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 @

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 Customers, General, Startups.

Topi Järvinen

Nestholma Mentors’ Voice, part 4: Topi Järvinen. In the coming weeks we’ll showcase mentors that will be active in the Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program. We’ve already featured Will Cardwell, Antti Kosunen and Pentti Mansukoski. Check back soon to see others.

Who are you?

I’m a product guy. I’ve done tens of products and services in many different types of companies (multinational telco, digital agency, startup). My strength is in combining technology and business understanding and passion for learning everyday about how to do thing better. I’ll focus quite a bit on helping the startups to make sure their product solves an important problem that the customers are willing to pay for.

Why the Yle Media Startup Accelerator is important?

Nestholma’s accelerator program with Yle and Elisa is a great way startups to learn from two important companies. They will have a unique opportunity to meet and connect with the experts and decision-makers that want to help the startups. They’ll also get daily help and tools for making their idea and product ready for international growth

What is one important thing for every startup to keep in mind?

Your goal should always be to something that someone is willing to pay for. Don’t be afraid to be wrong or adjust your thinking based on customer feedback. Very few people make money by being visionaries without listening the customers.

More about Topi in LinkedIn


Posted by & filed under Customers, Funding, General, Startups.

Pentti Mansukoski

Nestholma Mentors’ Voice, part 3: Pentti Mansukoski. In the coming weeks we’ll showcase mentors that will be active in the Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program. We’ve already featured Will Cardwell and Antti Kosunen Check back soon to see others.

Who are you?

Just two or three years back I was an investment banker with Nordea. I have a banking career of 28 years, including titles such as executive director and head of corporate finance, Nordic head of acquisition finance, head of large corporate customers in Finland, head of commercial banking at the New York branch etc. The last eight years with Nordea I was working dominantly as a financial advisor in M&A and equity transactions.

I made the career change to align better working hours with my personal interests and, I believe, my skills and talents. Currently I’m self employed, working through our family company Elfhill Oy. I am a professional photographer – my passion since age of 15. In addition, I work with selected start-ups as advisor/mentor and also as an investor. We also have tiny book publishing activities, an area we plan to develop in near term future. I also keep my previous profession active by advising few companies in financing issues and in general financial management.

In the past I have analyzed hundreds of different businesses, many of which I have worked with extensively, debating the strategies with top management teams or owners. This has given me a solid basis to evaluate business concepts and strategies – indeed I think I’m pretty good in picking up business concepts regardless of industry in question. Extensive managerial and leadership experience is useful when thinking what motivates people and why the do what they do. Adding to this my keen interest in visual communication, pictures, videos and everything related I feel Nestholma’s activity is a unique opportunity for me to utilize pretty much all skills I’ve accumulated so far..

Why the Yle Media Startup Accelerator is important?

I believe Yle Media Startup Accelerator is a great initiative for a host of reasons: we all are broadly aware of ongoing media changes but it will be more dramatic, faster and more unexpected than most of us can imagine. The Accelerator may allow Yle not just quickly follow the media market but also create completely new services. I think Yle has a very, very important role in the Finnish media industry. However, it is important that Yle is constantly looking for new ideas, services and ways to play its role even better, to the joy and benefit of all citizens. The Accelerator is a good method to bring in fresh ideas and initiatives in a cost effective, well managed way.

What is one important thing for every startup to keep in mind?

There are several pitfalls which start-ups face at some point. I have too often seen that the start-up team has fallen in love with their idea, or with the path they selected to use in commercializing the idea. The trap then is to start denying customer feedback or other clear signals saying they should change the course. So, if one important thing is chosen, I would underline the importance of listening to the market and prospective customers – and if one chooses to proceed against these signals, he or she should make sure it is done based on a solid, well-thought decision.

More about Pentti in LinkedIn


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Antti Kosunen

Nestholma Mentors’ Voice, part 2: Antti Kosunen. In the coming weeks we’ll showcase mentors that will be active in the Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program. Last week we already featured Will Cardwell. Check back soon to see others.

Who are you?

Serial entrepreneur. Founded several software companies e-learning/BI/internet. Done several exits and invested tens of tech companies through Butterfly Ventures and myself. I have strong background with patents, business model development and financing, but now I am seriously interested in lean startups.

Why the Yle Media Startup Accelerator is important?

Cooperation between large organisations and startups is today’s way to learn and scale. It’s a real win-win. Nestholma’s role is to create a bridge between them. And help start ups to validate their ideas and concepts.

What is one important thing for every startup to keep in mind?

Validate. Validate. Validate. And apply to Nestholma’s accelerator programs =)


More about Antti in LinkedIn


Posted by & filed under General, Startups.

Will Cardwell

Nestholma Mentors’ Voice, part 1: Will Cardwell. In the coming weeks we’ll showcase mentors that will be active in the Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program. The first mentor is Will Cardwell. Check back soon to see others.

Who are you?

I have been working either as an investor, entrepreneur or CEO in Finnish startup’s since 1996.  I have been lucky enough to work in one way or another with a number of great Finnish entrepreneurs like Jari Ovaskainen at iobox, Risto Siilasmaa of F-Secure, and Pekka Sivonen of Digia, among others. Also with plenty of cases that did not fly.  I am good at helping with customer and investor development, and in general implementing lean methodologies.

Why the Yle Media Startup Accelerator is important?

The media industry is under massive restructuring, offering opportunity and risk to companies big and small.   In order to capitalise, a new open mindset is necessary, and YLE’s Media Startup Accelerator is a great model for this.

What is one important thing for every startup to keep in mind?

Only strong understanding of how to create an extraordinary customer experience will enable startups and big companies alike to thrive.  Get out of the building!


More about Will in LinkedIn