To read the full interview by Simon Cocking, Editor of The Irish Tech News here.
What is your background briefly?
I started to work for a fintech company called Tandem Computers (now part of HP) 20 years ago in the Silicon Valley before the term “fintech” existed. It was not until 2014 when I attended several fintech events in London and all of a sudden I had this feeling again, that I felt 20 years earlier in the Silicon Valley. This time I knew that FINTECH would become big and that it would fundamentally change our lives the same way the internet did before. FINTECH was the answer we were waiting for after the Financial Crisis.
Does it seem a logical progression to what you do now?
I started on the technology side, then went to the finance side and now I am able to combine both, so all of sudden my life makes sense again! In 2014 I set up FINTECH Circle as Europe’s 1st Angel Network focused on fintech opportunities. Our focus is to help fintech founders when they want to raise seed capital for the first time. The next application deadline to submit a funding proposal to our Angel Network is the 31 January, you can submit it online.
What does FINTECH Circle do? 1 min pitch?
In addition to being an Angel Network, we are a global community of FINTECH entrepreneurs, investors and thought-leaders on LinkedIn. We are also an Open API Platform Partner working with banks & insurance firms and technology providers who aim to collaborate with the best fintech companies to create long-term value for their customers and shareholders. The power of an effective open API strategy can be huge in helping transform an organization, it can even guarantee its survival.
We also run a WealthTECH Advisory Practise with superior fintech companies and experts across investment management, robo-advisory and new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, crowdsourced alpha, Blockchain etc to help Private Banks & Asset Managers to leverage the fintech solutions out there.
How was 2016, what went well?
During 2016 Fintech became mainstream. We became a global enterprise working on projects for financial institutions across Europe and even as far afield as Australia, helping design and fulfil on FinTech innovation mandates. We also announced a very exciting and strategic partnership focusing on FinTech in Africa with CiTi.
We launched The FINTECH Book in March 2016 and by the end of the year it became a global bestseller (sold more than 10,000 copies worldwide). We celebrated the launch in many countries and it was always a great feeling when our authors met for the first time in person and signed all the books together and then presented on stage in various countries. Lots of fintech friendships were the result.
Finally, there is huge demand for proper Fintech education. As a result we designed the first certified FINTECH Course in Europe in cooperation with ESCP Europe, a leading European university with campuses in the UK and across Europe. We will soon announce the 2017 FINTECH Curriculum at ESCP Europe – so stay tuned!
What inspired you to do three more Fintech books in 2017, and how did you chose those particular topics?
2016 was the year Fintech went mainstream and 2017 will be the year when fintech verticals such as insurtech (innovation across the insurance sector), wealthtech (innovation across the Investment- and Wealth management sectors) and regtech (innovation across compliance solutions to meet regulatory requirements) will really take off. This year it won’t be enough to talk about fintech strategies anymore, but people want to see results. That’s why we are launching 3 new books: