It’s hard to believe, but it has been just over a year since we announced the start of the Lighthouse Development Program. Standing on the same stage in Amsterdam, where that announcement was made, and seeing the pitches of the three finalists from the second batch of Lighthouse participants was a great testament to the progress that can be made by working with strong teams in an open collaboration model.
The first Lighthouse Development Program was a success in many ways; 15 fintech companies, three cities, and a massive amount of partners coming together to build partnerships ended with the first ever official fintech side-event at Slush. We were proud and happy with KPIs we achieved, such as seven Mastercard projects, 13 banking projects, €1M raised, and a net promoter score of 86!
After celebrating this success, we asked ourselves how we could make the Lighthouse Program even better. The startups we work with are constantly challenged to grow at intense rates. How could we do the same? We collected lots of feedback from our partners, and based on that data, updated the second Lighthouse class in some impactful ways.
When looking at the value we were delivering to Lighthouse Program participants, we saw opportunity to increase our technical expertise. That’s why we invited AWS to join the Program as our tech partner. AWS offers an industry leading cloud solution, and was also able to create additional value for the startups by acting as tech mentors and providing ongoing support services. On top of all this, they gave many participating startups credits on the AWS platform.
The biggest change to Lighthouse came in the form of a new joint workshop model. We knew that Lighthouse startups were finding ways to work together and that banks and startups were interested in meeting the participants outside of their local markets. To help encourage this cross-market collaboration, we hosted an additional workshop in Tallinn with all 15 fintechs and three participating banks. In total, we had nearly 70 people come together for two days of workshops, seminars and representation at the Latitude59 tech conference. Several alumni startups also attended the event. It was great to see this diverse group of companies work together.
The second Lighthouse batch ended in Amsterdam when our 3 finalists, Quantoflio, Wallester, and Zliide joined us on stage at Money 20/20. In addition to taking part in the conference, they were invited to many of Mastercard’s side events where they were introduced to top partners and industry leaders. At our event, Susanne Hannestad, CEO of Fintech Mundi, launched the latest Fintech Disruptor report and shared insights into the recent fintech development in the Nordics and Baltics. Each of the companies received valuable exposure by making their final pitches on stage where Zliide was announced as the Lighthouse Program winner.
It has been an incredible journey, and we are proud to have worked with 15 of the best fintech companies in Denmark, Estonia, and Norway. All of them put in tremendous effort and we continue to be blown away by the innovative solutions from this group. Now that another successful class is in the books, we are motivated to start looking for the next group of Lighthouse stars in Finland, Latvia, and Sweden this fall. Applications are open now, so be sure to apply by August 12.
The Lighthouse team