By now is public knowledge I am no longer with the SBT Venture Capital fund, as Anna rightly pointed out. It looks like I am not the only one moving to new endeavours.
I suppose it’s understandable, now that FinTech has become so hype and witnessing its rise from the very beginning, I am ok with experimenting more. Actually I am not done yet in figuring all of it.
I would like to start by being grateful and mindful of the great change that SBT brought to my professional life, understanding what I love and skilful for and what makes my brain sleep and my motivation down.
2015 was also the first year of FinTechStage, built from scratch in January, and with 3 events in Milan, Barcelona and Buenos Aires, I discovered a way to bring the FinTech community together in a way that gives me energy and the willingness to do more. The program for 2016 starts with Luxembourg, then Italy again, Spain again, and will add few cities which will be announced soon.
Related to FinTech there is something else in the making : TALNT.pro
I realized that there is a growing need for short term, very focused and talented FinTech expertise that traditional players are struggling to find. Few experiments led me to think that an almost 10 years old network in this field is an invaluable asset to help filling the gap. I am sharing this in total opened knowing the only thing done is the intention and a kick ass domain name, but we will launch it in one of our next FTS events.
Another great chapter started at the end of last year is my advisory role for The Omidyar Network, which reveals to be a fascinating experience.
The quest for sector impact investments, the approach to financial inclusion and financial wellness both in emerging and developed markets and a structure that is build to bring so much more than money to the invested companies – I only collaborate with the for profit financial inclusion business of ON, but there is also a very articulate work done by the foundation arm – is not only a huge learning experience in this vertical FinTech space, but also a discovery journey on how financial inclusion is not only about rural areas of third world countries but extremely relevant to the rest of the world as well.
It looks like the pace of the talks, the coaching and more and more short term consulting mission I am called to deliver is not slowing down, amid I am mindful of the fact that some rationalisation of it should take place. I am not very good to say “no” or maybe I underestimate what it actually means to say too many “yes” and I would say this is a clear learning pattern for me to chase, this year.
I am WOL – Writing Out Loud – right now, but maybe I should privilege and focus on missions and engagements targeted to build communities, rather than commercial workshops serving a specific brand ?
There is also a easily spotted gap in the FinTech VC space in Europe. Many CVC from large banks have either morphed in a more strategic and less capital risk philosophy, whilst mid-sized banks are either passive or have little means to engage with the FinTech startups.
In every transition period, the best way is to start listening, carefully, starting by listening to yourself and pay attention to those little sign that might help you choosing your next mission.
This is what I am doing right now : start engaging with what seems to be either most promising or too interesting to let go.
My corporate life seems decades ago and it’s only a little more that 2 years since I have decided to completely change my professional settings. I take this as something amazingly positive.
So more than ever, stay tuned!