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Building a Fintech Community - Belfast Catalyst Fintech Hub


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What are the characteristics of an impactful network? How does Belfast fit into the global fintech community? How can the entrepreneurs of Northern Ireland build a lasting social structure that supports their success?

Published in: Business
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Building a Fintech Community - Belfast Catalyst Fintech Hub

  1. 1. Building a Meaningful Community Bo Brustkern June, 2019 @brustkern +1-303-319-6800
  2. 2. What are we playing? “Learn to love the game.” -- 2018 interview, “People appreciate being appreciated.” -- 2018 interview, Inc. Magazine @brustkern +1-303-319-6800
  3. 3. Why are we playing? 1. What do you want your company to become? 2. How do you define success? 3. Will future financing will be available to you? 4. Will your company be worth much more than it is today? 5. Will you be the best in the world at this one thing? 6. Do you think anyone else can produce a competitive offering in a reasonable time?
  4. 4. I’m an entrepreneur so I can move the needle in other people’s lives.
  5. 5. 5 “Our mission is to improve the lives of others by weaving a stronger economic fabric. When we succeed, billions of people’s lives are impacted.” -- LendIt Fintech’s mission statement Fintech matters, and we’re doing something about it.
  6. 6. Annual conferences in: London, New York, Shanghai & Miami Next up: LendIt Fintech Europe Sept 26-27, 2019 in London Attend an event: Use “Bo15” for 15% off your ticket. Subscribe to daily news:
  7. 7. Fintech impacts Billions
  8. 8. The bank services gap is still vast.
  9. 9. Globally, 1.7 billion adults lack a bank account
  10. 10. Nearly half of all unbanked adults live in just seven economies
  11. 11. 21% of adults in SSA have a mobile money account
  12. 12. Trends in Fintech Innovation & partnership: it’s on.
  13. 13. 1. We are re-imagining our relationship w/ money 2. We are deconstructing banking services 3. We are achieving scale 4. Comprehensive financial wellness is the goal Trends in Fintech
  14. 14. 1. In the US, online lenders issued 36% of all personal loans in 2017 (up from 1% in 2010) 2. Total online US loan balance: $120 billion 3. The monoline offering is just a foot in the door Online Lending is moving to the 2nd wave
  15. 15. 1. Challenger banks are proving the impossible 2. Incumbent banks are mainly failing at digital Digital Banking is Coming Strong
  16. 16. MarketInvoice <> Barclays : One of the largest online invoice financing platform now has a huge balance sheet to work from. Ezbob <> RBS(Esme) & Amex : Ezbob’s lending-as-a-service product powering the SME digital offering for RBS and American Express. Divido <> Nordea : Divido will be powering point of sale lending for the largest Nordic bank (30k employees). Kabbage <> ING and Santander : powering small business loans in Europe. First Spain, then France & Italy (ING) and UK (Santander). Raisin > MHB Bank > PBF Solutions of Manchester : this partnership became so important that Raisin acquired the bank. Finn by Chase : to shut down in August, after less than two years in business. Will Greenhouse, Citizens Access, PurePoint and Rising Bank follow? The fintech <> bank partnership boom is on.
  17. 17. Fintech valuations: reaching an extreme
  18. 18. VC into Fintech: taking a breath
  19. 19. The Belfast community is built by makers Connections matter. Culture matters. Vibe matters. Failure matters.
  20. 20. Connections matter. Build them.
  21. 21. Culture matters. Shape it. For more depth on this topic, watch here.
  22. 22. Vibe matters. Amplify it. Creative classes seek weirdness All souls respond to beauty Beauty + weirdness = artists & developers The radicals on the edges of society challenge the norm; sometimes this is progressive; sometimes regressive. Either way, it’s the radicals that matter. Promote the radical thinkers.
  23. 23. Failure matters. Own it. Consequences of failure Benefits of success
