Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Corporations, General, innovating.

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 with you the work in progress. For you to have something that can help you think if Nestholma accelerator could be beneficial for you. For you to convince others in your company to work with us. Or for us to discuss which parts apply to you, and which not. And as it is still a work in process, we would more than happy to hear your thoughts on it, and especially how it works for you.

Nestholma business case builder


Using the Nestholma Business Case Builder

We have modeled the benefits in the three categories presented in the whitepaper. Corporations can benefit from branding, innovation, and learning.

In the first part, you should fill in the information about your company. This will let the Business Case Builder calculate the rest. The colored cells include values that might be a bit different for your case. We have pre-filled those values with statistics. Some we have found in reports from reputed sources. Other statistics are our own, or estimates based on our previous cases. All of them have realistic values, that you can tweak to adapt to your particular case.

Of course, any such tool is meant to be played with. We’re expecting you to find out the best values for your case. To experiment. To run scenarios. So that you stretch it beyond recognition, and share the feedback with us! Let’s discuss how to renew corporations with the help of startups!


Download the Business Case Builder here:


Posted by & filed under Corporate Venture Capital, 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.

But that’s definitely not the message we got from the event.

The keynotes talked about growth and potential that is just starting to be discovered, and the roundtable discussion and our interviews made that picture even clearer. The general consensus seemed to be: CVC is definitely not just a boom. It will probably slow down a bit in the future, but not die. Some even wondered if we even have seen its peak yet.

All in all, Corporate Venture Capital is here to stay.


CVC activities are a key for corporations’ survival

Nowadays it’s becoming more and more difficult to think about an industry that is not being disrupted. Big corporations are turning to CVC to survive. Like they did in the last recession too. Corporate venture capital is a tool for survival.

“Any business nowadays needs to be focused on survival. Large corporations are prioritizing the search for new technologies, new business models, and so on. And CVC is a very effective way of doing that.”

– Tom Whitehouse, Contributing Editor, Global Corporate Venturing

Samuli Sirén, managing director of Redstone also added:

“Technological development is so fast that no corporation can create all of the R&D in-house and they have to get external impulse. And the most effective way is to invest in independent startups and support them financially and then have access to them. This then really brings in the best deals and teams and access to the best technology.”

Ad hoc is not the way to work with startups

We also gave a peak into our recent study on corporations.

18% of the companies believe innovations come from startups. While that is not so surprising, after all, startups are known for their innovativeness, it was interesting that 45% of companies believe the best innovations come from cooperation with startups.


Best innovations come from collaborating between startups and corporations


We obviously believe in the magic of cooperation between startups and corporations, but it was great to hear that the majority of the corporations believe so too. That collaboration is where the real magic happens.

But the problem is that the most common approach to collaborating with startups is ad hoc. I say problem because it shows also in the results. Or should I say lack of results.

25% of the respondents said the cooperation with startups failed because it wasn’t aligned with the company’s strategy and 14% of the respondents admitted they just don’t know how to work with startups. The know-how of working with startups, the completely different species, is missing.


The same story was also heard in the roundtable and panel discussions


Corporations struggle with early-stage investments because they don’t have the processes that are needed to succeed. Ad hoc just doesn’t work.

As Juho Isola from Taviq, the startups’ side said:

“You need to know how to use startups as a tool and not just invest randomly in them. Otherwise, you’ll just get a mess as a result”.

When a corporation partner doesn’t know how to collaborate with startups it is a problem also for the startups. Corporations are known to be able to stifle even a mid-sized company, let alone a young startup.

Having the right processes and knowhow benefit both the collaborating corporation and the startup(s).


Startups aren’t the only ones with amazing ideas. But they are the fastest at executing them

Startups have amazing ideas. But so do corporations. It just takes longer for them to make them into reality. What corporations can do in months, if not even years, startups can do even in a week. And that is a key thing for corporations to understand when they are looking into investing in startups.

As Ewan MacLeod, the Chief Digital Officer at Nordea bank said in his keynote:

“You can’t ignore a startup just because you already have the same idea as they do. Because guess what: they are going to make it live much faster than a corporation ever can.

Thus corporations need to forget the whole ‘we are already thinking about doing it’ excuse. You’re just thinking. Not doing. And in the end, doing is all that really matters.”


The future of CVC in Finland future looks bright

As the event was just before Finland’s 100 birthday, we were of course also curious to hear what the pros had to say about Finland as a corporate venture capital location. Lucky for us, it seems like the future is bright.

