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NDRC FinTech Day 4

Guest blog by Thomas Duignan

With a huge day in store for all teams, the start of the second half of NDRC FinTech left nothing to be desired. Once some quick team updates were shared, Venture Investment Leader at NDRC, Fergus O’Dea, took the fourth module of the programme, Market Opportunity. As investment pitches are due in two weeks, the teams were able to get insight into the working minds of VCs, showing teams how to analyse and understand their markets.

Brett Meyers, Founder and CEO of Currency Fair was this week’s ‘Lunch + Learn’ guest entrepreneur. Brett spoke passionately about the lessons he learned from building his own start-up and encouraged teams to focus on iterating their product and the customer journey.

In this week’s blog we introduce two more of the fintech teams, Step2 and Robo Retirement. Adam O’Brien, CEO of Step2, is looking to put his years of experience in Financial Services to give his venture the best possible chance of success during the pre-accelerator

“Step2 is a digital security verification and authentication start-up focused on the customer experience, while balancing necessary security levels for financial institutions. I am a four-year veteran of the Financial Services industry with a diverse background from Fine Arts to Cloud Computing. I applied to the NDRC because of its remarkable track record supporting start-ups, it’s amazing staff and resources. NDRC provides the real rigor and pressure that I want to apply to my start-up idea to see if Step2 can become a leading player in the world of FinTech security.”

Stephen Dowling, idea owner of Robo Retirement, is addressing problems with pension investment and retirement plans using an interactive digital platform.
Robo Retirement is a digital rich experience that recommends and manages globally diversified portfolios of ETF investments at a low cost to the mass market, helping address the pension time-bomb. Designed to support people meet their investment goals and educate them on their retirement strategy, we use gamification to engage the consumer. I have 25 years financial services experience including trading high yield bonds in London and have led high calibre teams managing a €10bn capital markets portfolio in an IFSC bank, and providing fundamental financial advice to more than 1,400 customers. As part of his completion of the IMI’s executive Digital Business Diploma, I am currently researching a blueprint on Robo Advisers. The NDRC FinTech pre-acceleration programme provides an innovation experience that will help validate how to successfully launch Robo Retirement in Ireland.
As in Week 2, Week 4 brought a return of the ‘Mentor Panel Office Hours’ where industry and domain experts provided support and guidance to the teams in a speed mentoring fromat. These included David Tighe, Head of Innovation, Bank of Ireland; Alan Lynch, Programme Director of the Graduate Business School at Griffith College; Liam McKenna, Partner at Mazars; Jerry O’Sullivan, IT Change Lead at Aviva; Eavann Murphy, Chief Commercial Officer at eir; Dermot Byrne, CTO/CIO at Payzone IRL ; Keith Fingleton, Chief Technology Officer of Financial Services at IDA; Petrina Leslie, Payments Development Manager at eShopWorld; Peter O’Halloran, Vice President & General Manager at First Data Corporation; Don O’Leary, Head of EU Operations at Stripe; and Amy Neale, Vice President & Business Leader of MasterCard.

Next week we will be working on Pitch Preparation, pulling together all of the programme insights and preparing the teams for presentation at the finale showcase on Wednesday, 7th December 2016. If you would like to attend, please register here
https://ndrcfintech.eventbrite.ie