Startupbootcamp is a global network of industry focused startup accelerators. Our startups have direct access to an international network of the most relevant mentors, partners, investors in their sector to help them scale globally.
Knowing and understanding customer needs is at the center of every successful business, whether it sells directly to individuals or other businesses. Strong customer relationships can increase trust and loyalty and allow businesses to meet specific objectives, such as customer retention and recommendations.
Customer intelligence is the process of gathering and analyzing insight about customers. Companies gather intelligence in regards to their clients, in order to build deeper customer relationships and improve decision making. Some of the main areas customer intelligence is applied to are: customer acquisition (how to convert someone into a customer), customer retention (how to keep a customer from leaving and going elsewhere), and customer engagement (making interactions with customers relevant and personalized).
InsurTech Industry Spotlight: Customer Intelligence with Aureus, Pentation, and Flowenum - YouTube
With customer acquisition, intelligence is used to gather data and read patterns to anticipate likely upcoming behavior and persuade a consumer to purchase a company’s services. Insurers can use this knowledge to improve their customer service techniques, leading to higher rates of customer acquisition, impacting the bottom line with new leads and revenue.
Customer retention consists of the actions companies take to reduce the number of customer defections. Have you ever called a company to cancel a gym membership, a credit card, or a phone contract? If so, chances are you’ve been deferred to the company’s retention department, whose sole job is to retain you as a customer. At this point in the process, the company typically offers you an incentive to try and keep you as a customer, such as waiving a late fee or providing a free month of service, for example. This retention process is a much easier conversation for the company if 1. they have a trusted relationship with their customers, and 2. they are actively using predictive intelligence, which flags the customers who are likely to default and/or cancel their accounts.
For example, John hasn’t attended the gym in four months, which could be an indication that he may soon cancel his gym membership. The gym’s predictive intelligence tool flags John as a customer who’s at risk of cancelling his gym membership. John then receives a series of touchpoints from the gym, such as emails encouraging him to attend the gym that contain a “bring a friend for free” voucher, a list of four delicious looking healthy recipes, and a list of new classes at the gym. In the ideal scenario, John–who now has an arsenal of motivating tools–gets back into his gym routine and remains a paying customer. However, without this customer intelligence, the gym wouldn’t have had the initial insight that John’s workouts were floundering, and this predictive model would have been a reactive conversation–one happening after John cancelled.
This same example can be applied to the world of insurance.
Pentation Analytics, a Hartford InsurTech Hub 2018 startup, provides such a service and uses predictive intelligence to help insurance companies hone in on the right kind of message to send the customer, to increase the value of the interaction with that customer. Pentation Analytics’ AI (artificial intelligence)-enabled predictive scores allows insurers to target customers in a very narrow and focused manner–rather than bombarding customers with irrelevant information.
Similarly, another Hartford InsurTech Hub 2018 startup, Aureus Analytics, focuses on predicting consumer behavior and running analytics from the perspective of the consumer, versus running analytics from the perspective of the carrier, agent, or broker. Aureus Analytics’ machine learning algorithms look at data beyond demographics and transactions. They help insurers bring all data from varied enterprise systems into one place, run predictive analytics, evaluate customer sentiment, and deliver actionable insights in simple business English at the point of decision, which can be understood by people who don’t have technical backgrounds.
Both Pentation Analytics and Aureus Analytics use customer intelligence to improve the customer experience. As Anurag Shah, Co-Founder & CEO of Aureus Analytics says: “Customers today live in a world where they have become accustomed to a certain type of experience from the likes of Uber, Amazon, and Google, and they expect a similar experience from their insurance provider.” These customer-centric interactions with companies outside of insurance have caused “a fundamental shift in how customers view their provider to not just someone who only sells policies,” but to someone who engages in a meaningful and relevant way.
When this intelligence is combined from adjacent industries, such as connected homes and Internet of Things (IoT), a deeper layer of rich customer intelligence can improve customer experience even more so.
Startupbootcamp InsurTech recently published an Industry Spotlight on Smart Homes discussing how InsurTech startups are taking huge strides in the smart building market. Fire sensors, temperature sensors, access point sensors, water leak sensors, humidity and air quality sensors are all collecting mass amounts of data to help prevent damage and mitigate risk. However, this data is being collected independently of each other — the fire sensor doesn’t communicate with the water leak sensor, for example. Flowenum, a Startupbootcamp InsurTech London 2018 startup, is providing a solution for this by allowing customers to mitigate and manage risks that are related to the usage and ownership of buildings. Flowenum collects all IoT data, draws valuable insights from it, and provides feedback to two main stakeholders: 1) the insurer – to inform the insurer where there is low and high risk, and 2) the building asset managers (those in charge of operating, maintaining, and upgrading buildings) – to inform them: “The pipe on the fourth floor leading into Flat 43 is weak and will burst soon. It needs to be replaced”.