In proportion to its market size, Finland is dominating in CVC in the Nordics. According to the pros, our innovativeness, track records in digital and connectivity and deep technical knowledge, along with phenomena like Slush, make Finland a very attractive place for CVC activities. And they expect it to only get better.


It was our first time throwing an event specially for CVC professionals. But it definitely won’t be our last; the event exceeded our expectations ten folds! Next time we definitely need a bigger venue…

Thank you to everyone who came and see you next year!


Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Startups.

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, so it’s ok if, at given times,  only one of the founders is present, as long as that person has the authority to drive the collaboration. Some people also prefer to travel back and forth each week. That’s completely up to you: we only require you to be on-site during the meetings, workshops and coaching sessions.

Do you fund travel and accommodation costs?

If you pass the first selection round, you will get invited to the selection bootcamp. We will reimburse your costs of participating in the bootcamp (travel and accommodation, to a reasonable maximum). If during the bootcamp you get selected for the accelerator, Nestholma will invest into your startup an amount enough to take care of your basic needs during the duration of the accelerator. We want to make sure that financing is not the barrier to you applying to our accelerator!

How do you assess the applications?

The selection process involves experts from our partner corporation, as well as from Nestholma. We assess the value of the collaboration between you and the corporation for both sides, as well as your team, your traction / contact to customers, your business idea (from the purely startup side), etc.

Do you invest in the startups?

Nestholma invests in the startups before the accelerator starts (equity in exchange for cash and services). The first investment is expected to cover the costs of the startup for the three months of the accelerator, following investments depend on performance indicators, and will be at the normal valuation of the company. After the accelerator, Nestholma introduces you to dozens of potential customers and investors. Our partner corporation may decide to invest as well after the accelerator, but this decision is independent of the accelerator program itself.

How much do you invest? In which conditions?

Nestholma invests into every startup that participates in our accelerators, up to a maximum of 150k€.

Typically, for ever 100k€ that startups get from Nestholma, they receive 1,4M€ in total founding including other parties.

We make a small investment of 18k€ before the accelerator, in exchange for between 4% and 7% of equity, depending on the maturity of the startup.

We fit more than one of the themes: should we pick one, or apply to both?

When you do the application (only once), select both themes. This gives us more information to analyze your case.

Are there any conditions for participating in the accelerator?

You need to be ready to go through the selection and accelerator process:

  1. a) invest 3 months in getting to a collaboration with our partner corporation, by being (mostly) presently there
  2. b) join the Nestholma portfolio to get access to partners in dozens of other countries, and
  3. c) have a great startup!

How many team members can we move on-site?

We expect you to move between 2 and 5 members on-site, but we don’t have a strict limit (within reason). We ask you how many people you plan on bringing in the application form, so please give your best estimate, and we’ll take it into account.

Do you have a question we didn’t answer here? Leave us a comment below or email me at Daniel @


Posted by & filed under Banking, Fintech, Global Fintech Accelerator.

Startups: when you apply to any of our accelerators or BankAccess programs, you’ll be exposed to all of our bank partners operating in 20+ countries in addition to TEB. 

Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB) is a reputable institution in the Turkish banking sector operating with its more than 500 branches and about 10,000 employees throughout the country. Since its establishment in 1927, with its expanded network of branches and a diversified range of products and services, TEB has pursued operating in various fields of the banking sector.

In 2005, BNP Paribas, one of the strongest banks in the world, operating in 74 countries, became a partner of TEB. In the wake of its strategic partnership, TEB carried its expertise in corporate, commercial and private banking over into the fields of retail banking, small business banking, and SME banking.

A strong innovator

TEB invests in innovation continuously and indeed is quite bold in its efforts to do so. Through its efforts over 10 years, TEB has spreaded the culture of innovation throughout the bank, made it intrinsic to all its employees and made innovation a part of its DNA finally. As it celebrates its 90th year in 2017, TEB continues to make an increasingly greater effort in order to provide multidimensional support that will nourish Turkey’s economy and also social added-value growth.

TEB is also a pioneer among Turkish banks with a recognized innovative culture and ability to bring unique solutions within its business lines. TEB has introduced Private Banking, Family Academy and Start-up Banking to Turkey and are increasingly active in Women Banking and TEB Private Angel Investing Platform. As for their collaboration efforts with fintechs they have recently designed and ran a unique corporate incubation and procurement programme called FİNTECH Future Four.

