Posted by & filed under General, Global Fintech Accelerator, Technology, workshop.

We live in an odd reality these days. COVID-19 is keeping the vast majority of the world inside. Most organizations are compelled to work online when they can. I think I’ve never had such a significant number of discussions about remote online work (and I’ve had a few)!

I’m constantly frustrated when individuals simply surrender and acknowledge online versions of things as a compromise, as a way of getting only part of the value. But I understand them. Majority of the online events are just long and disappointing streams of video, with poor facilitation and even poorer interaction.

So, what’s the solution?

The key factor according to us is to rethink the concept based on the value you want to get. We think the key is to rethink the concept based on the value you want to get. We recently agreed with Distrito Digital / SPTCV to transform the First Bootcamp of the Blockchain and Fintech Accelerator (planned for the end of March and postponed) into online activities.

When we started the discussions to transform it online, we realized that there are three significant values that stakeholders would get from the event:

  • Get to know intriguing innovation opportunities from startups and financial institutions, a.k.a. “the show”. The main group getting that value would be the local ecosystem, who would attend the opening and closing events, or would follow through social media.
  • Negotiate potential collaboration projects. The main group getting that value would be the financial institutions and startups.
  • Find and engage additional stakeholders – investors, media, and so on in an interactive environment. This benefit applies to all: startups, financial institutions, participants, etc. With that in mind, we decided that to get the value of the bootcamp, we would need three types of activities.

It’s all about business

The biggest value of any good startup activity is the business you end up getting from it. The startups that we engaged for the bootcamp were anticipating meeting their counterparts in the financial institutions. The participants from financial institutions were keen on meeting interesting startups that might bring a good business case to them.

Putting people together on a stage does nothing in that direction.

So instead of that, we have transformed the workshop part of the event – which was intended for these stakeholders – into a series of collaboration days, in which the startups discuss with the financial institutions the case of working together. We are at present running these collaboration days with our partner financial institutions, and of course with the startups. We also support both sides in defining the business case together and support in making the collaboration work.

It’s all about people

The second thing that we thought was about the real value of attending an event. Events area social phenomenon. You go there because you get to engage with other individuals. You go there because you might meet somebody interesting over coffee. We participate in events because it’s a stimulating activity, because of the people involved – most of the time, other participants.

In contrast, many people think of webinars as videos that they can watch live… or watch later. While that has value (see the next point), it’s only a fraction of the value. And because of that, in our event, we plan networking and interactive activities so that participants can have a more stimulating experience than just collective video watching.

It’s all about the show

I’ve intentionally left the actual online video stream for last for perspective. After all that I’ve written, you’d be excused for thinking that I dislike this part. But you’d be wrong, I strongly believe in the value of video connection.

But we have to treat it with as much care as we treat a live show.

In a physical event, you have a master of ceremonies, you have a strict timing, and someone has thought of what ought to happen each second. There’s a technician taking care of sound and lights. There are numerous details that we take care of.

And we do the same in online events. It’s not a glorified online meeting, in which the facilitator somehow is supposed to act as a technician, people jump in to start sharing their screen, and discussions are a back and forth without paying too much attention to the flow of the event.

We’ve been doing online activities for quite a while. In our Nordea program, we connected online the Stockholm and Helsinki sites, to create a connection between the startups in each location. In our accelerator with OTP Bank, we streamed some of the sessions. We have run several workshops already since the break of COVID19, with good results.

When you have the same attitude of professionalism towards online as you have towards physical events, the final event engages the audience much more.

Where can I see this?

You might be thinking: “big talk, where can I see this?”. If you’re reading this before June 12th 2020, it’s your lucky day: we’ll be having the Virtual Bootcamp on that date, between 9:00 and 12:30 CET! You’ll get to attend our online event – that we’ve put much care into – and interact with other participants!

As for the collaboration days… if you’re working in a financial institution, or in a startup, by all means, get in touch, and let’s see how we can get you to go 10 times faster!

And if you’re reading this after June 12th, greetings future-ling, check out our homepage to see what the next hot events are!

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Banking, Fintech, Innovation, Technology.

Digital technologies have transformed the way we do… everything. And it continues to transform it, every day. We often read about new technology that looks like science fiction… but we’ve exploited only a fraction of the technologies available today.

On October 3rd and 4th I was lucky to take part in OTP Group’s Digital Meetup in Kecskemét. Participants included key people from OTP Group, from its 9 different countries. It also included partners that OTP Bank is working with – such as myself from Nestholma.

