Start-up summary

Themes and quotes

We ran a Fintech Scotland panel discussion on Wednesday 9th September 2020. Here's a selection of quotes from our start-up interviews.

We went through our interview notes from talking to Nudge, Pie In the Sky, Huli and Neatebox as well as Daniel Broby from the University of Strathclyde. We picked a selection of quotes from our interviews and arranged them roughly by theme to sum up what we'd learned.

Value proposition


  1. Find out about adjacency - your solution could apply to payment and travel at once.
  2. Find out what firms you can align with.
  3. Consider a 'white labelled' product that can be re-used.
  4. Consider quality standards for your product (especially food).

Market validation

Work/life balance



  1. Innovation is often incremental.
  2. Build a prototype for partners to understand the product.
  3. Beware compromising quality by outsourcing.



  1. Every company needs access to capital - even Monzo has struggled during Covid.
  2. Take advantage of government funding and local initiatives.
  3. Try offering your service 'free first'.
  4. Create a network of contacts.
  5. Plan the six-month runway for take-off - you need to keep the lights on in the meantime.
  6. Set targets for growth.
  7. Signal to investors.
  8. Consider the B-Corp route advocated by Stanford
  9. For market share growth try the Hacking Growth book


Technical knowledge


  1. Decide whether to develop in-house or take on a third party - if you pick the wrong developer you could get burned.
  2. Work towards continuous deployment.



  1. At the start, don't spend money on marketing! Use Advocacy. Use these tools when it's time to scale up, and to differentiate yourself.
  2. Get your brand known.
  3. Decide how niche your product is.

Covid-19 / home working



  1. Remember - '37.5% of the world is disabled'.
  2. Disabled people prefer to use a single app if they can.
  3. If you can improve, say, travel for disabled people, it improves travel for everyone.