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Collaboration between startups and corporations is not easy. Most attempts to cooperate actually fail. There is a cultural divide between their two worlds. This why you need a mediator who understands both of those worlds: to make the collaboration a win-win for both the corporation and the startups.

Luckily, our area of expertise at Nestholma is exactly that: collaboration. Turning it into an actual business. Making the magic happen. “Banks and startups speak a different language”, says András Fischer, Head of Retail Innovation. “We need an interpreter”. Tweet this. And we’re proud to say that they have chosen Nestholma as such an interpreter.

But what does Nestholma bring into the mix for the startups and the corporation, as an acceleration partner? Let’s dive into that!


World-class expertise in collaboration

Our most important role is that of a coach, both for the startups and for the corporations. We meet with both sides. We mediate in some of the meetings. And we make sure that they cover all the relevant details so that they don’t find pitfalls down the line.

“When we start something new we look around the world who can give best class service”, states Tamás Schenk, Head of Digital Transformation Program Management Office. “When searching for a partner, we found Nestholma has a really good reputation”.

With the experience of 21 accelerators, we have seen what makes or breaks a partnership. And we’ve seen traits that make startups or corporates fail in their collaboration. So we avoid those before they happen. We prepare both the corporation and the startups.

“They are more efficient and more seamless than other accelerator programs”, says Peter Csanyi, Head of Digital Sales and Development Directorate, “to make it pain-free for the bank and for the startups”.

Nestholma working with startups

Becoming better through collaboration

Of course, we also have a strong coaching programme for our startups and for employees of OTP Bank. It’s not only key to understand the other side: you also need to understand yourself. Tweet this. And having a good sparring partner makes you understand your own business better. And to understand your customers better, so you can build something that they will love.

One of the effects of corporate-startup collaboration is that they both become stronger. Tweet this. The startup ends up with a validated business model and strong access to the market. Corporations end up with a much healthier corporate culture. One that has a more open attitude towards innovation.

“They are a bridge between us and the fintechs”, says Ferenc Böle. “They mitigate the differences in the culture. They can educate both of us about the other’s way of thinking”.

OTP Bank has a very open attitude towards innovation. And they are willing to learn. “We need a partner who teaches us how to learn”, adds Fischer. OTP Bank is willing to adapt its ways of working, to become more agile. And this is good news for the startups: a more agile partner reacts quicker and opens more doors.


The investor mindset

Last but not least, at Nestholma we are ourselves entrepreneurs and investors. We invest in the startups that join our programs, for two main reasons.

The first one is that we don’t believe in three-months-and-kick-them-out. Tweet this. Startups get a lot of value from us, but it doesn’t stop there. After the accelerator, they are still part of our portfolio, and we help them continue growing. We help them get in touch with other partners or investors.

Secondly, and almost as important: we help the startups understand how investors think. We help them prepare for those conversations. We introduce them to investors, both in our network and in the local ecosystem. We sometimes also sit on their side of the table, when preparing a funding round.

We have our startups’ back. Long after the accelerator finishes.


But don’t take our word for it. Take our startups’:

Are you interested in working together with us, Nestholma and OTP Bank? Then apply now!