Danske Bank have one of the challenges for the upcoming Startup Weekend:
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe’s economy, representing 99% of all businesses in the EU, which also holds true for the Nordics. In the past five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU (https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes_en).
As time passes, SMEs are faced with increased globalisation, digitalisation, advances in technologies and so on. These factors, combined with a lack of resources (financial, human, time, etc.) create a challenging environment for such a diverse and heterogeneous segment.
Despite their economic importance, SMEs have been widely underserved by banks for a long time. Things are starting to change now and banks are slowly providing help, focusing primarily on increasing access to capital (micro loans, working capital, etc.). However, SMEs have a great demand for a different array of services and products. They want to spend less time on administrative tasks and focus more on their core business. So, how can we all help?
How can we make it easier for SMEs to run their business, lowering admin work and providing additional insights into their business through value added tools and services that utilize multiple data points (transactions, accounting, salaries, sales, etc.)?
Summary & additional points:
- SMEs are the backbone of our economy and they are facing many challenges
- SMEs have been underserved and need more tools to run efficiently
- Danske Bank has the dedicated goal to support this segment in their growth journey
- Danske Bank’s new Developer Portal will make it easier for Third Party Providers (TPPs) to create new solutions for SMEs using our APIs and multiple data points.
Get Your Ticket here.
Nordea have one of the challenges for the upcoming Startup Weekend:
Scaling a business today is difficult and growth can be expensive. Once a company’s source material, goods, or customers cross a border the differences in currencies start to put pressure on the profit margin.
Imagine you’re setting up a webshop for handmade wool clothes from Ireland, you’re sitting in Denmark, and Spain is your biggest market. You’ll be buying and selling in Euro, but you’ll eventually want the money in your account to be Danish Kroner. Or perhaps you are a freelance developer working on projects in the US, Singapore, and Germany. You can never know how many Danish Kroner an invoice will give you, since the exchange rates change all the time. Now imagine you’re a larger corporation with multiple offices, or possibly businesses, in various countries around the world, or even just across Scandinavia. You need to have the right amount of a currency in the country where you have to pay bills. But keeping track on the accounts and the exchange rates starts being a nightmare. Sending money back and forth is very complicated once you start to have multiple accounts in multiple countries and banks.
Tutsplus published a good article a couple of years ago that explains why especially small companies need to be aware of currency exchange risk: https://business.tutsplus.com/tutorials/manage-currency-and-exchange-rate-risk–cms-28846
Technology to help automate these things exists but isn’t being adopted yet by many businesses. Could you design a new business or service that will automate some of the work for small or large companies? By making this middle step cheaper and easier you could help new and old businesses expand across borders to new customer markets and have more options for sourcing work, materials and products.
Summary & additional points:
- Starting or running a business that involves more than one country in the supply chain comes at a cost from an increased exchange rate risk
- Managing which currencies to have where is complicated and expensive for many businesses
- Nordea is focused on supporting scaling businesses that want to expand to new markets or have wider options for sourcing in other countries
- Nordea’s new FX Trading API can help your team to get access to automated trading required to build a service that can make a difference for hundreds of thousands of businesses
Get Your Ticket here.
NRP (Ny Realkredit Platform) is a REST API in working progress designed to support Totalkredit’s* lending procedures. A subset of this API will be available for you to use with a limited set of test data.
Learn more about the API at http://nrp-api.westeurope.cloudapp.azure.com/_spec/ or shorturl https://goo.gl/bps6Sd (Swagger/OpenAPI specifications).
The Swagger specifications contain detailed information for each API.
Mortgage customers, lookup information about customers such as name and address.
Mortgage Loan API
A customer’s active mortgage loan information provides details such as:
- instalment schedule
- list of borrowers
- funding information
- real properties (collateral)
Real Property API
This information includes both basic information regarding the real property, such as address
and usage category, as well as selected information from appraisals.