The main objective of this initiative is to find and scout out fintechs both locally and internationally and work alongside with them to produce a meaningful solution for the Bank’s real-time problems and challenges. They have already signed up with one of the participants of the programme and getting ready to work with another one. Needless to say, they know what they are doing.

We will be their international partner to enrich the content of their collaboration effort.


Apply here for Bank Access:


Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, 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, and so on. The potential is there.

We are doing an accelerator with one major bank there, OTP Bank, with 14,5 million customers and presence in 9 countries, including leading position in Hungary. Because of it, I have gotten the chance of digging deeper into the Central and East European market and especially Hungarian banking and fintech sector.

Here are some of the reasons that I am looking forward to doing the accelerator there and following the local fintech scene.

Growing market

First of all the GDP of East European countries is growing fast. Better than fast when compared to other European countries who drag behind. In fact, most CEE economies grew much faster than Western European ones. If I was your average clickbait journalist I would already declare ”The glory days of Western Europe are over. Central & Eastern Europe are taking over!” and case closed. While it is too soon to know what the future holds, something interesting is definitely happening there.

But considering fintech and banking, what I find the most interesting is the conflict in how the consumers and even banks are calling for new innovations, but that at the same time there really isn’t that much of supply, innovators creating those innovations. Let’s dig deeper.


Consumers are calling for banking innovations

Like in China and India, in some parts the usage of banking services seems to be a bit behind also in CEE. For example, cash is still the leading payment method in many if not most countries of the region.

But at the same time, people in most countries of the region have high interest and even demand new technologies. And adoption of new payment methods like contactless and mobile payment are growing fast, in some cases even very fast. The consumers are increasingly aware of what kind of possibilities fintech could bring them. And they will not just passively wait for them, but may even start demanding them. That’s a much better setting for fintech than in many other markets.

Part of China and India’s success was being able to serve the previously under- and completely unbanked population. They jumped from not even having a bank account to using the latest fintech innovations. Something similar could also be possible in the CEE region. And that is a whole new kind of demand to be filled.


…but the current supply of innovations isn’t enough

But at the same time, there is a lack of innovators, the ones that actually create those innovations and bring them to the users. The demand and supply don’t match. Yet.

What usually happens when the demand is bigger than supply? It gets fixed, often fast. The interesting part is by whom. Will it be by international players expanding to the market like some say, or will the fastly growing local startup ecosystem fill the void? Either way, today there is an opportunity there in banking. Tomorrow? Maybe not anymore. Either way, startups and other innovators need to act fast or someone else will take their share.


How to get access to the opportunity?

An EY study found that one of the best models to drive mass adoption of fintech solutions is working with a partner who already has an existing customer base. Thus for a new entrant in banking, it makes sense to work with a trusted and established partner in the market. For example, in Hungary such a partner could be OTP Bank, a market leader and a company often mentioned as an example of innovative companies in the market. Their customers are already used to getting new innovations and even expect them. Having a partner like that could be a clear advantage for startups.

In regions with many countries and especially relatively small ones, it makes sense to have a partner that can give startups access to more than one market or even the whole region. Like OTP Bank who has a presence there in 9 countries. Much better than conquering each market one by one.Partner up with a partner that already has their customer base in the market you want to enter.


The easiest / best way to get such bank partners?

Doing a startup accelerator with them. Coming from someone who organizes startup accelerators for living that might just sound a bit too thick, pure sales talk, but that’s what I truly believe in. I’ve seen the results and what is possible. In an accelerator (at least the ones we do) the bank and startups truly work together, and the bank truly puts in what they can to help the startups succeed. It’s far from just a supplier partnership. It’s a collaboration where both can truly grow, in more than just one way.

And based on what I’ve seen while working with OTP Bank, they are doing all they can to prepare for working with the startups in the program. They are clearly excited and that makes me really happy for the startups.

The program is going to be awesome, and the relationships that start from it are going to be even more so!



Strong, innovative and startup-minded: why startups want OTP Bank

The next big thing in banking, with OTP Bank

Why OTP Bank wants to work with startups

Why does OTP Bank work with Nestholma?



Posted by & filed under 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.

What Is Driving Change in Insurance?

Now that the no-brainer measures, streamlining and downsizing, have to a large extent been done, what will come next? What are the external factors that will force change upon insurance? My list would include:

  1. change in regulation
  2. blurring of industry boundaries
  3. ..and connecting to everything, advancement in information technology and the changes in consumer behavior and needs it has generated.


