Posted by & filed under Banking, Collaboration, Fintech, innovating, Insurance.

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.

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Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, 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 Human Resources, Innovation, Organizational learning, skills, Startups.

The rapidly changing world requires corporations to re-think all aspects of their organizations. They need to renew their strategies, operations and the way they organize their resources. Some of the most successful companies have realized startups are a good tool for fostering organizational renewal. They understand that in today’s world, they cannot only rely on their in-house resources.

By building relationships within a broader ecosystem of organizations, corporations can mobilize relevant expertise and talent to address unexpected challenges whenever they arise. Bill Joy, the co-founder and Chief Scientist of Sun Microsystems once Read more »

Posted by & filed under Banking, Fintech.

Is your startup going to be the next big thing in fintech? Do you have the AI, blockchain or cryptocurrency solution of the future? Or other innovation that is going to change how we do banking? And most importantly, do you want to collaborate with top banks from all over the world?

We are looking for the top fintech startups to work with top banks with over 100 million customers.

Make us love you and will make the banks love you more

Convince us you are what banks need, and you will be part of the selected top startups we 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.

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

This 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. Petri’s current role is the founder and owner of Elevon Consulting Oy. There he focuses on advising companies in carrying out change programmes and setting up financing solutions. 

In part one, I discussed the external factors forcing change upon the insurance industry. There is an obvious question that arises after. What is holding back insurance companies from changing their ways? Especially taking into account all of these looming threats on their horizon?

Again, I see a number of factors, many of which are universal, not insurance industry specific. Here is my list:

1. Non-life insurance is profitable

The non-life business is profitable today. That is because companies in a difficult investment environment have systematically cut their operating costs. And thus made their primary insurance business much Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Corporations, Human Resources.

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 »

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 Read more »

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.  Read more »