We are very excited to see how you make use of the API, in the context of existing borrowers
(self-service), apps for people browsing the real estate market or new uses of our data together
with other publicly available information.
*Totalkredit A/S is a mortgage lending institution in Denmark that provides residential mortgage loans,
offered through partner mortgage brokers from local and national banks.
During the Hackathon you will have access to information provided by Geomatic (a danish data provider) through their API. The API will provide you with unique and rich data sources, including:
- Addressed and property specific data on “Property Data (BBR & ESR)”
- Anonymize profile data at the address level from the “Danish Demographical Universe”, with predictions on demographic and social economic status.
You can read more about Geomatic’s API at the following link – including technical details on
the API and an account of the specific variables the data source provides:
http://geomatic.dk/data (only available in Danish, sorry!)
We hope you will find this data source highly useful and inspiring, and are looking forward to
see what applications you can come up with.
Please note that specific terms and conditions are attached to the use of Geomatic data –
specifically, when using the Geomatic API for this Hackathon you are agreeing to only retrieve
data on the addresses provided by Nykredit, and you furthermore agree to delete any data
retrieved though the Geomatic API by the end of the Hackathon.
And one more
For the upcoming Techstars Startup Weekend Fintech Copenhagen, we have two challenges that we are bringing to the attendees. They are brought together with Nykredit, who is also hosting Startup Weekend. Each Challenge have a separate jury, who will be judging the teams applicable for the challenges.
The future of home ownership?
Powered by Totalkredit
Today 7 out of 10 Danes will become home owners at some point in their lifetime.
If more people wish to become home owners, how can we make that possible?
And how can we facilitate owning a home earlier in life?
For many people becoming a home owner is one of the larger decisions in life. Understanding a set of complex financial products as well as the financial obligations connected to home ownership is making the decision process a nerve wrecking experience for many.
Nykredit has existed in over 165 years as an important partner in helping Danes making the dream of becoming homeowners come true. It is our ambition that through a close partnership with Totalkredit we will continue to be an attractive financial partner for homeowners in the future. We will secure this position by developing new services which meets the customers’ needs and by continuously challenging the market.
That’s why the challenge is: How can we make buying a home more accessible ?
For inspiration and considering
- Sharing economy
- Micro segmenting
- Creating sustainable communities by digitization for rural areas
- New use of buildings/adaptation of buildings for new purposes
- Crowdfunding or crowdinvestment
- Partnerships across sectors
Business banking services for the future
Powered by BEC
The business banking space is ripe for disruption – small and medium sized businesses customers (SMB’s) are setting higher expectations towards hassle free digital solutions, that can support the success of their business. At the same time, new competition is entering the market with digitally nimble fintech offerings such as low-cost international transfers, billing automation or financing solutions, etc.
The accelerating wave of digital innovations includes new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and robotics that enables the development of new products and services to meet the changing expectations of the SMB customer. In parallel the new Payment Service Directive (PSD2) forces banks to provide access to customer account data and payment initiation via API’s, which opens new opportunities for third parties to develop customer facing app’s or partner with banks.
So how can we help SMB’s with their financial needs, by utilizing the future of digital business banking services.
- What are the customer expectations of today’s SMB customer, towards their financial service provider?
- How can we make one or more unique concepts for today’s SMB customers?
- How can we use technology to help the SMB customer in their day to day business?
- You must consider the PSD2 and open banking trend, where multiple accounts and payments can be tied together and data can be extracted across banks
Jeff Bezos, who is the founder and CEO of Amazon, was the opposing idea. He did not value communication within the workplace and followed this up by creating a two-pizza team rule.
- Communication is the main issue. As groups increase in size and number, the communication deteriorates. Experts attribute this deterioration to the links within the group. A group of six people already has about fifteen links. For each person to communicate, it may take a lot of time, energy, and the difference in opinions might even cause conflict. To coordinate such a large group in the performance of a single task will lower the general productivity of the entire team.