  1. Change in Regulation

Legislation based on the IDD (EU Insurance Distribution Directive) will require much more transparency on selling insurances and structuring them to meet the customer’s needs. It carries a strong resemblance to the MiFID2-directive in banking and asset management. And it will bring about a change in the way insurances are sold and how the sales force is incentivized.

Another major change driver will be GDPR, the EU directive protecting a customer’s personal data. It requires insurance companies to keep track of, and if the customer requests it, erase all data they have on him. Also, Solvency II, the capital adequacy directive, increases regulatory reporting substantially and requires the companies to compile much more detailed information than before on their operations to their regulators.

All of these are “must-dos” and put a strain on insurance companies’ and their IT suppliers’ resources.

New regulations will change insurance industry
  1. Blurring of Industry Boundaries

Other industries have made their inroads to insurance: throughout Europe, big companies in for example retail and automotive industries have started their own insurance companies, typically serving the needs of their most profitable customer group, consumers, and households. Bancassurance is another example of crossing traditional industry borders.

Insurance is an increasingly sought-after component in ancillary services to strengthen the supplier-customer bond and to gain “ownership” of the customer on top of the value chain. There will be more non-insurance industries crossing the borderline with time.


  1. Information Technology

The insurance industry was an early adopter of ICT, hence its systems tend to be old, big, and rigid. Thus in turn, the most obvious game changers, are newly established, fully digital insurance companies – which have not yet won a major share of the market. In many countries, cyberspace has plenty of comparison websites for the more standard products, like for example motor TPL and motor hull insurances. This reduces the parameters of competition to premium only.

Insuretechs are adopting new technologies and concepts

Some incumbents and niche players have introduced completely new concepts relying on mobile distribution, automated processes, also with some kind of sensor technology. Consumers do no longer want to fill paper or papery-looking forms in digital. They require customer-friendly apps, preferably in a mobile format. New cybersecurity risks and needs have arisen. Not only to companies but also to the average internet- or credit card-using consumers.

Internet of things will have a major impact on insurance over time. I see the biggest and most immediate impact in motor LoB’s, as car manufacturers will have a big information advantage in the data their cars collect. Insurtech is on a rapid rise, only a few years behind fintech. Perhaps the reason for the delay in insurance is caused by the absence of obvious growth drivers like PSD2 or blockchain technology. Companies actively learning to use insurtech startups will put enormous pressure on their competitors. I am following Munich Re’s Digital Partners, for example.

Change Is Here

So, where are these factors leading the incumbents? Change in regulation is pressing companies to put a lot of effort and money in modifying their systems and working models to comply with the new requirements.

The other two major drivers are pushing them towards a commodity and balance sheet provider position. That means in the wrong direction, away from “owning the customer.” On the other hand, ICT enables incumbents to disintermediate their distribution by bypassing tied agents and brokers. They will have the opportunity to gain a tighter hold of their customers. This, too, will require new thinking and new ICT applications. Especially in countries in which distribution has traditionally been outsourced to third parties.

Companies with modernized systems will be able to challenge incumbents with new innovations and short times-to-market. New entrants will probably approach their business potential from a customer need angle (as opposed to processes first). With the support from an ecosystem of startups and other agile partners, they are able to test and launch new services much faster than incumbents resorting to the industry’s traditional approach to development. The latter would be well advised to quickly start looking at insurtech.The trend in investment to insurtech is rising

And, for the record, there is now “the first new product in 100 years”. And a very important and growing one: cyber insurance. As for the need of it, just read the papers about the Equifax hack or the new botnet Reaper.

What do you think? What is the need for urgency in insurance?


P.S. In my next blog I will drill deeper into what I think is holding the industry back from changing faster.


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

Collaboration between startups and corporations is not easy. Most attempts to cooperate actually fail. There is a cultural divide between their two worlds. This why you need a mediator who understands both of those worlds: to make the collaboration a win-win for both the corporation and the startups.

Luckily, our area of expertise at Nestholma is exactly that: collaboration. Turning it into an actual business. Making the magic happen. “Banks and startups speak a different language”, says András Fischer, Head of Retail Innovation. “We need an interpreter”. Tweet this. And we’re proud to say that they have chosen Nestholma as such an interpreter.

But what does Nestholma bring into the mix for the startups and the corporation, as an acceleration partner? Let’s dive into that!


World-class expertise in collaboration

Our most important role is that of a coach, both for the startups and for the corporations. We meet with both sides. We mediate in some of the meetings. And we make sure that they cover all the relevant details so that they don’t find pitfalls down the line.

