Nordea Pushes Blockchain Concepts with New Startup Accelerator Programme kicking off on September 12, 2016

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Scandinavian Bank Nordea’s Oslo office will welcome 35 startups to help them develop their Fintech ideas coming up in a few weeks where the best projects will be selected to take part in Nordea’s Accelerator programme, which kicks off later on in the autumn in Stockholm and Helsinki. 

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In total, over 200 companies applied to Nordea Startup Accelerator, which is an intensive 12-week programme providing selected startups with the opportunity to develop their ideas alongside Nordea and some of the best fintech experts in the Nordics. The 35 selected startups come from countries including the US, Russia, Singapore, India, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. 

“It’s fantastic to see such great interest, and I’m impressed with the breadth of the applicant startups, both in terms of their ideas, and where in the world they come from,” comments Jan Sirich, Head of Experimentation & Learning at Nordea.

This is the second time that Nordea is arranging the Accelerator programme, which is the largest of its kind in the Nordics. After the startup week in Oslo, around 20 teams will be selected for further participation in Nordea Accelerator. The startups will work onsite at Nordea’s offices in Stockholm or Helsinki.  

“The programme helps us identify new, innovative opportunities. We are continuously working hard on developing great digital services for our customers, and rely on acquiring expertise and creativity, from outside the organisation too. This time, Nordea Startup Accelerator is focusing on ideas in new technology such as cognitive computing, , artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. But, we are also interested in other areas, where new technology can help us offer better services to our customers,” continues Jan Sirich, Head of Experimentation & Learning at Nordea.

Nordea arranged the first Accelerator programme in the winter of 2015–2016. The startups received over EUR 600,000 in new financing, and Nordea has continued to work with two of them (Jenny and Feelingstream). 

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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