- Frustration and stress. Experts are of the view that people in teams tend to be more stressed and frustrated. Taking into account the number of links within the team, there is bound to be one individual who may feel left out or underappreciated.
Tips to Selecting A for Pizza Team Startup
- Set the standard magic number- This four people pizza rule was coined by Bob Sutton, who is a Navy Seal. He supports this by stating that single digits work better. He equates the number to that needed during combat. Thus, if you have large teams start splitting them into sub-groups of four people.
- Cheers rule- This rule aims at bringing the members closer. This rule is a form of team building. Creating tasks that the members can perform together. The idea is to make the four people tight-knit in that they will feel the need to support each other gradually through tasks.
- Transparency as the secret ingredient-The teams needs to come up with systems that will help them access data and forecasts more openly with the aim of managing their work. Miscommunication and misinformation are very common in groups that have more linkages. Smaller groups tend to accommodate “self-service transparency”. This is the type of transparency that distributes information and power via tools, processes, and systems, which help people move forward as a team
Stipulated Tasks for the Four People Pizza Team Startup
- Hustler– This team member works to convince the prospective customers to purchase their goods or subscribe to their services. The hustler should be very convincing by simply using their words to wheel in the buyers.
- Visual wizard– This member is responsible for creating the brand of the team. The wizard should be creative and innovative enough to come up with ideas and bring them to life. The wizard should be able to come up with ideas from scratch.
- Technical magician– This is the programmer of the team. He or she should be well versed with technology as it advances. They are responsible for creating the team system that will cater to the work transparency, security of ideas and finances, among other things. They should also be exceptional coders, who are able to spellbind different APIs.
- Growth hacker– This member is responsible for the online image of the brand. They should work with the hustler to make sure that they market their brand properly to attract the highest number of clientele base. They should strategize plans with the hustler to come up with ways of handling digital channels and social media platforms.
Do you know and understand what drives your business?
Are you aware of the health of your business?
Do you know how to measure the return on your marketing investments and sales?
Numerous underlying values and factors affect how your business runs. Very few business owners are able to predict the state of their business in the near future. The idea is to move away from the usual growth rates, revenue, user engagement numbers, total user figures, and EBITDA, among others. Relying on this limits the health prediction to its current state instead of the future. This is a leeway for future losses. Secure your business by applying the LTV: CAC ratio.
What Is The LTV: CAC Ratio?
This ratio will help you work out your return and predict your future return. Subscription companies popularly use this ratio. It works out the connection between the customer’s Lifetime Value (LTV) and the Cost of Acquiring the customer (CAC). Most companies and businesses are faced with a lack of knowledge of the right amount to spend on the customer. These two concepts need to be appreciated one at a time in order to achieve successful results for your business.
What Is The Lifetime Value?
You need to have some insight on the time and value that an average customer places on your services and products. This period has a close relation to the value that the customer brings to the business; the longer the period the more the value. Below are a few steps to knowing the lifetime value of your customers.
- Churn rate– This is the rate at which customers cancel subscriptions within a period. This period is calculated in months. For example, if your business has five hundred customers and in a span of one month, twenty of them cancel their subscription then the rate will be four percent monthly churn. Working out this equation in an inverted position helps to work out the period that customers will stick around for your services.
- Gross margin– This margin is measured in percentages. It is the residual profit percentage after paying service and product costs.
- Average monthly payment for each customer– This record is also necessary to determine the lifetime value. Just as the name suggests, it is the average subscription payment made by each customer per month.
Thus, all the above values play a part in determining the lifetime value. The equation for determining this is as follows:
Average Monthly Subscription value per customer X (1/Monthly Churn) X Gross percentage margin
The lifetime value is dependent on the level of the business. At the beginning of the business, this value is very minute. In fact, it is lifetime value of the business increases with the growth.
