Posted by & filed under Featured, General, Press release, Programs.

At Nestholma we believe in proximity. Employees of financial institutions and entrepreneurs need to stay close to learn from each other. We need to be there as well, to make sure collaboration happens productively.

But…  fintech startups are born global. Fintech startups are not bound by national borders. They need to look past the few big players in their country and build a network of international connection early on.

Tough combination, right?

It seems like we must be everywhere at once. And even worse: financial institutions are expected to keep up with everything that’s going on!

In order to be closer to the financial and fintech ecosystems in Southern Europe and Latin America, we’ve decided to open an office in Spain. Read more »

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

It has been a hard to keep our lips zipped with all these exciting news, but now we can finally give the first peek into the Global Fintech Accelerator – the first ever fintech accelerator done on such a global stage! We couldn’t be more excited to introduce new bank partners in the program.

 

Yes Bank

Fintech experts have been calling China the hottest place for fintech for a while now, but now they are turning their attention towards India. And not without a reason!

India is a huge market. Just the sheer size of the country itself is humongous with 1,3 billion people and counting. And while the size of the country and its market are impressive, their fintech adoption rate is even more so. It is the top of the world with 52%, only second to China and far ahead of Europe (source). The market has very different conditions than the traditional western countries and they lack many of the legacy systems and old innovation-stifling regulations many banks and countries in the West have. No wonder India is hotter than hot in fintech!

That’s why for an accelerator focused in fintech, partnering with one of the strongest players in Indian banking scene Yes Bank could not be better news!

Yes Bank is the fifth biggest bank in the enormous market of India, they are highly awarded and even have a massive following in their social media channels (They are for example, the most followed bank in the world in Twitter). If India is hot in fintech, Yes Bank is even hotter! We can’t think of a better partner for startups than the Yes Bank Accelerator to take over the Indian market.


Our next partner comes from an equally interesting marketplace: Eastern Europe. China has had the fintech innovation crown for a bit now and India seems to be taking over. But is Eastern Europe the next hotter than hot market for fintech?

 

OTP Bank

Eastern Europe has been able to fly under a radar for a while. But that won’t be so for long, especially when banking and fintech are in question. GDP of East European countries is growing nicely, in fact, better than nicely when compared to other European countries who drag behind. They also have a very interesting opportunity in the banking sector. What China and India have been able to pull off in fintech doesn’t seem too much of a fairytale for East Europe either. They do after all have many similarities in the consumer environment, regulations and other key issues that made China and India succeed.

East European consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the possibilities fintech innovations bring, and they will not just passively wait for them. They will demand them and they will demand them from their banks. Consumers still prefer banks over startups to provide their banking solutions, including new innovations. The local startup ecosystems are still just evolving, and there aren’t even that many real competitors for banks to provide such solutions. There is demand for fintech innovations but not much local supply. Game-changing innovations are expected to come from international players.

Overall, there is great potential for fintech startups in Eastern Europe to fill up the gaps in banking and disrupt the existing systems. But due to the strong status of the existing banks, not just any startup can do it. The fintechs need a way in. And that’s why we could not be more proud to partner up with OTP Bank, one of the biggest players in Eastern Europe.

OTP Bank has a presence in 9 East European countries (including dominating position in Hungary). And they are called the leading innovator in their market (more about it here). All in all, for startups there could not be a better partner to work with to conquer Eastern Europe.


At the heart of the Global Fintech Accelerator is, of course, banks working with startups, but also with other banks. The best results are when different kinds of banks with different experiences and knowledge work together. And we are proud to say that is exactly what is happening in Global Fintech Accelerator.

 

The Nordics

When you think about fintech you can’t help but also think about the Nordics. The Nordics have a flourishing startup environment that is attracting a high proportion of investments in Europe. Stockholm is the second largest fintech hub in Europe, and the whole Nordic fintech market is rapidly growing. The Nordics are also home for ginormous success stories like Klarna and iZettle, which have brought the area high to fintech investors interests.

A big part of the fintech’s success in the Nordics is its markets uniqueness. The Nordic countries are forerunners in many areas of banking. And that has made adopting new fintech innovations much easier for both the companies and the general public.

For example, consumers in the Nordics are avid smartphone users. In fact, smartphone ownership is almost universal, more than 9 out of 10 internet users have one. Nordic countries are also often referred to as cashless societies. Cash is not seen convenient and you can easily live your life without using cash pretty much 100% of the time. The Nordics also have strong electronic banking systems in place, and they have warmly welcomed innovations like e-invoicing. For example, 89% of large and even 59% of small businesses in Finland use it, and the usage is growing fast.

These and many other similar market conditions have made Nordics a very favorable for fintech innovations. Thus the Nordics just had to be a part of our Global Fintech Accelerator.

And we are very happy to have such a close relationship with Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordics.

Nordea

Nordea has over 10 million personal customers and over half million corporate customers. They are also one of the top 10 largest universal banks in Europe, and have a presence in 16 countries around the world. They are also one of the very few European banks to have an AA- rating. We can’t think of a better bank to work with in the Nordics. Especially as they are already well immersed in the startup world.

