With Sweden recently staking a claim as a fintech hotspot, Stockholm-headquartered Nordea has moved to grab a slice of the action by setting up an accelerator programme with Finnish innovation agency Nestholma to nurture small businesses developing digital banking services across the Nordics.
The intensive three-month programme will include 10-15 startups focusing on "new innovations for customer experience and touchpoints in digital, value opportunities around payments as well as ways for achieving your dreams by savings and other means".
The bank says it is looking for startups with international growth potential, with each participant getting access to Nordea's technology teams and executives at its offices in Helsinki.
Jussi Mekkonen, deputy head of banking at Nordea says: “The accelerator gives startups a unique opportunity to work in close cooperation with our best professionals. At the same time, we’ll get to learn new working methods and receive new perspectives from the teams. And of course we want to create innovations for our customers and possibly continue working together with the startups after the programme."
Nestholma will provide seed funding for the most promising firms, which will be paraded at the Slush Hacks event in November.
Applications will be open from 13 July, and the programme will start in November.
Nordea recetly announced plans to boost IT spending by 30-35% over the next four to five years and hired Michal Panowicz from Polish direct bank mBank, as deputy head of digital banking.