How to Calculate the Customer Acquisition Cost
Calculating this is much easier and direct in comparison to the lifetime value. It includes the entire marketing and sales budget divided by the total new customers within a particular period. This calculation works well for enterprises with a short marketing and sales budget.
This ratio helps enterprises to maintain their numbers with respect to their return in a certain period. Experts advise on recovering the CAC within the first year or so of the business. Therefore, the ratio should technically be LTV: CAC= 3:1. This means that a customer’s value should be substantial enough for an enterprise to acquire the customer. This means that if this ratio gets to 1:1, then the enterprise is spending too much on customer acquisition and will most likely not be able to recover this amount within the stipulated time. It would be beneficial to note that this value does not include fixed costs such as rent, infrastructure or even company salaries. It specifically sticks to
How Does The Cost Affect Business Operation Costs?
Entrepreneurs are bold and confident about their services and products. This makes some of them believe strongly that they do not have to pay a cent in the acquisition of customers. They assume that customers will hunt them down for their services and goods. However, this is far from the real approach. This mentality makes entrepreneurs fail at the onset of their business startups, which is why they have to start appreciating the beauty of investing and reaping from their efforts after the customers make their purchases and service requests.
These values are handy for business owners who own enterprises that have a direct connection between the growth of users and revenue. This means that people who own advertising businesses are not likely to benefit from such calculations. Thus, the business that should use these calculations should be able to market to their customers in order for them to get the services and products. The aim of the calculation is to create a new plan that will make the future project of your enterprise more sustainable.
GenieBelt are sharing the considerations that you will have when you are starting up. GenieBelt participated in Startup Weekend back in 2012 (then it was GenieInspect).
According to recent reports, more and more people are looking forward to starting their own companies. In case you too are thinking of setting up your own company, it is essential to note that: the distance between the thought of starting up and finally being able to take action is usually extremely vast. In addition to this, there is the sad reality that majority of the people presently thinking of starting their own companies would never see through their plans.
In case you are amongst those who are launching their businesses then welcome to the adventure. First off, it is essential to understand the fact that the odds are not in your favor but again that is precisely why you are doing it. In the event that you decide to bridge the gap and take the plunge know that you are definitely on the right track.
In addition to all of the above, below are the top 10 considerations when starting your own company. They include the fact that:
1. Your business might fail.
In the process of planning to start your company, you should know that in case you fall in step with some of the finer details, chances are that your business will most definitely bite the dust. As a matter of fact, according to reports, the overall business failure rate is set at around 90%. These statistics factor in issues such as the industry type and failure time frame. In addition to the general fact that your business risks failure, it is essential to understand the fact that timing is equally of significant importance.
2. You are bound to have competition.
In case you are thinking of starting your own company, do not think that you are the only one with that idea. Just so you know, at any given point and time, there are usually several others who are competing for the same customer base. As a matter of fact, some of your competitors may even be better than you. For instance, their branding may seem snazzier than yours; their marketing budgets may seem larger than yours etc
Since you can’t possibly avoid or get rid of the competition, the best thing to do not to be discouraged by it. Just so you know, without competition, you could easily become lazy and lose your edge. This being the case, it is strongly advised that you embrace the competition and improve because of it.
3. You will need to embark on learning more than you already know.
According to reports, many entrepreneurs who set out to start companies do so because they have a detailed overview of the kind of business niche that they are venturing into. Having the talent alone and the expertise to accompany it does not necessarily serve as a guarantee for success when looking forward to setting up your company. Just so you know, you will need slightly more in terms of scalability, marketing, software, sales, laws and software in order to make the business a success.
4. You will need a significant amount of money to spend
Companies can be bootstrapped (launched with nothing more than one’s existing cash or resources). What’s more, these same companies usually require a significant initial capital apart from good financial planning. One perfect place to get the initial capital for setting up a company is leveraging small business loans. Take note, you should prepare yourself to spend money and also protect it being the valuable resource that it is.