Using this intelligence to provide value to both the end customer and insurer, Teemu Ala-Hynnilä, CEO of Flowenum says: “Customers are at the core of our value proposition. We combine the needs of all stakeholders in the building ecosystem and bring them together to bring additional value to each of them.”
Companies of various industries are working to maximize value for their customers and using customer intelligence to do so. As Anirban Roy, CEO Pentation Analytics says: “The insurance industry is going through a lot of change. Customers in every sector are expecting better service, which includes timely and customized services.” Consumer demand is shifting, and insurers must work to make every engagement with their customers relevant and valuable while maintaining consumers’ expectations of transparency, quality, and trust.
Startupbootcamp Energy Australia are delighted to announce a new partnership with Pitcher Partners – the leading accounting and business advisory firm in the mid-tier market.
Pitcher Partners, an independent member of Baker Tilly International, will be working alongside Startupbootcamp to provide accounting and financial advice to the startups in our cohort. Formed in 1991, Pitcher Partners is a full-service firm and has a long standing reputation for providing superior expertise and advice. This partnership will be key in helping our cohort to move from startups to established businesses.
This partnership is particularly exciting as Pitcher Partners have a great track record fostering graduate entrepreneurship through the International Institute of Entrepreneurship with Swinburne University, emulating the qualities of mentorship so key to the Startupbootcamp program.
Announcing the partnership, Trevor Townsend – Managing Director at Startupbootcamp – said “We are excited to have Pitcher Partners join as a program partner to help assist our clean energy startups on their journey. Pitcher Partners can provide them with sound advice to help them with structuring, financial modelling and corporate governance, ultimately ensuring they are “investor ready” as they graduate from our program.”
The Pitcher Partners’ mission:
To specialise in servicing the middle market and be recognised as leading firms each servicing this market
To have cultures which are based on caring for clients and earning their trust
To have practices which emphasise a strong advisory involvement with clients, providing both business and specialist advice of the highest standard
To have practices whose culture is to care for employees on an individual basis and provide them with great careers
“Pitcher Partners has a strong commitment to the startup sector and helping them establish themselves, right through to becoming a mature and thriving business,” Pitcher Partners Partner, Melanie Dawes, said.
“We feel privileged to be able to offer our support, services and guidance to help these innovative companies grow and prosper.
“This partnership also allows us to build on our strong ethos of creating innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets, crucial to successfully doing business today.”
The 2018 opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics at the PyeongChang Olympic stadium on Friday evening in South Korea put together an experience that demonstrates the countries dominance in advanced technology. The opening ceremony saw widespread use of 360-degree virtual reality, ghost skiers, the world’s first fifth-generation (5G) network, AI, and autonomous vehicles. The presentation was quite extraordinary. However, the “whoah” moment was the formation of the Olympic Rings made up of 1,218 Intel drones and 100 skiers.
Intel | Experience the Team in Flight at PyeongChang 2018 - YouTube
Over the years, South Korea has been and continues to be a leading voice in technology. From humble beginnings, today, South Korea is world-leading in R&D in core industries (Communications, Transport, IT, and Civil Engineering). According to the OCED, South Korea R&D expenditure as a % of GDP is the largest than any other country at 4.29%. Furthermore, the Bloomberg 2018 Innovation Index that scores countries using seven criteria, including R&D spending and concentration of high-tech public companies, ranked South Korea as #1 in the world.
Busan the world’s first “smart” city
Last year, as part of our scouting for Startupbootcamp, I visited South Korea’s second largest city, Busan is to become a “smart” city. Organized by Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning and centers around Haeundae Centum City, Busan Metropolitan Government, and SK Telecom.
The aim is to create the world’s first smart city within the next five years; this involves adopting autonomous transportation, efficient traffic management systems through big data and AI analysis, use of smart energy grids, and renewable energy. The future of city architecture is about to change forever.
