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NDRC FinTech Day 2

Guest blog by Thomas Duignan

After all the ‘hustle and bustle’ brought by a fast and furious day 1, the second day of NDRC FinTech further stepped up the ante. Once Helen informed the teams of the agenda for the day, David Scanlon took to the podium to give the second module of the program, Value Proposition. Drawing on his experience as a Venture Investment Leader with the NDRC, the teams were able to refine the techniques involved in customer identification, whilst gaining clarity over the problems that they’re trying to solve. The teams were then allocated time to put these lessons into practice.

As part of this series we’ll be giving an insight into background of each of the finalists. In this week’s edition, we’re giving an insight into Hublio and Split. First up today is Hublio, who’s owner Raphael believes in the power of current technologies to disrupt the financial market:

“We live in a world where we can do almost anything and immediately on our mobile devices, but insurers and financial service providers are lagging behind.
Hublio uses a mix of Artificial Intelligence, behavioural theory and qualified advisors to tell you if you’re over- or under-insured, whether you have duplicate or missing cover or financial products, and whether you can get the products you have or need at a better price somewhere else. I worked the past 16 years as an Enterprise IT consultant, and I hold a Master of Sciences in Enterprise & IT Architecture. The NDRC FinTech pre-accelerator helps us re-iterate on our idea, and gain access to domain experts and mentors, preparing ourselves for future funding rounds.”

Kevin Sands, a recent graduate of TCD, is looking to make the most of the outstanding resources on hand during the program at the NDRC:

“We are enabling and empowering customers to counteract the information symmetry and disintermediate the traditional real estate transaction. We are a full service provider who facilitate buyers and sellers to interact directly, on a simplified, transparent platform. I am 22 years old, recent graduate from Trinity College business school. I applied for the NDRC to surround my humble concept with the best and brightest from a diverse range of industries, who are passionate about trying to reinventing an industry ripe for disruption.”

This weeks ‘Lunch & Learn’ session included Geraldine Gibson, CEO of AQMetrics, who spoke about her journey as she built her startup in the Fintech ecosystem.

“It takes pure resilience and commitment. It’s about a rock solid vision, rock solid business plan and rock solid team. The team is key, to plough through the tough times with you” – Geraldine Gibson


As mentioned in last week’s blog, the true power of the programs run by the NDRC are evident in the great pantheon of mentors available to those participating on the program. After Geraldine’s encapsulating talk, the teams were humbled by the presence of Gene Murphy, Entrepreneur in Residence at Bank of Ireland; John Byrne, Faculty of Business at Griffith College; Richard Walsh, CEO of FPAI; Charles Dowd, CEO of Plynk; Dolores Geaney, Head of Compliance at Investec; Alan Meaney, CEO of Funds Recs; Barry McCarthy, CEO Assure Hedge; Arun Neemlamkavil, Investment Management at Deloitte; and Eddie Meaney, Head of Business Development Underwriting at IPB Insurance; all on hand to pass on their vast knowledge and experience. Just as difficult decisions have to be made in the life-cycle of a startup, tough decisions had to be made here as well. The idea owners, although spoiled for choice, had to handpick a maximum of 6 mentors to talk to their teams.

The mentor sessions were given a comprehensive endorsement by the teams as they reaped the benefits from picking the brains of the best in the fintech business. Speaking to the mentors after the session, they were similarly impressed with the quality and passion of all the teams.

After the highly insightful mentor hour, Camille Blackburn from the Central Bank of Ireland gave an outstanding presentation on the role and relevance of the regulator in the financial ecosystem, and the benefits for consumers emerging from regulation.

Before the day was drawn to a close, Gary Leyden, Commercial Director with NDRC, told the teams to focus on what is really important – customers. He emphasized the importance of exercising their lessons over the fortnight by getting out of the building to “validate, validate and validate” their business ideas with their target customer segment.

With saturated brains about all things ‘startup’ and Fintech, the teams were then able put the knowledge to work as they planned for the week ahead. With a new agenda set out for week 3, all teams went home energized and with new perspectives on the potential of their ventures.