The Evolution of Investor-Startup Meetings: The Investor Speed Dating Concept by Nordea

Are you tired of endless searches for the perfect financial match, long and tedious pitching processes and yet another rejection email when trying to squeeze in a meeting with a potential investor who you know already has their calendar filled to the max?

In a world where time is of the essence and convenience reigns supreme, Maria 01 Partner Member, Nordea Startup & Growth, has taken it upon themselves to help all founders out there and are on the road to revolutionise the way we find our financial soulmates. Just like traditional speed dating, where singles meet multiple potential partners in a short period of time, Nordea Investor Speed Dating brings this concept to the world of finance.

Nordea Investor Speed Dating is a virtual matchmaking event designed for high-growth startups and scale-ups in search of the right investors. Finding the perfect investor can feel overwhelming, with numerous options available and complex industry jargon to navigate. That’s why the Nordea Startup & Growth team is here to help. I had the chance to speak with Teija Nousiainen, Deal Flow Manager at Nordea Startup & Growth, to understand how this new approach works and how it differs from traditional pitching events.

Exclusive 1-1 meetings: A unique aspect of Investor Speed Dating

To ensure a diverse pool of attendees representing all Nordic countries and various industries, while meeting the demands of the attending VCs, Nordea conducts a pre-screening process for startups interested in participating in the upcoming Investor Speed Dating session. According to Teija, Nordea usually has an impressive 50 to 70 funds from all over the world taking part in these sessions, and thanks to the pre-screening, 90% of all the participating startups find a potential investor match. 

What further sets these sessions apart from other pitching events on the market, is their exclusive focus on 1-1 meetings, where the decision to meet rests in the hands of the investors. This means that investors who express interest in a participating startup have already familiarised themselves with the company and its business idea, significantly reducing the time needed for an initial meeting. Teija mentioned that nearly 70% of participating startups have reported securing a follow-up meeting with an investor after being paired with a warm investor lead. Impressive odds, wouldn’t you agree?

Is there still money on the market? 

Despite a recent slowdown in funds being raised, Teija assures there is still ample money on the market. “While companies in the ecosystem are actively seeking funding, investors are equally eager to find promising startups to invest in.” VCs who raised and launched new funds last year are now out there actively seeking innovative ideas to invest in. “The focus now, more than ever, lies on creating the perfect startup-investor match.” 

Fortunately for us, the Nordic market is regarded as highly attractive, and the team at Nordea has had no trouble attracting investors to participate in their Speed Dating sessions. In fact, due to overwhelming demand, they have actually had to limit the number of interested investors.

We at Maria 01 are also thrilled to see the concept gaining popularity among our Startup Members. To date, we’ve had over 15 startups participating in the sessions. 

“We jumped on Nordea’s Investor Speed Dating because it aligned with our needs to grow our network and search for finding like-minded investors. The event was a win-win, offering focused chats that led to valuable fundraising leads and actionable market insights. What makes it stand out from other investor meetups I’ve been in – is its efficiency and the caliber of investors involved—our conversations were laser-focused, letting us cut to the chase and maximize everyone’s time,” says Tuomo Laine, CEO and Co-Founder of Rentle.

In conclusion, Nordea Investor Speed Dating is changing the game for investor-startup relationships. By streamlining the process and facilitating meaningful connections, this concept enables entrepreneurs to efficiently find the right investors and jumpstart their growth. With the success of these events, it’s clear that the startup ecosystem continues to evolve, providing new and exciting opportunities for both investors and startups.

Want to join the next session? Now is the time to apply to the upcoming gatherings, hosted in September and November. More information and application forms can be found here.

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