Seoul’s growing appetite for startups
Building a reputation for startup innovation is Seoul. The Startup Genome Project that ranks the top 20 ecosystems of significant startup cities around the world. The 2017 report estimated the value of Seoul’s entire startup ecosystem at US$2.4 billion ranked 4th in the world, behind New York, London, and Beijing respectively. Furthermore, the number of startups in Seoul reached up to 3,400, which was twice the average (1,762) of startup cities.
Derik Kim, Chairman, Global Entrepreneurs Foundation, hosted Startupbootcamp’s FastTrack event in Seoul and it was one of the most successful events we ran in 2017. The calibre of the startups was very extremely high and he personally escorted the winning startup Strix to Melbourne for selection days in December.
STRIX utilises big data-driven smart energy management system that helps users to efficiently manage their demand response, benefiting both energy retailers and consumers.
In 2014, the Korean government started Demand Response (DR) market as a solution to lower the national electricity supply. DR Participants would get a monetary return based on the amount they agree to reduce.
In June 2015, STRIX launched Energy Integrated Management System (EiMS), its DR Market operating software for load aggregators and DR participants. With energy usage data from customers, they develop patterns of how our consumers spend energy and even predict their future consumption. It can detect any emergency events from happening and alert users in advance. Moreover, it can provide personalized recommendations to lower the electricity bill for each user.
Startupbootcamp Energy Australia is excited to be working with STRIX to develop the future blueprint of smart energy grids.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have noticed that in 2017, InsurTech became a global phenomenon. A clutch of key hubs including London, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Singapore, New York and San Francisco have emerged as well as new programs such as Hartford InsurTech Hub powered by Startupbootcamp in Connecticut. While each has its own characteristics and appeal for entrepreneurs and investors, column inches have been dominated by the products and their potential – less so the specifics of where they are, and why.
While the origin of the founders often dictates where these fledgling businesses arise, there are regional trends. Some of the differences are either so subtle or in such a state of flux as to be indistinguishable, but there are a number of crucial distinctions. Here’s a look at some of them.
The fundamental approach to insurance is different in the US compared to Europe; so too are the startup cultures, which impacts the surrounding InsurTech ecosystem.
In essence, the North American stereotype is of higher tolerance to risk. Certainly, opportunistic investor attitudes, larger deal values, and the historic success of the US in producing $1bn startups (or ‘Unicorns’) suggests that expectations – and the associated risks – are higher. Coupled with intermediated and largely undisrupted insurance distribution models, this has impacted opportunities to disrupt both the customer experience and the value chain.
As a result, even though in absolute terms more startups are launched in the US market, it remains at a different stage of development in terms of the InsurTech ‘wave’ that has already reached – and partially broken – on the other side of the Atlantic.
Accounting for all sectors, the two preeminent global markets have a comparable number of startups, with around 3,300 in the US & Canada and 3,700 in Europe, according to 2016 figures from Gust.com. They boast a similar number of accelerator programs with 178 and 193, respectively. The difference is in funding, with North American startups tied to such programs receiving twice the sum ($107m vs. $50m) compared to their European counterparts.
There are additional market forces at work, driven by investors. Focusing more specifically on two dominant locations in the US – New York and Silicon Valley – both are expensive in which to operate, which increases the need to raise significant capital. Historically, US-based startups have been dependent on Venture Capital money in order to fund consecutive rounds of growth in a large, mature and highly competitive market. As a result, there is a greater emphasis on vision and ideas, as opposed to tangible products. In Europe, startups tend to achieve substantial funding only after they have achieved some kind of traction, which increases the pressure to become revenue generating earlier in the businesses’ evolution.
The result of this environment is that European startups suffer less from equity dilution and enjoy greater autonomy, which makes the region better equipped to deliver propositions focused on niche markets, and more likely to pursue partnership models.
Geography adds further variations between the two markets. Language barriers naturally force startups to consider and deal with translating their technology, as do any significant cultural differences in terms of achieving product market fit. By the same token, European startups have the constraint – and potential benefit – of validating their proposition and processes in their native market before deploying in other countries. The lack of potential scale in any specific European country also compels startups to think differently from their counterparts in the US, where a largely captive market already exists – assuming all regulatory hurdles can be overcome.
