FinTech Start-ups

I have been involved with five start-ups over the course of my career.  One never got off the ground because of team and timing issues.  One pivoted slowly and funding dried up in the 2001 dot.com crash.  One has been in business for almost 12 years and survives as an opportunistic niche player in the corporate finance/structured finance business.  Another over promised and under delivered and first lost the support of the debt provider and subsequently the equity investors.  The most recent is an early stage, founder funded start-up focusing on the institutional asset management space.  It is way too early to judge how this one will turn out.  More information is provided below. 

I am available to assist start-ups with the following:

Research

     Your Target Market
     Defining Your Addressable Market
     Understanding the Competitive Landscape
     Identifying Potential Revenue Models
     Identifying Funding Sources, etc

Strategy Development

     Positioning
     Picking a Beachhead
     When to Pivot
     Seeking Feedback
     Interpreting Feedback
     Identification of False Positives

Marketing

     Investor Pitch Development
     Client Pitch Development
     Client Identification
     Addressing a Need
     Explaining Benefits
     Website Development
     Email Marketing

Sales and Sales Support

     Development of a Sales Plan
     Execution of the Sales Plan
     Customer On-boarding and Training
     On-going Customer Support

Financial Planning and Organization

     Budgeting
     Forecasting
     Preparation of material needed for Funding Discussions

In addition to the team building and market timing issues that I already mentioned, I have also experienced what I call the "Failure of a Core Assumption" or alternatively a failure to do a 5 Whys analysis.   I learned that prospective customers will often complain about something or site the crying need for something but when push comes to shove they won't embrace a solution.  In one case the big banks controlled the loan trading market extracting a generous bid/offer spread.  Those same banks also controlled the new issuance market and threatened loan investors' new issue supply if they tried to change the status quo.  The loan investors would bitch and moan all day long but they wouldn't do anything to support an independent loan trading platform for fear that their new issue supply would be cut off.  Similarly I was involved relatively late with sub-prime auto loan platform.  The platform was specifically built to be better than the main competitor.  It offered dealers the ability to make more money, it addressed growing compliance requirements and it embraced all the trends in its particular space.  Where it failed was that it couldn't provide dealers with the same degree of comfort with respect to certainty of financing as the market leader.