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.
- If you just have one pain point you can really hone in on that and produce something good for that one customer need.
- Selling online leads to a change in society. If you profit through a purpose, everyone can win.
- "Build it and they will come" isn't very realistic. You need to define a solution. Then the marketing, copy and a logo is all part of the integrity of the solution.
- The last five years have been about education about the problem.
- Start-ups can be data-led or customer-focused. They need to scale up but will meet challenges – they must think through their business model. They need to define an MVP, cover their costs and get to the next stage.
- Fintech applies to all sectors.
- Miro could penetrate into other industries while Alibaba combines commercial data with notifications. Miro values attitude over finance.
- Find out about adjacency - your solution could apply to payment and travel at once.
- Find out what firms you can align with.
- Consider a 'white labelled' product that can be re-used.
- Consider quality standards for your product (especially food).
- In times past we would look up a service in our local Yellow Pages and phone someone to install a part. Now we can buy the part ourselves and watch a YouTube video on how to install it.
- I need evidence! I get by on my strength of belief but you also need data. You also need diversity of experience, not just diversity of ethnicity, gender and so on.
- I had never considered research when I started Neatebox not only as I really didn't have an awareness of how business was carried out “properly” but also as my 18 years hands on experience and real understanding of the issues seemed to obvious to me.
- The market validation has been done by both companies and contractors. ... This is to help identify the core requirements of the app.
- Strathclyde itself has an entrepreneurial hub and a pretty good business school. We've been able to take advantage of master's programs, students that are looking for projects, and they want to work with real companies. So we can help them and they can help us because they help us do some market research on areas that we want to look at.
- Bright people with good ideas don’t get business planning, incentivsing their teams, taking on equity and other issues. Ideas have to be sustainable.
- Where perhaps before people had time to shop and plan out their menu for the week then head to the supermarket to purchase what they wanted, now they are slightly knocked off sync by what’s happening just now with there not being as much food choice as before. Also with children at home all day long, maybe Mum and Dad don’t have so much time to spend in the kitchen as they need to occupy the children more so.
- Being able to do a job that allows me to look after my two boys is fantastic. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
- In the meantime, in between nappies and nursery rhymes as mentioned I’m also training myself up on python, AWS, and building matching models so that I can build my understanding and maybe even help the team at some point!
- The barriers to creating something truly innovative are legion including the search for the very best partners and the never ending search for funding but the greatest are in explaining that your solution is required at all.
- For start-ups we put a call out for student-led ideas. They must be scalable. Some have conceptual flaws – for example, peer-to-peer lending is already being done!
- Innovation is often incremental.
- Build a prototype for partners to understand the product.
- Beware compromising quality by outsourcing.
- Going forward we’re looking at an investment round and investors are likely to be a bit more risk-averse.
- We have further mentorship and funding onboard from Oil and Gas Technology Centre which is fantastic.
- I was happy to make this investment to see how it would work. If it didn’t work I could park the idea - it wasn’t a big investment, it was low risk.
- Towards the end of last year, things were going very well and I can to a crossroads where I went down the road of applications for business loans and grants ... But I put the brakes on it around February as it looked like full-time work again. The pressure would be on to work to meet loan repayments. So I though maybe this isn’t the right time for that.
- Every company needs access to capital - even Monzo has struggled during Covid.
- Take advantage of government funding and local initiatives.
- Try offering your service 'free first'.
- Create a network of contacts.
- Plan the six-month runway for take-off - you need to keep the lights on in the meantime.
- Set targets for growth.
- Signal to investors.
- Consider the B-Corp route advocated by Stanford
- For market share growth try the Hacking Growth book
- I’m making money out of the situation but also offering a service and a product that people thoroughly enjoy, so it’s good.
- I always had a passion for food. I do a lot of cooking at home. I like to forage and grow my own vegetables and really get involved in the food production side of things as well.
- I want to make a fricking fortune!
- I started with an MSC in Fintech then went through CodeClan.
- We are now looking for a third party to finish the MVP. I wasn’t sure whether to go externally for a third-party developer or hire in-house. I think the smart way is to complete it with a third party, then look to take ownership of future development internally as our capabilities and team grows.
- Our main pain point (or barrier to getting to market) came from this initial reliance on others
- So if we roll it out to bigger areas or have a large volume of users it’s pretty well set up for that. It saves you managing your own servers and stuff.
- We have an online platform. We're always looking for feedback now we can improve the way it functions and especially from the UX stuff. The one thing I want to achieve is to make it really simple to use, just so any ideas you have then please fire them on!
- The product [launch] was pretty early, and it ended up being a big bug finding mission, which was great actually.
- The next step is to create a clickable prototype and conduct formal sessions with both types of end users, companies and contractors. This is to help identify the core requirements of the app.
- Decide whether to develop in-house or take on a third party - if you pick the wrong developer you could get burned.
- Work towards continuous deployment.
- Facebook is incredible - for communicating with existing customers and potential new customers. Word of mouth is no longer a chat in the pub it’s a chat on Facebook instead about different events. I find Facebook incredible for that. I would like to just use it a business platform as particularly now there is just so much information that is nonsense. But for promoting the products and the business its absolutely priceless.
- 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.
- Get your brand known.
- Decide how niche your product is.
Covid-19 / home working
- Remote working has been a truly invigorating experience. My team and I have embraced the opportunity and have found that we are more efficient more communicative and generally more productive.
- If anything it’s going to help during this lockdown – we can generate nice interesting routes near to your house or matches time requirements. So it has real benefit in this lockdown state.
- As part of their initial research they found out that staff who work on security or at front desks are often trained poorly or can't remember their training about accessibility issues.
- They reckon they have canvassed opinions from over a thousand people and advocate employing disabled people as part of design teams.
- Subtitles and deaf signage are now commonplace. On a tweet you can now add 500 characters of Alt text as well.
- Remember - '37.5% of the world is disabled'.
- Disabled people prefer to use a single app if they can.
- If you can improve, say, travel for disabled people, it improves travel for everyone.