It doesn’t make the headlines but it’s the hard, cold reality that often dictates whether or not a startup can ship and scale its product. In Europe, big-ticket legislation such as Solvency II, GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation) and the IDD (the Insurance Distribution Directive) weigh heavily on industry thinking, and there are a number of successful startups focusing on solutions in this area. The UK regulator, the FCA, with its sandbox initiative is generally regarded as more forward-thinking than its US counterparts – or at least the vast majority of the 50 US regulated states. Unsurprisingly, many of the US’s best funded or highest profile InsurTechs are based in New York, one of the heaviest regulated states. These include Oscar, Lemonade, PolicyGenius, Jetty and Slice Labs, who were able to convince the regulator of the value of their distinct, consumer-driven approaches. By contrast, the best evidence of the impact that a lighter regime can have is Chinese behemoth ZhongAn, which sells 13,000 policies a second. With the freedom to test and deploy products at speed, it has been able to fulfill the needs of a vast and underserved market, and in 2017 raised $1.5bn at a valuation of $10bn.
The success of startups like Lemonade is linked, to an extent, to the nature of its investors; more broadly speaking, this reflects Silicon Valley’s long-established reputation of channelling funds into ventures that show great potential. As Liam Gray, Head of Research and Partnerships at Startupbootcamp InsurTech says, “Investors are making the market in the US, while insurers make the market in Europe”.
In terms of profile, motive, appetite and number, the US still remains the best place to raise large sums of capital. This is demonstrated in terms of total deals and total investment, but the gap is narrowing with European investors such as Accel Partners, Anthemis Group, Octopus Ventures, Partech Ventures and Orange Growth Capital, making significant outlays in the past two years. Investment is also proliferating from within the sector – and across both major geographies – from VC and strategic arms of incumbents including AXA Strategic Ventures, XL Innovate and Munich Re Digital Partners. Also, depending on the stage of the investment – in particular, early stage – London is generally a better place to do InsurTech business given its leading global position as a centre for insurance and for insurance domain expertise.
In parallel, investors are also playing the diversification game, broadly moving away from the US market and its strong focus on healthcare propositions, and towards Europe and Asia.
If the most persistent trend in InsurTech is the move to partner with incumbents (a recent report from Capgemini found that over 90% of insurers included this in their plans), not far behind is the move from traditional to emerging technology and business models including AI (Artificial Intelligence), automation, connected devices (the Internet of Things) and blockchain. This accounts for the lion’s share of investment from a range of sources – including incumbents, looking to build out capabilities that can be leveraged across their existing business operations.
In terms of applications to Startupbootcamp’s London-based InsurTech program, while the focus in 2016 was distribution and consumer-facing propositions, 2017 saw the rapid emergence of value chain, back office, and commercial lines plays – including a four-fold increase in underwriting and loss prediction, and 2018 has seen seen startups targeting a number of different sections within the value chain. Insurance Nexus describes the broader market priorities as “Europe [having] more of a front-end flavour, and those on which North America leads [having] more of a back-end flavour.”
In terms of proposition type, our figures show that approximately 16% of US InsurTechs founded since 2000 can be classed as insurers (including underwriting), compared to at least 20% in Europe. Though there are some notable exceptions in Europe (including UK-based Neos), in the US it is more common for InsurTechs to test and build their own hardware and solutions.
However, Europe appears to be more advanced in terms of disruption driven by customer-centricity, mobile and claims; as a result Europe is positioned, according to Insurance Nexus as “above trend on the IoT-for-insurance adoption curve, at least in terms of current platform implementation”. The UK and Italy lead in this area with their adoption of telematics solutions.
The vast majority of high profile European InsurTechs have already either partnered or intend to partner with an incumbent. The pattern is broadly similar in the US, although depending on the proposition, there are pockets of direct, distribution-driven disruption. Some commentators have suggested, however, that these cases have received disproportionate amounts of publicity because of their exceptional nature.
In terms of total funding by geography, we are seeing a move away from traditional US dominance. In 2016, the US accounted for almost two thirds (63%) of InsurTech deals, with Europe’s big three – Germany, the UK and France – accounting for just 14%. In the first two quarters of 2017, this balance started to redress: the US accounted for just 45% of transactions in Q2 2017 as the total number and volume of funding continued to rise across the globe to almost $1bn. The UK in particular is a hotbed for seed and smaller Series A fundings, accounting for 30% of European market share, with Paris and Berlin next on the list. Experts note that typical deal sizes remain small, due to the maturity of the market; more than 75% of InsurTechs have been founded since 2010.
