on June 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Central European Time Zone). It will start with the opening words after which there will be online pitches from each of the 20 startups.

After the pitches the representatives of the different financial institutions will take part in an interactive fireside chat, analyzing the scope of the activity of each startup, as well as the possibilities of implementation of their respective business models. Finally all the participants will have the opportunity to interact with financial institutions and startups and get to know each other.

Program of the Distrito Digital Virtual Bootcamp

12th June 2020

  • 9:00h Opening
  • 9:15h Pitches from the startups
  • 10:45 Fireside chat with financial institutions
  • 11:15h Break + virtual networking
  • 11:45h Pitches from financial institutions
  • 12:00h-12:30h Closure + Networking

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Global Fintech Accelerator, Human Resources, Startups, Team.

What makes a good startup? How can you see which ones have potential?

As a talent scout and having lead global recruitment team in the past, I see a lot of similarities between talent acquisition and startup search. Here are some insights from behind the scenes of The I Bootcamp of Blockchain & Fintech Accelerator Alicante. In this project’s selection phase our team screened over 3000 startups based on the needs of Bankia, BBVA, Sanitas, Santander and Sparklab of Nationale Nederlanden among others.

Understanding the business needs

Both in recruitment and in startup scouting, it all starts from understanding the business needs. What solutions are the financial institutions looking for right now? What strategy is behind those needs and why is that important for them? And the question everyone is asking today – how will the world look different after Covid-19 pandemic?

The better you understand what your partners need and what kind of technical solutions could answer that, the better the results.

For the latest bootcamp, we had a wide variety of different themes in scope: the banks and insurance companies were looking for practical applications of blockchain, traceability, smart contracts, trade finance and tokenization of assets.

On the other hand, big themes were also financial wellbeing and education, accessibility and preventive health care solutions for insurance and healthcare companies.

New approaches to security and fraud prevention continue being hot topics. And my inner HR was happy to see the rising interest in innovative B2B2E benefits and solutions for the employees. Also, while the covid-19 impacts the whole world, supporting the clients in this changing situation and beyond has become an additional priority.

Photo: Distrito Digital

Finding the matches from millions

After having a clear direction, it’s a mix of creativity and hard work. Finding the best matches means – not only marketing and promotion – but also hunting the best finsurtech startups around the world for each theme. In practice this means advanced searching, testing variations of keywords, going through thousands of web pages, identifying potential, analyzing the solutions.

Industry knowledge, partners, wide networks and data crunching super search tools are a must. Not forgetting looots of coffee to keep the engines running!

Identifying the high potential

For the last bootcamp we contacted over 1500 potential startups and received over 400 applications from over 60 different countries. During 2020 we’ve so far had 5 online pitching days, with dozens of startups.

The selection is done carefully. The criteria that we use in the assessment phase is not only related to the pitching of the technical solution, scalability and past performance. It’s about the whole team.

In HR terms we talk about identifying high potential (HiPo) talent: SHL’s and Gartner’s research and the traditional SHL Model of High-Potential talks about aspiration, ability and engagement. Harward Business review refers also to the importance of a positive drive.

What we look is: does this group of individuals have the mindset, solution and skills that are needed for being successful to work with us and our partners? Besides top-notch business ideas and technical expertise, a good balance of emotional and social skills is important. Learning agility, problem solution and negotiation skills are highly valued in collaboration and future partnerships.

Also, the roles and dynamics of the team members are important. What kind of expertise does the team have? Which areas do they need to strengthen?

Towards collaboration

After introducing the best startups to our partners and initiating the collaborations starts the real journey – the part that often causes most challenges in startup collaboration. Bureaucratic regulations, long decision-making processes and different cultures and ways of working might cause grey hair at the beginning for both the financial institutions and the startups.

Just like onboarding new team members, this is the critical part and there should be a good plan and resources for both sides for working together.

With an inspirational accelerator program and coaching, we can help in this making businesses grow and collaboration prosper. As long as there’s curiosity and desire to learn from each other and motivation towards common goals, we are on the right path.


