Nordea opened up its first Startup Accelerator last November. After months of hard work it is great to conclude that it was successful. As an outcome of the final pitching, Nordea has started pilots with two startups, Jenny and Feelingstream, and are also working with 2-3 of the other startups for possible cooperation. We met programme managers Arto Kulha and Lauri Peltonen:
- We worked with Jenny and Feelingstream during the programme to help them build solutions which allow companies, like us, to be faster and more relevant towards customers who need guidance and swift response. Basically, customers will get faster and better service from Nordea. We were impressed with their progress and solution and we are now running a pilot with both of them this spring that some of our customers will be a part of, Lauri Peltonen says.
Helping startups to grow
The startups worked in close cooperation with the bank’s best experts. Each startup was assigned a mentor from Nordea, who actively built networks for the startups and provided the needed reality checks, helping the startups to strengthen their ideas.
- Overall, the programme has provided huge business opportunities for the startups and enabled them to accelerate their business and grow their networks, says Arto Kulha.
During the programme the startups gathered over 600,000 euro in new funding from Nordea’s partner in this programme, startup consultancy Nestholma, other venture capital funds and the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes).
- I’m proud to say that the benefits for the startups not are limited only to cooperation with us. For example B2B Pay, a duo from New Zealand and Netherlands, made great progress during the programme and launched a pilot with the help of Nordea and started to sign up customers. On top of that they set up a company in Finland and have started working with the Finnish regulatory authority to acquire a payment licence, says Arto Kulha.
Supporting the fintech startup community
- The digital agenda is at the top of everybody’s minds, and this programme has offered great inspiration for Nordea on the latest technologies and innovative ideas. Our ambition was to find new innovative solutions for our customers, and at the same time provide inspiration and learning to our employees. We have for sure learnt a lot from the startups, says Arto Kulha.
At the moment Nordea is looking into the learning and experience from the programme and will use it in future engagement with startups.
Read about the programme on nordeaaccelerator.com.
Watch a video from the programme: Behind the scenes at our Startup Accelerator programme
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