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 the Agenda section of the Digital District website: distritodigitalcv.com/agenda.

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, 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 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!