The most obvious difference between the US and European markets, which impacts upon InsurTech strategy, is distribution. The US remains a largely intermediated personal lines market while Europe (and in particular the UK) features a mix of direct and brokered channels, driven by the emergence of Direct Line in the 1980s, and price comparison websites in the 2000s. With the existence of a direct to consumer channel, experience and engagement are key to differentiate propositions; this has resulted in a more sustained focus on customer centricity, although a number of commentators note the gap is closing.
Part of the reason for this change is because the initial InsurTech front line has materialised, perhaps unsurprisingly given its tangibility, at initial customer touchpoints aiming to reduce friction and improve the user experience. In the aggregation space, for example, this includes SME-focused Next in the US, which raised substantial funding in 2017.
Other emerging business models are impacting distribution on both sides of the Atlantic. This includes Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and customer segmentation offerings like Germany’s Friendsurance and the UK’s Bought By Many, which have changed the way consumers not only fund, but also find their insurance. In parallel, the rise of live agents and chatbots, increasingly deployed via social media channels, means that the key intermediate value-add of advice (and to a lesser extent, convenience) has been rapidly eroded. Crucially, for incumbents, focusing on the consumer touchpoint and emerging technologies, such as AI, unlocks adjacent value (such as claims management), laying the path to profitability. Ultimately, we expect to see the two markets of the US and Europe converge in distribution terms, with the integration of InsurTech partially driving this process.
Product vs Value Chain
On a related note, the twin influences of investor appetite and the distribution landscape has shaped a significant distinction between the US and Europe: the strategic intentions of its InsurTech participants. In the US, challenger brands like Lemonade, Oscar and InsureOn, equipped with larger marketing budgets, are directly pressurising the existing market – in part because its own disruption is less advanced than Europe due to its structural constraints. As a result, on a relative basis we are seeing more full-stack InsurTechs, creating end-to-end products, in the US compared to Europe.
By extension, while the US has traditionally focused on the development of specific revenue-driven products, Europe has a broader mix of InsurTechs attempting to drive efficiency by targeting the value chain. The former features proposition or internet-first business models, while the latter focuses more on underwriting, claims and servicing. The accelerating trend in 2017 was for models that complement or target a specific component in the value chain, and we see this across all markets; Europe, led by the UK, is more advanced in this respect, due to incumbents more readily testing complementary propositions.
More recently, insurers conscious of driving profitability in the short and medium term are focusing on innovations (and InsurTechs) that offer broad applications across the value chain – most notably analytics tools, automation, AI and the IoT. While blockbuster funding raises are led by US propositions, AI and IoT propositions tellingly account for an increasingly large slice of the pie.
In terms of product validation, commentators say that the US is generally less concerned with Proof of Concepts, while Europe is more process driven. “European startups are more focused on delivering quality first,” Gray adds. “It’s generally easier in the US to test and deploy.”
Q1 2017 saw a year-on-year decline in InsurTech funding. This, we observed in Startupbootcamp InsurTech’s Trend Report, could have been symptomatic of the market’s relative youth. In 2016, two thirds of deals were at the Seed or Series A level, suggesting investment dollars have been suppressed by a lack of maturity and scale. It is also likely that some investors have been wary of the potentially inflationary impact of hype on pricing, causing them to temporarily withhold their investment dollars. Recent cases, however, including Lemonade’s $120m Series B raise in December, suggests that may be about to change.
The European market is not only larger in terms of population (750m vs. 350m (including Canada)) but also more mature, as evidenced by the more established partnerships between incumbents and startups and a more evenly spread ecosystem of incubators, accelerators and corporate ventures.
If the InsurTech wave has indeed broken in Europe, it is still rising in the US. “It would… appear that Europe is not so much the most disrupted of our key regions, [but] the longest disrupted,” a report from Insurance Nexus concluded last Autumn.
Historic trends, particularly in the UK regarding distribution, mean that Europe is further along the road in terms of customer centricity. As we have observed, the gradual dissolution of the brokered personal lines model has encouraged the market to innovate with the customer journey and experience.
Observers also note that legacy, while a still heavy burden in Europe, is more of a systemic issue in the US, which has impeded the adoption of new distribution models, and encouraged InsurTech to target this space.
It is expected that partnerships across personal and commercial lines, both external and internal facing cooperation between InsurTechs and incumbents, together with M&A activity (as evidenced with Digital Insurance Group acquiring Knip) will increase in both markets, and in complex areas where corporate sponsorship becomes more established, such as regulation (Europe) and underwriting (the US), VC confidence and activity will grow.