“When we start something new we look around the world who can give best class service”, states Tamás Schenk, Head of Digital Transformation Program Management Office. “When searching for a partner, we found Nestholma has a really good reputation”.

With the experience of 21 accelerators, we have seen what makes or breaks a partnership. And we’ve seen traits that make startups or corporates fail in their collaboration. So we avoid those before they happen. We prepare both the corporation and the startups.

“They are more efficient and more seamless than other accelerator programs”, says Peter Csanyi, Head of Digital Sales and Development Directorate, “to make it pain-free for the bank and for the startups”.

Nestholma working with startups

Becoming better through collaboration

Of course, we also have a strong coaching programme for our startups and for employees of OTP Bank. It’s not only key to understand the other side: you also need to understand yourself. Tweet this. And having a good sparring partner makes you understand your own business better. And to understand your customers better, so you can build something that they will love.

One of the effects of corporate-startup collaboration is that they both become stronger. Tweet this. The startup ends up with a validated business model and strong access to the market. Corporations end up with a much healthier corporate culture. One that has a more open attitude towards innovation.

“They are a bridge between us and the fintechs”, says Ferenc Böle. “They mitigate the differences in the culture. They can educate both of us about the other’s way of thinking”.

OTP Bank has a very open attitude towards innovation. And they are willing to learn. “We need a partner who teaches us how to learn”, adds Fischer. OTP Bank is willing to adapt its ways of working, to become more agile. And this is good news for the startups: a more agile partner reacts quicker and opens more doors.


The investor mindset

Last but not least, at Nestholma we are ourselves entrepreneurs and investors. We invest in the startups that join our programs, for two main reasons.

The first one is that we don’t believe in three-months-and-kick-them-out. Tweet this. Startups get a lot of value from us, but it doesn’t stop there. After the accelerator, they are still part of our portfolio, and we help them continue growing. We help them get in touch with other partners or investors.

Secondly, and almost as important: we help the startups understand how investors think. We help them prepare for those conversations. We introduce them to investors, both in our network and in the local ecosystem. We sometimes also sit on their side of the table, when preparing a funding round.

We have our startups’ back. Long after the accelerator finishes.


But don’t take our word for it. Take our startups’:

Are you interested in working together with us, Nestholma and OTP Bank? Then apply now!




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

It’s clear that for startups, having a big bank as a partner is crucial. And that OTP Bank is such a partner. It can make it or break it. It makes your startup bank-validated. But collaboration is not a one-way street. Tweet this. You also need to understand your partner and their motives; why they want to collaborate with you. After all, those are the things that will shape how the future collaboration will really be in practice.

We had a chat with key people in OTP Bank to find out and share with you. And let me tell you, startups are in for a treat.

“When we find something exciting for our customers, we devote to developing it here”, says Tamás Schenk, Head of Digital Transformation Program Management Office.

Here are some of the core ideas that stood out. Let’s dive into them:


New ways in banking

It’s no surprise that banking is being transformed. Digitalization has a great impact on the way that banks operate. This affects both their internal process and their interaction with customers.

And whenever there’s big change, you need to explore many options, to make the best out of the change. “It’s not likely that all the best ideas are the ones that we have”, says Schenk. “Startups can provide us with innovative business opportunities”, adds Peter Csányi, Head of Digital Sales and Development Directorate.

OTP Bank themselves are innovative, but they recognize that the world is full of great ideas. And that’s why working with others like startups just makes a lot of sense. Tweet this.


New partners

But ideas are… only that, ideas. In the startup world, we know that it’s all about the execution. Tweet this. And in the case of fintech and banks, a good execution requires knowing with whom to collaborate. “Banking will be different. That’s the reason why we need external input also”, says Ferenc Böle, Head of IT Project Management and Methodology Directorate.

In this sense, OTP Bank is taking a step towards that future. They’re looking for startups that can make a difference. “Solutions that can shake the whole market”, clarifies Peter Benyó, CEO of OTP Mobile. Tweet this.

They have a will to work together with startups, to transform banking for the better. “Many banks see startups as competitors, but we don’t”, states András Fischer, Head of Retail Innovation Department.

Instead of competing, they’re looking for the right startups to be working with.


New ways of working

The third big reason why OTP Bank wants to collaborate with startups is to learn. “To transform our way of work and our thinking”, adds Schenk. “Startups can accelerate our learning”, adds Fischer. They even put learning as one of the program themes!