What else do you value in collaboration? What solutions are important for you right now? I’d be glad to share thoughts with you – let’s connect in LinkedIn in/virpijalonen or you can find me from Telegram as Viivinen.

Virpi

PS. If you are reading this before 12th June 2020, join the Distrito Digital Virtual Bootcamp Online and see these startups in action yourself!

About the writer

Hi! I’m Virpi Jalonen, Renewal Strategist and COO at Nestholma and the entrepreneurial booster that can help your cultural transformation to become reality throughout the organization. For startups, I’m a devoted coach. It’s so fascinating to see what a team of amazing talents is capable to achieve and my job is to support them on that journey. 

I can also help people towards new beginnings and support even in the toughest restructuring situations by providing entrepreneurial training and startup accelerator programs for laid-off employees.

From background, I’m HR leader and entrepreneur with +10 years of experience from various HR roles in international IT and gaming companies, specializing in talent acquisition and engagement, building HR processes from scratch, ramping up organizations and creating positive working environments.

Feel free to contact me – I’d be happy to connect!

Virpi Jalonen

HR at heart – with an entrepreneurial soul :)

Posted by & filed under General.

It takes creative leaders with strong opinions and human touch to change the world. We are fortunate for having a brilliant mentor network full of people like that. Today we’ll share thoughts about digitalization from one of our new mentors, Rudolf Vogl.

Most of our programs are part of some form of digital transformation program. And those programs require a mindset change from many people. It’s easy to change paper forms into online forms. But that misses the point of digitalization. Rudolf has a brilliant take on this – a digital transformation that is never done, never enough, and in which we’re constantly exploring new opportunities is now more important than ever with the global situation we live in.

Are you thinking digital? 

In the world of start-ups and fintechs everybody wholeheartedly would say: YES! In the world of the “old economy” – banks, production industry – senior leaders would say: Of course!

I believe both are wrong! 

Thinking digital is not what you have by nature because you are under 30. You also don’t have it because the board decided: We must become digital!

Thinking digital is a mindset developing, evolving, changing. For many years I served as senior HR leader in the banking industry. During that time, I experienced the power of corporate processes. I lived through an amount of transformation activities under the label of “digitization”. I want to prove that thinking digital is neither a matter of age nor technology.

“Thinking digital is a mindset developing, evolving, changing.“

Rudolf Vogl

It is about how we manage the increasing amount of data and latest technology with our body and brain. The current version of the latter is about 100.000 years old!

Thus, in the core of digital thinking must be the human aspect.

What does this mean for start-ups? Their new products have to provide customers (=humans) with better outcomes or more meaningful experience. Like with many other – physical – products on the market, not every new app is a real advancement in customer experience. 

In classical corporates the same applies. The meaningful experience for demanding customers should be in focus. Yet, traditional product development is driven by cost constraints. “Ordered” innovation cannot deliver or cannot deliver in time.

“The meaningful experience for demanding customers should be in focus. 

Yet, traditional product development is driven by cost constraints.”

Rudofl Vogl

Surviving in the digital age means developing a dual strategy:

  1. Building up digital competence with leaders in the organisation – a longer term effort but a must
  2. Creating new ways of cooperation with small units as the chance.

All companies must launch their successful products in the digital world. In the cooperation of big and small units it’s about immersion into the other’s world. This only happens via human relations, the bridge both sides must cross.

I love to help building those bridges and digital competencies wherever needed. 

Rudolf Vogl, Smartbird

About the writer

I have spent my professional live in public service and then in three different types of industries. The last 15 years I was heading the corporate HR function for a big bank. Now with “smartbird” – still in formation – I have started my journey into the digital age. As a “baby boomer” I want to proof that a digital mindset is not matter of age. And with repositioning soft skills into power skills I want to develop managers and organisations for future and return and beyond.


Rudolf Vogl, Smartbird
& Nestholma Mentor

——-

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