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On June 11th, Lighthouse held its first ever Community Meetup virtually.  After receiving interest from current and past Lighthouse contestants, we created this event as a substitute for the networking opportunity that typically occurs after the second workshop for Lighthouse participants and alumni. The community meet-up was designed with the purpose of giving Mastercard Lighthouse startups a platform to network, as well as a place to discuss the highs and lows of the program. Participants of the Lighthouse Program and Lighthouse MASSIV, both past and present, were invited to the event, and we were fortunate to have had our winners from year’s past present: Doconomy (2019) and Zliide (2018).

We had over 35 participants joining us – a real success, to say the least. The event began with an excellent presentation from Mathias Wikström – Doconomy’s founder & CEO and, last year’s winner of the program. He emphasized that, in order to drive change, it is necessary to have a fair amount of creative destruction, and Lighthouse helped Doconomy achieve this during the program.

The main feature of the event was an extensive Q & A with some of the past companies. We were grateful to have had Jens Saltin (Steven), Nikolai Linholm (Zliide), Mattias Eld (Fidesmo) and Mathias Wikstrom (DOconomy) answer questions for the audience. As key disruptors of the startup ecosystem in Scandanavia, it was valuable to hear their perspective on many issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic, their milestones throughout the program, and debt-based financing.  Panelists also spoke about what they would change while on their journey through the Lighthouse program in year’s past. Mathias, spoke to how he wished he had brought more employees to the workshops, whereas Nikolai suggested that the startups start to think of partnerships together while they’re still a part of the program.

Especially in a time like this, it is important to leverage any connections you have to help your vision come to light. The majority of the panelists mentioned that they regretted not sending a full team to the workshops, which speaks to the quality of collaboration at these events. Case in point – there is currently an exciting deal in the making with two past Lighthouse finalists who are pooling their efforts together to increase their impact.  The networking that occurs within the Lighthouse program is truly invaluable and potentially provides a foundation for collaboration in the future.

We will next meet with the Lighthouse companies in August at the third workshop where they will be introduced to new banking partners, then again at the Latitutde59 event where the three finalists will be selected.

If you think your business would be a good candidate, don’t hesitate to apply for our Lighthouse fall edition – our applications are open now! We are always interested in seeing the different ways startups across the Nordics and the Baltics innovate, as it’s our goal to find the next unicorn. We are confident we have all the tools to help develop a company to succeed.

Apply here!

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