Posted by & filed under Guest blog, Human Resources, Innovation, Programs.

A perspective for younger people to break the chains of Covid-19

Slowly we are getting out of the immediate effects of the Covid-19 crisis, but the situation is far from being under control. We are still missing effective medication and vaccination. Also for mid to long-term effects on society, economy and labour markets we still can make informed guesses only.

What we already see is a sharp drop in new job opportunities particularly for younger people. Close to the end or having already finished education, apprentice ship, university they were eager to start a new chapter in life. But companies have stopped hiring and it is not to be foreseen when they will restart.

What to do now? Many younger and older people ask whether they have the right skills and competences for new realities today and even more for the future. Thus, it is helpful to look at a framework of principles developed by Adapt2Digital (www.adapt2digital.com). These principles can serve as a great anchor for orientation. They point to where we all should develop skills and competencies that help us for the future.

No surprise that DIGITAL is key! Not everybody can/needs to be a programmer. But everybody must have skills and knowledge about technologies and how they work. Above all how to create better outcomes and more meaningful experiences.

The current situation is a showcase for the need of being ADAPTIVE! There is never one way only to look at things. We are living in times where the „AND“ prevails. Who is able to use a classical/traditional AND a digital approach will be more successful. Resilience is an other key feature we need now, yet, it is not enough! For the future we need resilience AND skills to experiment. We got to improve our competencies that enable us to think big, start small and learn fast.

Staying CONNECTED and OPEN is another area to have a look at. It is about the connection between people and people, people and technology, people and things. For youngsters it seems to be much easier to connect to technology or to the internet of things than for older people (and I am aware of using a stereotype …). But, what’s about the connection to people? Getting information from people in the same social networks only is risky. In times like these nobody can claim to know it all. It is about diversity and collective intelligence. Learning means to get opinions and current knowledge tested, challenged, and adjust it. Being connected, is not enough by itself! It must go along with active sharing and collaboration, being open by default!

In our lives we always have to make decisions! Skills how to take decisions and being aware of the „human mechanics“ that influence this process, are critical. Yet, at the same time it is very important being DATA INFORMED. This means to make decisions on meaningful data. We are living in times of fake news and AI creating images somebody else wants us to see. Thus, it is a must to develop skills to and acquire knowledge how to analyse and validate data and find the true source.

We all to learn from situations in the past. But there are situations like Covid-19 that did not occur in the past. We are not to forget about the past, but to a much bigger extent must have a FUTURE FOCUS. Keeping an eye on what is ahead and having an outward and forward focus should be a better approach. We see the accelerating speed of how technology develops. How things were done in the past gets much less relevant for how things need to be done in the future.

Many younger and older people find themselves in difficult situations. Especially in those it is important to have an AUDIENCE FOCUS. Fight the „natural“ reaction of retreat! Get out and connect to all possible audiences. Let them know about your skills and competencies. Identify your potential customers and their needs in a broad sense. It is critical to connect to our humanity. What was called „soft skills“ in the past, will be „power skills“ in the future. This means communication, interpersonal skills, empathy continue to be important in any setting of human interaction.

With Nestholma’s new strategic direction there will be opportunities to utilize the described framework in the great new entrepreneurship program.  All designed to help young people building their solid basis for an entrepreneurial career.

Rudolf Vogl, Founder/CEO of Smartbird, www.smartbird.zone

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

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, 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 »