5. You will not immediately succeed.
You will agree and support the fact that the title of business owners is usually in most cases associated with Bentleys and Rolexes. Take note, the harsh reality of the matter is starting a company is more of a soul sucking adventure rather than an income boosting experience. Take note, even though riches may be in your future, fact is, the path to achieving them will most definitely be long and hard.
6. You will need to obey laws.
Just so you know, in each and every country there are business regulations which you would need to comply with in case you are looking to start a company in any particular country. Taking this into consideration, it is strongly advised that you perform due diligence in order to have a clear idea of what compliance in the region you are looking to invest in entails. In the process of doing this, it is strongly advised that you closely pay attention the company registration, licenses as well as taxes. The last thing you need is finding yourself in legal mire as a result of your own laxity.
7. You can never do it by yourself.
The lone ranger entrepreneur is usually such an extremely romantic image. Even though it may seem extremely economically provocative, it is not accurate. Just so you know, on average, startups with a single founder usually have such a high likelihood of failure because of the emotional pressure which startups are known to exert upon individuals. At the bare minimum, start your business with a founder or even three. In addition to this, employ several different independent contractors alongside your preferred service providers to supplement your knowledge, time, commitment and talent.
8. Your target customers won’t immediately come flocking.
It is essential to understand the fact that regardless of how innovative your idea may be, it is not a guarantee that customers would immediately find you and start flocking your way.
9. You would be tempted to quit.
In case you are looking forward to starting your own company, you should let this be the last course of action. Just so you know, at some point of time, expect to be tempted to quit, in fact, you will be racked with doubt forcing you to consider jumping ship.
10. Staff Classification
You should also pay close attention to how you staff classification is done as this is the only way through which you would be able to make good of your idea once you plan is in motion.
Everything taken into consideration, it is essential to understand the fact that it is only you who can make it happen for yourself.
Don’t forget you can stay tuned with Startup Weekend Copenhagen, on social media with #CphSW
This is part of our challenges for the upcoming Startup Weekend. This challenge is provided by Nets. They will also be present during the weekend as mentor on Saturday, so the teams has a chance to talk about solutions and ideas.
Payment terminals have been there forever. We experience them as solid, secure and trust worthy. Some years ago, everyone also had secure and trust worthy dial phones, that phone companies saw un-wired by GSM, wireless and ultimately mobile phones. Amazon recently launched the Amazon Go store where, using biometric and cognitive technologies, un-wired the traditional store, rendering payment terminals/cashiers, un-necessary.
Can you un-wire stores, but do it simpler than Amazon, un-wire the store without changing it?
- What underlying technologies are needed to replace terminals? Are these technologies readily available to all consumers/shops?
- Are these technologies secure/reliable enough? If not, how would you improve security/reliability? What technological advancements are needed for these technologies to be more secure/reliable?
- What kind of products/services/shops can be good candidates to replace their payment terminals? What would they require/have instead?
- When, if at all, will consumers find use for a terminal free world? What’s in it for a consumer? Consider:
- A millennial
- A busy parent on the way to making dinner
- A senior citizen
- When, if it all, will merchants find use for a terminal free world? What’s in it for the merchant? Consider:
- A big supermarket chain
- An independent clothes shop
- A restaurant/bar
Blockchain, or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is advertised as a game changing technology. Its inherent properties: security, immutability, transparency, infinite audit trail , make it ideal for a range of financial use cases, as well as a disintermediating effect on many of traditional services by Banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges, clearing houses.
Today, exchange of value is done via Fiat currencies. The currencies we all agree on and are regulated by the national bank. To exchange value on DLT, one would need to augment the it with traditional fiat currency systems. Yes, thers’s Bitcoin, but it will take some time before we get our salaries in Bitcoin….
How can we transform DLT into a true value exchange, and not only value recording/management, system? What, if any, are the use cases for a digital currency? Consider:
- What is the scope? National, municipal, local neighbourhood?
- Who would be interested in such a currency, within the scope e.g. authorities, municipalities?