Innovation does not happen in a vacuum, but its characteristics and goals are influenced significantly by the location in which it occurs. While the dominant Western axes appear to be set, and a broad pattern of convergence is occurring between American and European geographies, emerging markets led by Asia – in particular Singapore, China and India – in serving the underserved, and being less encumbered by decades of legacy, could ultimately disrupt the disruptors.
At the end of October, we celebrated the kick-off of our FinTech & CyberSecurity program in Amsterdam and analyzed more than 7000 startups to determine what is next for fintech and cybersecurity in 2018. Three months later, at Demo Day, invited influencers, investors, partners, and mentors had the opportunity to meet the 12 representatives of these trends face to face. The guests could see the future of the industry developing right in front of their eyes.
Demo Day marked the end of the accelerator journey for the 11 startups and 1 Scale-up in Residence selected out of more than 500 international applications.
The event took place at the impressive HQ of our partner Rabobank in Utrecht. The venue provided more than enough space for the guests to mingle and for the teams to showcase their solutions.
Nieke Martens, Head of Digital Hub Rabobank, welcomed the guests on behalf of our partner and host. Program MD Michael Dooijes gave an inspiring presentation about “the winds of change” that help the industry to find a new path for growth – FinTech & CyberSecurity startups and scale-ups. Michael also shared some of the hottest tech trends and talked about facilitating corporate startup collaboration.
Michael Dooijes, Managing Director
After the introductions, it was time for the first pitchers to take the stage. Six companies in the domains of customer loyalty, pension tech, blockchain, cybersecurity, challenger banks, and compliance went on stage:
After a short break, Elias Ghanem, Vice President FINTECH Continental Europe at our partner Capgemini, gave the audience an energy boost by talking about collaborative innovation in the banking industry.
It was a perfect moment for the next pitchers to take the stage. Six more companies in cybersecurity, payment administration, and financial well-being had an opportunity to present their solutions in front of a full audience:
After an inspiring Demo Day finale, the networking began! It was great to see the guests mingling with the teams, sharing contacts, and discussing potential partnerships and pilot programs. Of course, there were also celebratory drinks.
The team of Startupbootcamp is incredibly proud of the 12 teams who have proved they have enough energy, determination, and entrepreneurial spirit to go all the way. We are looking forward to supporting them after the program and beyond when they join our alumni family.
This week in Melbourne, the #sbcEnergyAus team had the luxury of attending Pause Fest 2018. An annual festival held in Melbourne filled with visionaries from all sides of business, creativity and tech. It brings together a varied group of leaders such as NASA, Pixar, Netflix, and Amazon; the platform for the future.
Guy Kawasaki led a Top 10 mistakes of entrepreneurs discussion, ending his lecture with a quote that struck us all, “In a startup you only need 2 things; someone to make it; someone to sell it”.
Here are our top 10 tips to make life a little easier to stay afloat as a startup!
1 Live leanly (we can still pretend you have an office in the top floor of a high-rise )
As a startup funds are limited and it is important to asses where they would be best spent. Use what you have wisely, you don’t need a large office, or elaborate events to impress. If you spend less, you’ll have more to focus your growth on the highest potential activities.
As well as having the funds to take part in surprise opportunities. Innovating your product, creating revenue and taking opportunities should always be priority within your startup.
2. Make it a must to gain customers
This may be reiterated too much, but success from a business comes from sales. If people are buying what you are putting out, that means good publicity and money in the door for your startup. The quicker you obtain a steady flow of interest and customers, the faster you’ll be able to take off and ultimately scale.
Create a solid brand and get it out there. Take advantage of free social media advertising, we find Twitter works best for us. Connect wisely with potential investors, customers and maybe even future employees. Be proud of your organisation and it’s mission; tell everyone about it! Publicity will always help you pave your path to success.
4. Never stop learning
When growing your business from the bottom it’s hard to know what exactly needs to be done, and how long it will take. As one project finishes, new ideas surface or are created within another project. There is always something to gain from a certain experience, and to learn. You think you may know everything, but I’m sure you will soon realise there’s always fresh information to be learned to help you continue to capitalize on your business.
5. Familiarise yourself with the difference between experience and talent
When looking for potential employee’s, experience is key. While talent is valuable, experience gives you stability, and promise for success. Startups will be thankful for that kind of comfortability when trying to grow their expertise.
