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, 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 Collaboration, Corporations, Entrepreneurship, General, Human Resources.

“Most big banks have the tools and advantages to push the boundaries of their existing business models. And they’re certainly motivated. What hampers their progress is uncertainty about how best to build on core strengths to create sustainable outcomes.”

McKinsey

Financial institutions know they need to change. They need to keep up with the digital growth. And they need to keep up with the evolving market that startups are disrupting. Their HR departments feel the urgency and know they need to drive the change. But what often remains blurry is what they need to do in reality to make things happen.

Yes, we need to steer this organization into the new direction – but what is the direction? What does the future of financial institutions look like in practise? And what does it require from people to actually get there?

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Guest blog, Human Resources, Organizational learning.

We tend to think of corporations and startups as being on opposite ends of the same continuum. That corporations are the more evolved form of startups, and they are what every startup hopes to eventually become.

And while this is true to some extent, it doesn’t mean the relationship is one-way. Just like startups can learn lots from corporations, they also can teach corporations how to think in new ways and embrace new possibilities.

Company culture is one of these areas where startups can offer some real insight to corporations. Most business leaders agree that a strong and appropriate company culture is a real competitive edge, but organizational change is a daunting task that sometimes seems too great to undertake.

If you’re skeptical that startups can teach business leaders about company culture, then consider the following.

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 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 »