My NadiFin Experience and 3 Key Takeaways
At the end of last month I attended phase one of the NadiFin Fintech Accelerator program 2019, representing GECKO Governance along with my colleague Michelle McGuire, GECKO’s Head of Compliance. It was jointly hosted in Luxembourg at the LHoFT — Luxembourg House of Financial Technology — and at the ICT Spring Europe 2019 global tech conference in the European Convention Center.
Nadi-what? ..I hear you ask. NadiFin is a two phase FinTech accelerator program, the second of which is starting on 10th June in Dublin, Ireland. Powered by Middlegame Ventures and Farvest in partnership with the LHoFT, the program brings together a variety of startups from around the world that operate in the FinTech space. A highly interactive curriculum has been developed to provide entrepreneurs with the tools needed to further scale their businesses. Ultimately, at the end of phase two, one startup will receive a €100,000 investment from MiddleGame Ventures. But interestingly, it’s the startups themselves who will decide through a peer-voting system, which company takes home the investment.
For those who have yet to go through an accelerator program, it’s a demanding but incredibly rewarding experience. Coffee in hand, we set off at 4am for the 6:15am Sunday flight to Luxembourg. No sightseeing to report on yet folks — after finally getting settled into the hotel and going over the final draft of my presentation it was already time for bed. The bus from the hotel each morning got us into the LHoFT for an 8am start. There’s no hanging about in the FinTech world.
Upon arrival at the uber-trendy LHoFT building in downtown Luxembourg, it was time to get to know each other. We individually stood up in front of all the other startups and spoke about the journeys we had taken to get where we are now. Not the company’s journey, but our own personal stories. This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience which helped us all become familiar with one another from the outset. The rest of the day was spent listening to each company present their business pitches about what they do, giving product demos and working through the presented curriculum. The remaining days flowed in a similar fashion, covering various different topics including investor Due Diligence, Customer Discovery, Market Mapping and company Financial Narratives.
‘Feel the fear and do it anyway..’
One of the highlights of the week was getting the opportunity to give a two minute GECKO pitch on the FinTech stage at the ICT Spring tech conference in the European Convention Center. Although, unaccustomed to public speaking as I am, the 300-strong crowd felt like 3000! Taking deep breaths, I took to the stage, turned to face the crowd and the two minute pitch was over in a split second.
FinTech Fight Club:
Not something you expect to see at a FinTech conference!
We learned a lot from the experience but some of the key takeaways were:
- Present your company with one clear vision in mind
Although your company may solve many different and equally valid use cases, try to concentrate on one main overarching theme and provide context for this vision so that your audience will understand your ‘world’.
- Present your product demo with the audience in mind
While it may feel natural to simply run through everything your product does, again try to be considerate of your audience and have the product demo relate to them. Try to visually represent the general pain point you are solving to give them context.
- You’ve got a great product that solves a real problem but how do you scale?
As a startup you may be eager and feel it is necessary to explore different business verticals and market opportunities but be careful not to spread your resources too thin. Focus on building out your robust, core offering. That ‘70% of functionality’ that the majority of your clients can use. This can then be scaled efficiently and expanded upon gradually reflecting market trends.
Really looking forward to phase two of the NadiFin accelerator program starting next week in WeWork Labs’ Charlemont Exchange location, in Dublin.
Adam Matthews June 6th, 2019