6.Accept when it’s not working and take the criticism
Startups become immensely close with their business and the products they are creating, it’s their passion. It’s crucial to keep in mind that there will be unforeseen changes down the road. Do what’s best for the company by focusing on what the customer wants, what the market needs and what you have funds for. Learn and grow from criticism and use that fuel to shape it into your vision with the tools you’ve learned.
7. Become familiar with your community (fangirl a little)
Be an active member of your startups community. Find out who has become successful and learn from them. Make connections with big or small corporations if they could further your education in the field or help grow your resources. Paint an image of who, and what your startup stands for and immerse yourselves in the field’s culture.
8. Don’t accept if you can’t deliver
When entering into a contract always go in with 100% confidence that you will be able to deliver. If you believe it’s not within your reach don’t be afraid to negotiate your terms to what could benefit both you and your client. Allow yourself to be realistic about what you can obtain at the time and choose the plan that will help you grow, succeed and discover new opportunities at a pace that your startup can perform the best at. Customers want your success as much as you do.
9. Be excited about your startup and product
Late nights, no sleep, failed attempts and little activity can catch up to you. It’s absolutely vital to stay positive about what you are doing and to remember why you started in the first place. Being successful doesn’t come overnight or without setbacks but it’s not fair to give up on yourself or the team at the first hurdle. If you remain driven and passionate it will run off on your whole team and potential investors.
10. Set your goals high
Set your goals high, that there are endless amounts of opportunities waiting for you and that while there may be changes along the process continue to grow your connections. If you think your business will fail, it will. Keep your plans and objectives realistic, but set the bar high because anything is possible!
Every startup comes with its own set of challenges to overcome and while everyone’s circumstances may differ, they share one common goal of succeeding in making a difference. It’s how you decide to conquer those obstacles, that creates your platform for the future.
12 Startupbootcamp FinTech & CyberSecurity Teams Celebrate Their Demo Day
Amsterdam, 9 February 2018 – Yesterday, Startupbootcamp FinTech & CyberSecurity – the first global growth program focusing on FinTech and CyberSecurity, hosted their second Demo Day at Rabobank Headquarters in Utrecht. 11 international startups and 1 scale-up showcased their innovative ideas in front of 400+ startup and tech influencers, mentors, partners, and investors.
The journey of the 12 teams started in September when they were selected out of more than 500 applicants from 73 countries. The companies then went through an intense 3-months growth program in Amsterdam, starting off on 30th of October 2017.
New partnerships and milestones were announced by a number of startups, including more than 2.5 million euros of combined investments already committed so far. Throughout the program, the teams were mentored by a network of leading entrepreneurs, top executives, and investors, and received support from Startupbootcamp partners, such as Rabobank, ING, ABN AMRO, Moneyou, PGGM, De Volksbank, Achmea, Nationale Nederlanden, PwC, Vivat, Capgemini, Comsec, and de Nationale Politie.
The startups and scaleups cover various aspects of services and verticals, ranging from Pension Tech, Customer Loyalty, Challenger Banks, Financial Well-Being, to BlockChain, and CyberSecurity. These technologies cover major elements of the future of the financial services industry.
Michael Dooijes, Managing Director of the FinTech & CyberSecurity program commented: “Both FinTech and CyberSecurity are the hottest areas of startup innovation and investor focus. They are at the heart of huge industries, which will transform in the coming years, and we are all a part of that. The teams have made a huge progress in the past 3 months. It has been an exciting ride to watch them sign new partners and new customers. Some of them have already raised a significant investment. We deeply believe in the transformative power these startups have.”
According to the startups, the Startupbootcamp network gave them an opportunity to accelerate and collaborate with some of the corporate leaders in their industry:
“The great Startupbootcamp ecosystem helps us to scale up in a market that is evolving. It brings you in contact with the right people within big corporates.” (FINBASE, NETHERLANDS)
“Startupbootcamp was a great opportunity to connect with large corporations that have an interest in innovation and working with startups. Being able to reach so many companies in a short time was invaluable and allowed us to hone our product and strategy.” (GYOMO, USA)
“It’s a bubble. Moving to Amsterdam and be engaged with your own business 24/7 is a great experience. Startupbootcamp facilitates an environment where you can meet experienced entrepreneurs and interesting corporates. KlippaCast just completed a €100k Leapfunder campaign, within 3 weeks.” (KLIPPACAST, NETHERLANDS)
The startups will now put their names in the spotlight of the FinTech and CyberSecurity sector and continue to be supported by the Startupbootcamp Global Alumni growth program, which connects close to 600 startups worldwide.
