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 General, Global Fintech Accelerator, Technology, workshop.

We live in an odd reality these days. COVID-19 is keeping the vast majority of the world inside. Most organizations are compelled to work online when they can. I think I’ve never had such a significant number of discussions about remote online work (and I’ve had a few)!

I’m constantly frustrated when individuals simply surrender and acknowledge online versions of things as a compromise, as a way of getting only part of the value. But I understand them. Majority of the online events are just long and disappointing streams of video, with poor facilitation and even poorer interaction.

So, what’s the solution?

The key factor according to us is to rethink the concept based on the value you want to get. We think the key is to rethink the concept based on the value you want to get. We recently agreed with Distrito Digital / SPTCV to transform the First Bootcamp of the Blockchain and Fintech Accelerator (planned for the end of March and postponed) into online activities.

When we started the discussions to transform it online, we realized that there are three significant values that stakeholders would get from the event:

  • Get to know intriguing innovation opportunities from startups and financial institutions, a.k.a. “the show”. The main group getting that value would be the local ecosystem, who would attend the opening and closing events, or would follow through social media.
  • Negotiate potential collaboration projects. The main group getting that value would be the financial institutions and startups.
  • Find and engage additional stakeholders – investors, media, and so on in an interactive environment. This benefit applies to all: startups, financial institutions, participants, etc. With that in mind, we decided that to get the value of the bootcamp, we would need three types of activities.

It’s all about business

The biggest value of any good startup activity is the business you end up getting from it. The startups that we engaged for the bootcamp were anticipating meeting their counterparts in the financial institutions. The participants from financial institutions were keen on meeting interesting startups that might bring a good business case to them.

Putting people together on a stage does nothing in that direction.

So instead of that, we have transformed the workshop part of the event – which was intended for these stakeholders – into a series of collaboration days, in which the startups discuss with the financial institutions the case of working together. We are at present running these collaboration days with our partner financial institutions, and of course with the startups. We also support both sides in defining the business case together and support in making the collaboration work.

It’s all about people

The second thing that we thought was about the real value of attending an event. Events area social phenomenon. You go there because you get to engage with other individuals. You go there because you might meet somebody interesting over coffee. We participate in events because it’s a stimulating activity, because of the people involved – most of the time, other participants.

In contrast, many people think of webinars as videos that they can watch live… or watch later. While that has value (see the next point), it’s only a fraction of the value. And because of that, in our event, we plan networking and interactive activities so that participants can have a more stimulating experience than just collective video watching.

It’s all about the show

I’ve intentionally left the actual online video stream for last for perspective. After all that I’ve written, you’d be excused for thinking that I dislike this part. But you’d be wrong, I strongly believe in the value of video connection.

But we have to treat it with as much care as we treat a live show.

In a physical event, you have a master of ceremonies, you have a strict timing, and someone has thought of what ought to happen each second. There’s a technician taking care of sound and lights. There are numerous details that we take care of.

And we do the same in online events. It’s not a glorified online meeting, in which the facilitator somehow is supposed to act as a technician, people jump in to start sharing their screen, and discussions are a back and forth without paying too much attention to the flow of the event.

We’ve been doing online activities for quite a while. In our Nordea program, we connected online the Stockholm and Helsinki sites, to create a connection between the startups in each location. In our accelerator with OTP Bank, we streamed some of the sessions. We have run several workshops already since the break of COVID19, with good results.

When you have the same attitude of professionalism towards online as you have towards physical events, the final event engages the audience much more.

Where can I see this?

You might be thinking: “big talk, where can I see this?”. If you’re reading this before June 12th 2020, it’s your lucky day: we’ll be having the Virtual Bootcamp on that date, between 9:00 and 12:30 CET! You’ll get to attend our online event – that we’ve put much care into – and interact with other participants!

As for the collaboration days… if you’re working in a financial institution, or in a startup, by all means, get in touch, and let’s see how we can get you to go 10 times faster!

And if you’re reading this after June 12th, greetings future-ling, check out our homepage to see what the next hot events are!

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 Accelerator, Global Fintech Accelerator, Press release, Programs.

Press release, Alicante, January 17, 2020

Digital District makes a firm commitment to the Fintech sector with the organization of the I Bootcamp Blockchain & Fintech Accelerator @ Alicante

Valencian Community’s Digital District will organize the first Bootcamp Blockchain & Fintech Accelerator in Alicante, which will take place from March 23 to 25 in the premises of Digital District with the participation of the main national and international finsurtech startups and multiple banks and insurance companies.

Read more »

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 Read more »