Driven by digitalization, the emergence of startups, and regulatory changes, the banking industry is undergoing a “fintech revolution” where the competitive advantages of incumbents are disrupted. In response, banks collaborate with startups by organizing accelerators and incubators to promote corporate innovation. A critical challenge is achieving a strategic fit with startups. In this research, a longitudinal case study of Nordea, the largest retail bank in the Nordics, was conducted. Three startup programs between 2015 and 2018 during a major fintech boom were investigated, and how the programs implement corporate sponsorship and enable corporate innovation was analyzed. We found that achieving a strategic fit was an iterative process fueled by the accumulation of technological and market knowledge from the startups, where Nordea adjusted its mode of startup collaboration according to the phase of the disruption to meet its evolving learning goals.
- Open innovation