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 General.

It takes creative leaders with strong opinions and human touch to change the world. We are fortunate for having a brilliant mentor network full of people like that. Today we’ll share thoughts about digitalization from one of our new mentors, Rudolf Vogl.

Most of our programs are part of some form of digital transformation program. And those programs require a mindset change from many people. It’s easy to change paper forms into online forms. But that misses the point of digitalization. Rudolf has a brilliant take on this – a digital transformation that is never done, never enough, and in which we’re constantly exploring new opportunities is now more important than ever with the global situation we live in.

Are you thinking digital? 

In the world of start-ups and fintechs everybody wholeheartedly would say: YES! In the world of the “old economy” – banks, production industry – senior leaders would say: Of course!

I believe both are wrong! 

Thinking digital is not what you have by nature because you are under 30. You also don’t have it because the board decided: We must become digital!

Thinking digital is a mindset developing, evolving, changing. For many years I served as senior HR leader in the banking industry. During that time, I experienced the power of corporate processes. I lived through an amount of transformation activities under the label of “digitization”. I want to prove that thinking digital is neither a matter of age nor technology.

“Thinking digital is a mindset developing, evolving, changing.“

Rudolf Vogl

It is about how we manage the increasing amount of data and latest technology with our body and brain. The current version of the latter is about 100.000 years old!

Thus, in the core of digital thinking must be the human aspect.

What does this mean for start-ups? Their new products have to provide customers (=humans) with better outcomes or more meaningful experience. Like with many other – physical – products on the market, not every new app is a real advancement in customer experience. 

In classical corporates the same applies. The meaningful experience for demanding customers should be in focus. Yet, traditional product development is driven by cost constraints. “Ordered” innovation cannot deliver or cannot deliver in time.

“The meaningful experience for demanding customers should be in focus. 

Yet, traditional product development is driven by cost constraints.”

Rudofl Vogl

Surviving in the digital age means developing a dual strategy:

  1. Building up digital competence with leaders in the organisation – a longer term effort but a must
  2. Creating new ways of cooperation with small units as the chance.

All companies must launch their successful products in the digital world. In the cooperation of big and small units it’s about immersion into the other’s world. This only happens via human relations, the bridge both sides must cross.

I love to help building those bridges and digital competencies wherever needed. 

Rudolf Vogl, Smartbird

About the writer

I have spent my professional live in public service and then in three different types of industries. The last 15 years I was heading the corporate HR function for a big bank. Now with “smartbird” – still in formation – I have started my journey into the digital age. As a “baby boomer” I want to proof that a digital mindset is not matter of age. And with repositioning soft skills into power skills I want to develop managers and organisations for future and return and beyond.


Rudolf Vogl, Smartbird
& Nestholma Mentor

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