Posted by & filed under Collaboration, Human Resources, Mentoring, Startups.

Nestholma’s Virtual Startup Mentoring Meet-up, which was organized on Thursday 5th November 2020 as an online meetup, connected many of the new startups with Nestholma mentor network to discuss getting investments and crowdfunding and the keys to Digital Leadership.

The purpose of this virtual get-together was to increase the connections of the new startups with the Nestholma mentor network, hear insights and tips, share experiences together with other great mentors and build relationships and networks for the future.

Virtual group photo from few of the participants!

From pitches to interactive connections

The meeting started with pitches from the startups Kippie, Resident Tax, BlocRecs, Ethical Capital, Portunus and Yanda. Then José Jimenez from Seedrs and Rudi Vogl from Smartbird shared their insights and answered to startups’ questions related to getting investments and crowdfunding and digital age leadership. Through interactive excersice the startups and mentors got to share their thoughts about applying the digital age leadership principles into their business. The meeting also included a fireside chat and questions and answers between the participants. After that the discussions and virtual networking continued using the Discord platform, which created like a backstage environment for the participants.

The meeting was inspiring, and the participants and attendees were the basis of its success due to their interaction and their desire to develop their business with a network of mentors with experience and competence in various fields. Here you can see some of the most interesting tips from the mentors.

José “Joma” Jimenez’s top 3 tips about getting investments:

  1. Take the fears of the investors out: “One way to take fears from investors is to make them relate and understand the problems that you are trying to solve”.
  2. Show how painful it is going to be without your solution, and let them understand how magically you are going to solve it!
  3. Start meeting investors as early as possible to build the network

“Network is an important key to get investors to come to you instead of chasing funds. As soon as you start your company, start meeting investors, let the people know that you are doing great work, and build your relationship with them.”

José Jimenez

Rudolf “Rudi” Vogl’s top 3 tips about leading in the digital age:

  1. Startups are born with the digital mindset – but think also how it shows in your leadership principles: are you leading your business with focus on the audience and future, openly and data-drivenly?
  2. Leading yourself in turbulence times is important too. Find your source of energy that gives you motivation and ensure to arrange time for it.
  3. Remember to recharge yourself too: “Humans are not functioning like computers, we have to take time for our mental and physical health” says Rudi Vogl.

With the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on many sectors, whether service or financial, it is necessary to adapt to this new situation by finding modern or different ways to continue the process of creativity and leadership and that’s why Nestholma also transformed the physical mentoring events into a virtual meetup.

As the organizer of this meeting, I found interaction and interest from startups to participate in this meet-up and meet with our distinguished mentors. I also found enthusiasm and desire from our mentors to participate and give advice and directions to participants.

I would like to thank everyone for accepting the invitation to participate and interact during the meeting. Nestholma continues to boost startups build relationships with experienced mentors that in turn facilitate the process of creativity and innovation.

Interested in mentoring?

Are you interested in mentoring or supporting our startups in other ways? There are various ways that you can contribute – from active regular mentoring sessions into participation in our events or workshops. For more information, you can contact virpi @ nestholma.com.

About the writer

Abdullah Althobaiti from Saudi Arabia, a recent graduate from Purdue University and Purdue University Fort Wayne, Indiana US. I’m working at Nestholma as an HR intern (through Virtual Internships) and working at The Bridge to Success LLC in order to gain work experience and gain requirements for a qualification. I have interests in several aspects on both personal and professional sides. On the personal side, I work on developing communication skills and time management. As for the field of human resources, I am interested in managing organizations, developing the role of human resources, developing skills for business leadership and talent management.

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 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 Banking, Collaboration, Corporations, Featured, Fintech, Insurance, Startups.

We talk with a lot of interesting people every day (definitely one of the best perks of the job!). We learn every day from these smart people and their experiences and thought why not share all that with you. Cue our new monthly webinar series.

The first six episodes focus on collaboration and specifically piloting. In each episode we have two guests from startups and one from banks, insurance companies or other corporations, who talk about the different parts of the collaboration journey from the first contact to life after the pilot.

While we are waiting for the next episode (live on the 5th of September), I thought I would gather together some of the learnings from the series. I have to emphasize the word ’some’ as it is impossible to fit everything into one post, and I highly recommend checking out the series here for all of the learnings.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Featured, Fintech, Programs, Startups.

We have done 26 programs so far, but still, each new program makes us as excited as if it was the first one. And the same thing happened again with our latest program: startup accelerator with OTP Bank.

Now it has already been a month since the Demo Day and the end of the program itself. While the collaboration still continues, it’s a good time to look back and reflect on what happened.

Three months of collaboration, innovation & results

Last summer when we started designing this accelerator, we mapped our partner’s OTP Bank’s needs with them – like we do with every collaboration program, be it for a bootcamp, a three-month accelerator, or continuous startup-innovation support. Read more »