I got to see very interesting points of view on digitalization. Banking is going to change a lot in the upcoming years. And not only in the obvious ways. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Accelerator, Fintech, Nordea, Technology.

Feelingstream was part of our first Nordea accelerator last year. They are currently working on 4 paid pilots, and are also well in their way of conquering the banking industry. They continued working with Nordea after the accelerator program, and now that collaboration has taken a big step forward: Feelingstream and Nordea have just signed a big deal. Soon they’ll start a live pilot together. Click to tweet about it!

Nordea Group CEO Casper von Koskull with Terje Ennomäe innovating the future of bankingBig companies get a massive amount of messages every hour. It is hard if not even impossible to figure out which of them need immediate attention and which of them can be dealt with a bit later. That means lots of lost potential and angry customers; things that companies just cannot afford anymore. New competitors pop up every day, and having the best customer experience is more important now than ever. It is a huge problem for companies, but maybe not for long.

Feelingstream has created a machine that understands the actual content of text, and then uses that knowledge to organize inquiries from urgent to less urgent. This means critical issues can be found and dealt with much faster. And that of course, means much better customer service and no lost sales potential. For employees, it doesn’t mean any extra work as Feelinsgstream’s solution is invisible in the companies’ systems.

Feelingstream sees great potential in the banking industry. That’s why working with Nordea has been agreat experience for them. Fitting the startup way of doing thing into the highly regulated banking industry hasn’t always been a breeze, but they say it has been all worth it. They have not only gotten an invaluable reference from Nordea, but also the knowledge of what is required to succeed in the industry.

“Having Nordea as a reference is an incredible advantage considering our target markets. We have also gotten market access and been able to work with real data and situations, which is the most important thing for startups!” says Terje Ennomäe, the co-founder of Feelingstream.

Feelingstream has a lot of cool things ahead of them, and we can’t wait to see what kind of superstars they will become!

Posted by & filed under General, Press release, Product development, Startups, Technology.

Nestholma joins EIT ICT Labs Trusted Cloud High Impact Initiative to help the SME’s to make a bigger business impact and to support the ecosystem collaboration.

Trusted Cloud HII Acceleration Days in Munich

British Telecom, Telecom Italia, 3D Repo and U-Hopper working together.

EIT ICT Labs Trusted Cloud High Impact Initiative (HII) Acceleration Days gathered six SME’s and three large corporations together in Munich to strengthen the collaboration in building secure European cloud solutions. The event was arranged by Nestholma Venture Accelerator from Finland and Digital Catapult from UK. The aim was to get the small and large companies (British Telecom, Telecom Italia, F-Secure) across Europe to learn from each other and accelerate building the partnerships and customer-driven businesses.

The foundation of the Trusted Cloud Acceleration Days was based on Nestholma’s accelerator model which is based on the idea of helping startups or SME’s and large corporation to efficiently work and build businesses together.

“Privacy and trust are fundamental issues for every business and affect the lives of every consumer daily. We are excited to be able work with the EIT ICT Labs and the companies across Europe to speed-up the development of European Trusted Cloud services with Nestholma’s unique accelerator model” say Nestholma’s CEO Topi Järvinen.

The program included tens of structured one-on-one meetings, Trusted Cloud technology sessions as well as insights and help on building customer-driven secure cloud solutions. Both the SME’s and large corporations felt the Acceleration Days gave them a good foundation for collaboration in the Trusted Cloud High Impact Initiative. Geoff Andersson from one of the SME’s, PixelPin says that

“As a company committed to users privacy and protecting personal data it was great to get so much support from the Acceleration Days in Munich. Operating in the cloud brings many business benefits and getting it right is a must, so we see working with EIT ICT Labs as a vital step forward for us.”

The activity leader, Markku Kutvonen from F-Secure was also pleased with the results.

“The event was short and intensive engagement journey for the SMEs joining the activity, with a lot of business focus delivered by Nestholma and Digital Catapult. I especially liked the matchmaking, where all the partners in our activity shared their contribution and results with the other partners in short one to one sessions. This both created a great atmosphere and awareness of each other’s role and induced innovation inside the group. Very co-operative and successful event, overall.”

Tursted Cloud Munich Acceleration Days


More information about the EIT ICT Labs Trusted Cloud High Impact Initiative (HII)

Posted by & filed under Funding, General, Press release, Startups, Technology.