  24. 24. Why Not Belfast?
  25. 25. Strengths of NI 1. Easy access to early-stage funding (< £1m) 2. Lots of startup programmes and accelerators 3. Lots of co-working space options 4. Deep pool of Tech Dev resources 5. Established clusters of expertise 6. Separated from the madness 7. Less expensive people 8. Hungrier, humble people with something to prove 1. Lots of 'bad ideas' getting off the ground 2. Difficult to access later stage funding (> £1m) 3. Difficult to access true start-up expertise and mentors 4. Small local addressable market 5. The start-up ecosystem is not very joined up Challenges of NI Address the weaknesses, amplify the strengths.
  26. 26. Crunchbase lists 66 fintech companies that raised less than $5MM and are generating more than (est.) $10MM annual revenue. A partial list of the cities that host these companies is to the right. Note the geographic dispersion. Undercapitalized co’s are crushing. Everywhere. London 10 New York 6 San Francisco 3 Toronto 3 Atlanta 2 Boulder 2 Mumbai 2 Sao Paolo 2 Salt Lake City 2 Santa Barbara 2 Scottsdale 2 Accra 1 Austin 1 Barcelona 1 Bogota 1 Brooklyn 1 Buenos Aires 1 Burlington 1 Camberley 1 Carrollton 1 Central 1 Charlotte 1 Chennai 1 Chicago 1 Cicero 1 Clinton Township 1 Cork 1 Dublin 1 Durham 1 Eliot 1 Frankfurt 1 Greenville 1 Haidian 1 Hallandale 1 Helsinki 1 Irvine 1 Kirkland 1 Los Angeles 1 Makati 1 Mexico City 1 Minneapolis 1 Montevideo 1
  27. 27. Connect. Inspire. Advance.
  28. 28. The Happiness Advantage by Achor 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni Essentialism by Greg McKeown The Lean Startup by Eric Ries Startup Communities by Brad Feld Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff Great Reads The Things They Carried by O’Brien Endurance by Alfred Lansing The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch Blue Highways by Least-Heat-Moon Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman A River Runs Through It by Maclean The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by Wroblewski The Boys in the Boat by D.J. Brown
  29. 29. Appendix: Loving the Game
  30. 30. My story, told nakedly ● This was my experience ● Am I alone? Gestalt Response ● I’ve had an analogous experience; perhaps it resonates with you. ● I’ll tell you my story, but I won’t give you advice My reaction ● I’m not alone ● I got this
  31. 31. Forums Forums are small groups of entrepreneurs who meet regularly, follow gestalt, and discuss the “top-and-bottom 5% issues.” Forums are the strong threads in an entrepreneurial fabric. 1. 6 - 10 entrepreneurs 2. Meet monthly 3. Follow a strict regimen before, during and after meetings 4. Have a decade-long commitment Gestalt is a rubric for entrepreneurs to follow so that they may lead with integrity. Successful forums follow gestalt in order to maintain integrity with themselves and the group. 1. Strict Confidentiality 2. Lead with Vulnerability 3. Committed to the Work 4. Approach with Love 5. Curious About Self and Others 6. Speak in the first person 7. Have Fun Gestalt My forum is my Rock of Gibraltar
  32. 32. I do it because I said so. That’s good enough. No one will notice. I’m too tired. I can’t figure it out. Oh well. I want to do better. I want to accomplish more. How can I make your job easier? Whatever it takes. I got this.
  33. 33. 33 If a company does one big thing better than their competition, it becomes fairly easy for their competition to level the playing field: they can just imitate that one thing. But if a company does thousands of little things better than anyone else, they become nearly impossible to imitate. We call those thousands of little things “inches.” We’d never be able to foresee all the things that should be noticed or improved. Instead, we drive a culture that motivates our team members to find the inches we need all around us. We are all empowered to find the opportunities to make an impact everywhere; one inch at a time, these inches all add up to greatness. -- Quicken Loans Do thousands of things better.
  34. 34. “You need no permission.” Thank you Amy, Jack, Ella, Lily, Eve & Canty