Engaging 5000+ Startups with Danske Bank

Challenge

To become a sustainable and scalable startup, two of the main challenges are to attract talented team members and assure funding. Without a go-to-destination for Nordic startups, many startups used to rely on network to solve these critical challenges. With the ambition to be an enabler of growth in society and the wish to explore new forms of engagement with emerging companies, Danske Bank challenged us to identify a digital play that could help startups solve these challenges.

Solution

The Hub, a cross-Northern European platform that relieves the major pains evolving around employee recruitment and funding of local startups. With more than 1.5M yearly users and 5,000 active startups The Hub has become the leading platfrom for startups. 

Building the right it before building it

With a strong belief in startups’ potential as drivers of growth in society, Danske Bank partnered with Rainmaking to identify a scalable way to help ambitious startups accelerate their business. In  the project’s initial validation process, we spent tons of hours engaging with over 100 founders of ambitious startups to make sure we understood their actual pain points and unmet needs. Once identified, the pain points were transformed into opportunities and value propositions which we tested against the market of startups, potential applicants and investors via prototypes and qualitative interviews.

Creating access to talent and funding

In true lean startup fashion, The Hub was launched in iterative stages in which the value proposition and features were put to the real test via actual user behavior. Firstly, we launched the initial version of a recruitment platform tailored specifically to startups and targeting job seekers interested in joining startups. Each startup has its own page on which they can showcase their culture, mission, products, and that special ingredient that will make them stand out in the eyes of applicants. This feature among others that came later were developed based on insights from the validation phase that showed the shortcomings of traditional job sites. Since the launch in late 2015, The Hub has become the largest startup recruitment site in the Nordics. We have now attracted more than 5,000 startups across Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Northern Ireland. The startups have posted more than 11,000 jobs ads, and we are seeing the +40,000 weekly visits converting to 2,500 weekly applications.

Today, The Hub has become a community of startups, investors and experts. In addition to the recruitment section, The Hub also offers best practice guides as well as a funding tool which can match startups with the most relevant funding options, based on industry, experience, level of maturity, and team size. The funding tool includes profiles of more than 300 top investors.

We have partnered with Rainmaking because of their strong foothold in the global startup ecosystem, and their impressive ability to launch and grow new platforms and services at high speed
Klavs Hjort
SVP, Growth & Impact - Danske Bank

Enabling the eco-system and becoming an active partner for startups

In parallel to the launch of The Hub, Rainmaking helped train and upskill a team of dedicated Growth Advisors in Danske Bank for them to gain a better understanding of the needs and life cycle of startups. These advisors are now able to provide an excellent service to the portfolio of startup and growth clients in terms of customized banking products as well as network connections across the entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem in Northern Europe.

By becoming an active partner in the startup ecosystem, Danske Bank have been able to deepen their customer relationships within the segment and gain access to more data, which they’ve used to refine their offerings and interactions with the segment. Further, by continuously engaging with startups, Danske Bank stays on the forefront via early insights into new technologies and business models that can impact their own future business.