We have already done three great accelerators with Nordea and we have had an amazing time working with them. Thus we couldn’t be happier to continue working with them!

These banks from such different areas and market situations will be giving amazing opportunities and insights for both the participating startups and banks. We are expecting to see great innovations, big changes and most importantly: more satisfied banking customers. Stay tuned for amazing results!

If your bank wants to get access to those results, there is still time! We have several models from marketing partnership to full accelerator in the Global Fintech Accelerator. Just contact Antti at [email protected], and let’s find together the best solution for your bank!

 

Posted by & filed under General, Press release.

Every company is build by its people. Having a great team with complementing individual talents is crucial for success. This is why I’m thrilled that Daniel Collado-Ruiz has just been invited to join Nestholma’s partner roster.

Nestholma partners

Daniel Collado-Ruiz wears a lot of hats with ease (both figuratively and literally). He has an impressive list of accomplishments as an academic, entrepreneur, business coach and educator. On the academic side Daniel was an Associate Professor at Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain. His specialty was ecoinnovation and creativity. As an entrepreneur, he has founded Nurtup that helps people interact better through games. Both in the academia and business, Daniel has been organising workshops for people and companies to develop in five continents.

Daniel has been already working for Nestholma since last summer. During Nestholma’s Nordea Startup Accelerator his contribution as the project manager, coach and Stockholm site manager was invaluable. Daniel continue to have a key role in running programs, coaching startups and running workshops,

Daniel will be in charge of some of our most important activities. One of Nestholma’s cornerstones is the scalable program model that we’ve been using to run 19 programs around Europe. I’m very pleased to have Daniel running the program model development from now on. The other area is taking care of our international network of mentors. Having a great team is crucial for any business, but having a great network of partners is equally important. And it’s great to have Daniel developing new collaboration opportunities for our mentors and startups.

On a lighter note, Daniel (top left in the picture) also fits our partners’ hairstyle requirements perfectly :-)

Topi Järvinen @topij
Managing partner at Nestholma

Posted by & filed under General, Press release.

We are excited to welcome Mika Eriksson to our Nestholma family! He has a strong background in entrepreneurship, sales and all things international, and thus couldn’t be better addition to our team.

Mika Eriksson joins NestholmaMika has been an entrepreneur for 18 years and cofounded 4 companies. He also worked almost 8 years at Finpro (Finpro is the national trade, internationalization and investment development organization in Finland), where he helped countless startups and corporation succeed in variety of fields. Both his own companies and his work at Finpro has been very international. At Nestholma he is going put his international knowledge and vast sales experience to good use, as he will be focusing on our international growth.

”Nestholma is doing an amazing job giving big corporations a big gush of innovative air, and at the same time helping startups benefit from the vast knowledge and experience corporations have. Nestholma is also growing internationally fast, which makes joining the team even more exciting”, says Mika.

Look forward to even more global Nestholma!

 

Posted by & filed under Fintech, Funding, Press release, Startups.

During the past couple of years Nestholma has invested into 15 Fintech startups, which is more than any other investor in Finland. The company is also one of the most international investors in Finland. Nestholma has invested in startups from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, USA, Germany, UK and Estonia among others. These startups have participated in the Fintech accelerators Nestholma has organized together with Nordea Bank.

”Fintech is going through big changes. We have a great partner in Nordea, and together we are able to find the startups that have a real potential to succeed in the industry,” says Antti Kosunen, co-founder of Nestholma.

Currently, 35% of Nestholma’s investments have been made into Fintech startups. Fintech will be also a strong focus area in the future in the Nestholma investment portfolio.

More information:
Antti Kosunen
Co-Founder
Nestholma Oy
antti (at) nestholma.com
+358 400 850200

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under General, Press release, Startups, Ultrahack.

We love Ultrahack! In fact so much that invested into Ultrahack and welcomed it to our Nestholma family! Now we can both offer our partners and communities new ways to innovate through a complementary offering of hackathons and accelerators.

Ultrahack is a global innovation platform for hackers with varying backgrounds and corporations that want to innovate fast. Their active community and tournaments attract an incredible amount of talented people, who are ready to roll up their sleeves. And when these great minds work together in such an unique environment as the tournaments, the results are also amazing!

While solving the challenges the Ultrahack participants, go through an intensive learning curve. While solving real-life problems, they learn and create seeds for new innovations and opportunities. That used to be the end, but now we are excited to offer those budding startups a way to take their work to a whole new level. It is an innovation pipeline like never seen before!

“Ultrahack is the world’s best hackathon! We could not be more excited to get to work with the Ultrahack community and the partner companies,” says Topi Järvinen.

Now that we have joined forces with Ultrahack, we can also offer our customers a new kind of hackathon that complements our accelerator programs. This makes our offering to startups and corporations better than ever. This year we will also offer 1 million euros worth of investments to promising Ultrahack teams. This kind of cooperation is something completely new in the hackathon world! We are excited, and we hope you are too!