Corporate-startup collaboration is not easy. One of the biggest barriers is rigidness or bureaucracy on the corporation’s side. That’s why startups need to pick big banks who are willing to learn and adapt during the process. And OTP Bank is such a partner. They are ready to really work with the startups instead of just expecting results with no work from their side.

All in all, OTP is looking for startups who think outside of the box. Startups who are looking to enter a fruitful partnership. Tweet this. And startups who will help them become better themselves.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably such a startup… so what are you waiting for? Read more and apply now!




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.

”Does this person understand me and my situation, what I really want? Will s/he push me something I am not ready to do? Will s/he be bold enough?”

Private Banking is one of the most trust-sensitive industries. Customers need to feel sure that the bank and especially the advisor handling their money really understands them. Handling money is far from numbers on the screen, it is about trust and personal connection. And that is why the usual kind of blind first meetings leave a lot to be desired. As a result, a lot of customers drop at this stage.

That was before Taviq.

From first cold meetings to personalized experience

Taviq helps wealth advisors know their customers beforehand and thus improve the customer experience by making it more personal. From blind and cold meetings to personalized service. As a results banks get up to 60% more business!

”Banking is all about trust. When the customer doesn’t feel like the bank understands him or her, he looks for something else. The bank loses the customer and the customer doesn’t get what she or he wants. Our solution changes that,” explains Juho Isola, the CEO, and Co-founder of Taviq.

Juho Isola from Taviq pitching at Nordea Demo Day

Taviq pitching at our Nordea Demo Day.

Taviq has created a web-based questionnaire that helps wealth advisors get to know the customer before their first meeting. It’s simple and easy for the customer to fill, but gives just the kind of information the advisor needs to give personalized service already on the first meeting. The bank gets a happy customer, and the customer gets the kind of service he or she is looking for and nothing less. A win-win.

And now Taviq will help Nordea achieve the same:

“Our collaboration with Nordea started in the Nestholma startup accelerator, and we are excited to continue our work in the pilot. Nordea is committed to serving their customers better and we are excited we can help them do just that,” Juho continues.

All in all, exciting times ahead for Taviq, Nordea and especially for Nordea’s customers!

Want to learn more about how Taviq can improve your customer experience? Read more here or contact Juho at [email protected]

Related post: What’s hot in fintech: new regulations, customer focus, collaboration & China


Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech, Innovation, Technology.

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. Here are some of the things I learned in that event.

We use our mobile phones an embarrassing lot

I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise. Millennials check their phone 150 minutes per day. It improves their relationships. We, people, spend hours on our devices.

We spend huge amount of time on our mobile devices.

This has created a subset of customers that want everything in their pocket. Even services that are not “pocketable” in an easy way. We’ve already seen many banking services invade our mobile phones. And this trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Technology is more than mobile

The widespread of mobile is making many people reconsider the role of bank branches. Many even assert that they will become obsolete. The fact that all of them share is that is that consumer behavior in relation to the branches is changing.

But there is one fact to bear in mind. There is more than one type of customer for banks. And many are not ready to forego branches yet. Customers still want part of their services in a face-to-face environment. They might want a different type of branch, but they want a branch nonetheless.

But this doesn’t mean they don’t want innovation. They expect the same high-quality personalized service. Technology should support the face-to-face interaction.

Of course, it requires different types of bankers. And different types of devices. And different types of support tools. This is a space where many startups could find good business. Are you one of those startups? You should check out our OTP Bank accelerator.

OTP Bank is an innovation leader

On top of all the learnings, I got to understand why OTP Bank is often celebrated as such an innovative bank. They’ve led many innovations in their region, many of them very impressive! And they’re working on ‘the next big things’ themselves as well!

OTP Bank is often celebrated as such an innovative bank and here I really got to know why.

One of the sections of the conference was my own presentation. I shared – surprise surprise – insights about how to collaborate with startups.

We discussed different pitfalls and opportunities when collaborate. I shared some experiences and anecdotes about the differences between startups and corporations. We had some excellent discussions about the attitude towards cooperation. And how important it is to keep a focus on the win-win.

Both startups and corporations have something that’s very valuable for the other side. And they also have something to win.

It was the best audience to present to, and to discuss with. I spoke with dozens of people willing to engage with startups. And it was, in a way, like preaching to the choir. People know the value of working with startups. And they’re open to learning with them. And that’s going to make our upcoming accelerator very productive. For OTP Bank and for the startups participating.

Are you one of those? We’d love to see your application!