Now it is time for these new ventures to continue to capitalize on the exposure of their Demo Day, validate their business models and execute their growth plans by working closely with their stakeholders.
Meet the Teams:
Dolphin Blockchain Intelligence (Russia) ICO database and analysis platform to support investors in making quick and informed decisions. INSIGHT: Received a lot of traction amongst private investors, funds, and corporates in the Netherlands.
FinCom (Israel) A developed proprietary technology that ensures compliance for KYC, AML & GDPR privacy by using phonetics and AI to match entries across any database even if misspelled and in 23 different languages. INSIGHT: Developed the only technology in the world based upon phonetics which enables to combine databases, match entries across languages and eliminate human error.
Gyomo (USA) Gyomo utilizes just-in-time training, that combines machine learning, gamification, and crowdsourcing to deliver training right when people need it most – when they’ve clicked on a suspicious link. INSIGHT: Through the SBC partner connections with companies like Vivat, Rabobank, PGGM, de Volksbank, Capgemini and ABN Amro, Gyomo was able to learn more about the Dutch market. The big difference is that the US market is more interested in security over the product.
Hatch (Great Britain) A Smart Financial Platform for the Self-employed with credit scoring at its core and a banking experience that feels more like Facebook. INSIGHT: Being in such close proximity to a perfect crop of potential partners from the likes of ABN Amro to Capgemini has been invaluable for both validation and expediting traction.
KlippaCast (Netherlands) Solving the paper receipt chaos. Unlocking data potential and making administration seamless. INSIGHT: Just completed a successful 100k euros Leapfunder funding campaign within 3 weeks.
OpSeeker (Spain) An online financial coach that empowers young people to have money for a lifetime. INSIGHT: They are signing agreements with two of the largest financial institutions in the Netherlands (Vivat and Rabobank) and have been able to meet with another handful of them during the program.
Penstable (Denmark) Offers Europe’s first pension alternatives exclusively based on sustainable investments. INSIGHT: Collaborated with some of the leading pension and insurance companies in Europe on creating an engaging and interesting digital experience for pension customers.
Stampwallet (Curacao, NL) We make your loyals feel like royals and help you gain access to real-time insights and data through our loyalty transaction platform for B2B and B2C. INSIGHT: Signed agreements with 3 big companies during the program and working on partnerships with established names in the Netherlands.
Treasury Delta (Ireland) A lead generating platform for commercial banks to grow their domestic market share and penetrate new markets. INSIGHT: Successfully put in place a number of commercial agreements to refine the value proposition and product offering for both banks and corporates.
Vision Tech Lab (Portugal) Distributed deception platform that identifies internal attackers and inhibits their methods using powerful AI technology. INSIGHT: Awarded a certificate of excellence by the European Commission, and now working with Dutch banks and insurance companies to develop pilots to integrate into their security policies.
Westgate (Great Britain) Virtual networks which are incredibly simple to setup and tear down, allowing organizations to collaborate efficiently and securely with minimal hassle. INSIGHT: Collaborating with the corporate partners on a workshop, and now looking at how their technology can support one of the largest fintech hackathons in the Netherlands later this year.
FinBase, MijnGeldzaken.nl (Scale-Up, Netherlands) Helping employees and consumers understand their personal finances so they can make well-informed decisions in private life and career. INSIGHT: Winner of several awards, mentioned in a number of corporate labor agreements.
Notes For Editors
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Egypt-based fintech startup Moneyfellows has raised a $600,000 investment from a group of investors led by Dubai Angel Investors and 500 Startups, the company’s founder Ahmed Wadi revealed. With the investment, the company has raised $800,000 since it was founded in 2015.
WePower, the blockchain-based green energy trading platform, announces today that it has successfully raised $40 million from the 22,933 contributors during its ICO, making it one of the most demanded blockchain projects of the year. WePower was also selected to join Australia’s Startupbootcamp Energy Australia Accelerator. As part of the SBC Energy Australia program, WePower will be supported by some of the biggest energy companies in Australia, including Energy Australia and Spotless.
Penta, the German ‘challenger’ bank that offers a digital bank account targeting SMEs, has raised €2.2 million in funding. The seed round is led by Inception Venture Capital, a new London-based VC firm with a heavy fintech focus, and will be used for further hiring, product development and to fuel growth.