Today is my birthday. After New Years this is probably the best day for One to take a step back and think about what we are doing with our life at the moment and what the goal is for the following years. I have a clear “five year plan” in my mind: to launch my own FinTech company.
During my Masters program in 2012/13 I had already written a business plan for a crowdfunding idea and was considering to dive deeper into this opportunity after my studies. Luckily, as I would say now, plans have changed and I joined figo instead. The last years have been quite a ride and I couldn’t be happier and prouder of what we have achieved so far (and no end in sight ?). I know the FinTech startup world is where I belong and I also know that I will be launching my own startup at one point. In my position at figo I am working on a daily basis with some very smart developers and entrepreneurs who are about to launch new companies. This is not just very inspiring but is also ensuring that I am not losing track of my own goal to launch a FinTech company.
That’s why I was quite unhappy when I was reading this week the article “Please don’t start a FinTech startup”:
What was the article about? The title says it all. The author lists the high amounts of required capital, regulation, high customer expectation for security and other things as reasons not to start a FinTech company. We all know that these are the characteristics of the financial service industry and are not wrong at all. But does that allow to conclude that no one should start a FinTech startup? I hope you join me in my disagreement with the author.
Starting a company is never easy, even the author of the article agrees with that: “launching any startup is crushingly difficult”. Is FinTech an easy industry for entrepreneurs to succeed? Definitely not. But choosing the easiest industry to enter for your startup is probably also not the right approach. If it’s hard for you, it is most likely also for others. It’s called entry barriers. And if you decide not to launch a company in FinTech, healthcare and insurance are also out of scope. But exactly these industries need innovation from outside. The incumbents have failed in that matter and new players are required to improve our life in that regard.
That is the reason I wanted to request the author of the article and everyone else: don’t label financial service industry as a non-worthy industry for entrepreneurs. It is definitely not. The industry is going through a massive change thanks to new regulations and technology and the impact of this will be similar to the ones in other industries.
And personally, I believe FinTech does not only need more new players but also more players without industry experience. Yes, I hear you saying that you cannot succeed as a FinTech company without industry knowledge. But that doesn’t mean that everyone in every FinTech company needs a background in financial services. A little less suits and a little more like this could probably speed up the industry even faster 😉
The industry needs more entrepreneurs. And don’t be fooled, starting a FinTech venture is promising! I will definitely do so. Not yet but when I think the time is right (despite knowing that the time is never right). Until then I am hoping to support as many entrepreneurs as possible to kickstart their idea with our banking API.