Nordea, a financial services group in the Nordic and Baltic region, continues its hunt for AI and blockchain breakthroughs. Later this year it is launching its Fintech accelerator in Stockholm and Helsinki. 200 startups applied to join the 3-month program that will be led by Nordea and its partners, including IBM, Tata Consultancy Services and Nestholma Venture Accelerator.

Nordea’s accelerator program goal

The main goal of Nordea’s accelerator program is to hunt for developments in both Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technologies. Presently, only 35 startups have made it through at Nordea’s Oslo office. Nordea will continue to pick out the final 20 startups that will work with it in the fall.

Jan Sirich, Head of Experimentation & Learning at Nordea, stated:

“The idea is to learn and find new business and partnership opportunities through collaboration and, ultimately, provide better digital services for Nordea’s customers. One of Nordea’s challenges for the startups is to come up with good ideas within emerging technologies like cognitive computing, artificial intelligence in banking and financial usage of blockchain technology. But Nordea is interested in several other areas, which opens good opportunities to attract many different startups to the programme and provides synergy and diversity.”

Nordea’s first accelerator results

The first accelerator Nordea was in winter 2015-2016 with 12 startups. Which resulted in 2 startups, Jenny and Feelingstream, scooping up 600,000 EUR in funding provided by the bank and its partners. After the first accelerator program all 12 startups are still active and thriving.

Sirich adds:

“Nordea Accelerator is the biggest of its kind in the Nordic region. We want to offer the startups a unique opportunity to work in close cooperation with external entrepreneurs, international tech specialists, Nordea experts and key decision-makers.”

Banks continue to invest in Blockchain

Nordea is not the only bank investing into Blockchain tech, others include JPMorgan-Chase, HSBC and Citi. Nowadays, Bitcoin’s technology is no longer avoidable by banks. With North American and British banks continuing their developments, Nordic banks are also disrupting the industry.

Now, Stockholm has an interested bank, Finland’s capital Helsinki might be the next to embrace Blockchain. Recently, Helsinki had its first blockchain conference, with several high-profile Bitcoin startups in attendance.

Will Helsinki be Scandinavia’s Fintech capital? It does look more and more possible.