Yrityskiihdyttämö Nestholmasta liikkeelle lähteneen Neonto Oy:n joukkorahoituskierros ylimerkittiin vikkelästi. Neonton joukkorahoituskierros on yrityskiihdyttämö Nestholman ja Invesdorin yhteistyön ensimmäisiä hedelmiä.

Mobiilisovellusten suunnittelutyökaluja tekevä Neonto Oy lähti hakemaan osakeannilla 25 000–50 000 euroa, mutta keräsikin noin kolmessa viikossa lähes 60 000 euroa. Anti jouduttiin sulkemaan etuajassa odotukset ylittäneen kysynnän vuoksi.

”Joukkorahoituskierroksella halusimme antaa tuotteen varhaisille käyttäjille mahdollisuuden tulla omistajiksi ja hyötyä tulevasta menestyksestä. Tämä onnistui nimenomaan Invesdorin osakepohjaisen rahoitusmallin ansiosta”, Neonto Oy:n toimitusjohtaja Pauli Ojala kiittelee. “Lisäksi nyt saavutettu tulos luo hyvän pohjan sille, että Neonto on haluttu sijoituskohde myös tulevissa rahoituskierroksissa. Olemme iloisesti yllättyneitä ja erittäin kiitollisia sijoittajilta saamastamme vastaanotosta.”

Yhtiön tuote, Neonto Studio, on suunnittelijoille tarkoitettu visuaalinen työkalu mobiilisovellusten luomiseen. Se mahdollistaa aidosti natiivien mobiilisovellusten luomisen ilman ohjelmointitaitoja.

Idea Neonto Oy:n joukkorahoituskierrokselle kumpusi Nestholman kiihdyttämöohjelmasta, jossa yritys on mukana. Invesdor on ohjelman virallinen joukkorahoituskumppani.

”Invesdorin palvelu rokkaa ja Nestholma tukee startupeja monipuolisesti. Tämä on kova yhdistelmä”, Nestholman perustajajäsen Antti Kosunen toteaa. ”Yhteistyö Invesdorin, Nestholman ja Neonton välillä toimi saumattomasti, mikä näkyy annin vakuuttavassa ylimerkinnässä. Nestholmalla on kykyä tarjota startupeille erinomaista tukea, ja näemme yhteistyön jatkuvan menestyksekkäänä”, Mäkelä komppaa.


Pauli Ojala
CTO Neonto Oy
[email protected]

Antti Kosunen
Nestholma Oy
Puh.+358 400 850 200
[email protected]

Lasse Mäkelä
Invesdor Oy
Puh. +358 40 753 3844
[email protected]

Nestholma lyhyesti
Nestholma on startup-kiihdyttämö, joka tarjoaa isoille yrityksille ja startupeille uudenlaisen tavan tehdä yhteistyötä. Tavoitteena on tarjota kiinnostaville startupeille mahdollisuus työskennellä, oppia ja partneroitua samalla alalla toimivan ison yrityksen kanssa. Isolle yritykselle Nestholman kolmen kuukauden kiihdyttämöohjelma tarjoaa uudenlaisen ja nopean tavan tehdä kehitys- ja innovaatiotoimintaa sekä löytää ja ohjata uusia partnereita.

Neonto lyhyesti
Neonton perustajina on joukko digitaalisten sisältöjen, mobiiliteknologian ja käyttökokemuksen suunnittelun ammattilaisia, joiden missiona on muuttaa tapaa jolla mobiilisovelluksia kehitetään. Neonton ideana on tarjota suunnittelijoille työkalu, jonka avulla he voivat itsenäisesti toteuttaa ideoitaan mobiililaitteille. Neonton tuote, Neonto Studio, julkaistaan alkuvuoden 2015 aikana.

Invesdor lyhyesti
Invesdor on Pohjois-Euroopan johtavia osakepohjaisen joukkorahoituksen palveluja. Invesdor pyrkii vauhdittamaan Suomen talouskasvua parantamalla startup- ja kasvuyritysten mahdollisuuksia saada rahoitusta. Autamme pääomaa etsiviä yrityksiä ja kasvuyrityksistä kiinnostuneita yksityisiä sijoittajia löytämään toisensa verkossa. Pääoma tulee sijoittajilta eri puolilta maailmaa. Lisää tietoa yrityksestämme ja palveluistamme osoitteessa