- Should it be issued by a central authority? If so, why? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- What can be pragmatic applications of such a digital currency, within the above assumptions? Consider:
- Sharing economy
- Digital public sector
- B2B/interbank trading
This is part of our challenges for the upcoming Startup Weekend. This challenge is provided by SDC. They will also be present during the weekend as mentor on Saturday, so the teams has a chance to talk about solutions and ideas.
FAMILY BANKING SERVICE CONCEPT
As one very known man said: ”People need banking, but they don’t need banks”. This is right now becoming reality for many banks, so what can we do? We still have to have money to pay bills and buy goods. Many families are facing the same challenges in their daily life as they wish to fulfil their dreams of being married, going on vacation, saving for a specific thing and a lot of other dreams.
- How can we make one or more unique concepts for the next generation of families?
- How will the future families look like and how will they use the banks?
- How can we use technology to help the future families in their daily nancial life?
- You have to consider that the trend is that more and more people don’t want to own things.
- You have to be aware of the growing use of social media as part of the concept.
- You might also consider whether you, in your solution, can integrate one or more of the following value adds:
If you are in the tech ecosystem, you have probably experienced wave after wave of new buzzwords that sometimes seem to come out of nowhere! Well, that is the way of the tech space. You just need to dig your heels into the ground and take a third person view of all the happenings before diving in. Otherwise, you’ll get lost in all the flurry and excitement.
There has recently been a lot of talk about insurance tech – how it is getting to the peak of its cycle and how tech entrepreneurs can greatly benefit from it. Insurance has been, for a long time now, regarded as a very out-dated, dreary consumer service that is still in existence. What techies are doing now is to try and stir up the sector and hopefully come up with some revolutionary concept such as Blockchain.
There are many areas of opportunity in the insurance space. The benefits that are driven from it are great, so it is likely (hopefully) something that is here to stay, and not just a trend.
First things first. It’s a huge market! How many people pay insurance premiums ever year?
Probably more than those that pay taxes. Even with it being such a big and pertinent sector, it has somehow been able to go unnoticed by technology trends. Until now.
From selling to collecting insurance, the processes involved are slow and inefficient. You will find that if you scrutinize these systems, many employees and processes will be rendered redundant.
Not only that, you will ask yourself why an insurance company, in this century, will ask you to fax them a document. In a world where you can buy yourself a plane from the comfort of your home, with all your particular specifications, why can’t we apply for insurance online on our mobile device?
An estimated four in every ten U.S. adults do not own life insurance policies, and I can bet it’s nothing to do with cost. People want to purchase things easily at the press of a button, not stand in line or wait for an insurance salesman to walk up to them.
What are Possible Areas of Improvement?
All the problems mentioned above are areas that can be greatly improved by technology. Insurance is a large sector and it’s impossible to cover all of it in one single article, but we’ll mention a few areas that seem to be hot.
- Leveraging data platforms – One of the major components of insurance is data. Insurance could leverage data to improve operations such as sales and underwriting. Nowadays, you can tell a lot about a person using technology. With wearables in the market and social media platforms showcasing people’s lives, this should definitely be explored.
- Digitizing processes – I remember filling out insurance forms; I not only had to answer every single question by hand, I had to manually fill in two other copies. For Pete’s sake, why couldn’t I, at the very least, just make copies of the already-filled version? But, no, these are the processes they have been using for years.
- Customer relationships – Yes, some people still believe that human interaction is the best way to manage customer relationships, but in an age where people are more focused on their screens, I don’t think face-to-face conversations about insurance is a good enough reason to look up from your screen. Insurance companies can use mobile app interaction for those services that do not actually add value to customer interaction. IoT sensors are also another technology that can be leveraged.
These are only but a few of the possible changes that can be made. As mentioned, the insurance sector is a blue whale waiting to be explored. Just make sure that you have the consumer in mind, comply with regulation and build a solid business model around your idea.