I work with forward-thinking financial services companies to help them navigate the fintech ecosystem. I provide strategic advice on how to build a partnership-driven innovation strategy.
Welcome to the future...and it's all about partnering
Let's face it if you're a financial services industry incumbent the future of your organisation is reliant on how quickly you're able to innovate. The challenge is that your organisation isn't geared for disruptive innovation.
You've done your research and you probably realise that the best way to accelerate your internal innovation efforts is to partner with fintech startups. As you already know, working with true innovators can be a 'win-win' and the best way for an organisation to bring true innovation into the building.
FSIs used to be built to last. Now, they have to be built to change.
Totally agree. But how?
There is a sea of startups out there. Everything from early-stage (the proverbial 2 people in a garage) through to growth-stage companies (who could've been funded by your competitors and are already working with them!). It can be a minefield figuring out who to work with. Beyond this, it's incredibly resource-intensive. Just doing a desktop market scan can take weeks and then meeting with companies and building a relationship... well that can take months.
If you get through those initial hurdles starting to actually engage with companies can prove to be even more challenging. For example, how do you set the appropriate expectations for what working together might look like, how do you benchmark them against what others are doing in the industry and how do you work through structuring a relationship.
The reality is you need a guide to help you navigate the fintech ecosystem - a GPS to work out which way to head and, more importantly, how to get there.
What I've done
I've helped a range of the Aussie big 4 banks, governments, ASX and NASDAQ listed companies as their GPS for building a partnership centric strategy.
Specifically, I've helped incumbents to:
- build, from the ground up, strategies on how they can begin to engage with the full gambit of fintech startups - everything from early stage investments right through to working with scale ups who have raised millions of dollars in capital;
- build ecosystem cred and position their brand as the go-to ecosystem partner;
- build a partnering mentality in the organisation that permeates from the highest levels of the company down to the junior ranks;
- build an 'A-Z startup partnering' strategy - the internal partnership bible at a FSI;
- source and vet startups to partner with;
- build POCs to show internal stakeholders what a partnership can look and feel like.
Basically, if you have an innovation roadblock or just don't know where to start, I can work with you to forge a strategy and a tactical plan to meaningfully move the needle on innovation through partnerships.
Innovation is hard. But it's not impossible
I'm not going to lie, innovation is hard in a monolithic incumbent financial institution. But it's not impossible. In most instances, organisations just need some outside help to guide their efforts in the right direction.
Also, having some tried and true tactics alongside a deep network of startups to be able to tap can be an amazing asset to any organisation. It's a journey and you need a trusted partner to help you get to your destination in the most cost and time-efficient manner possible.
How I work
Don't worry, I'm not a big 4 accounting firm or a global consulting shop. I'm not here to run up the WIP on a project (if you know, you know 😉). I'm here to help your organisation become a disruptive innovator.
Also, I work one-on-one with my clients. If you engage me you'll work with me and only me - directly. No other partners, directors, senior consultants, consultants or interns to speak to.
In terms of timing, I'm usually brought in to work on discrete projects and I generally only work with 4 clients a year - so the best time to engage me is 2-3 months before a project kicks off. Having said this, I can 'Winston Wolf' in to work on a challenging problem at short notice - just let me know what your timing looks like and I'll make it work.
Do you work with startups?
To be honest, I generally don't work with startups as consulting clients. Having said this, there are always exceptions. So feel free to reach out!
For context, historically, the main exception to this rule has been large inbound fintech startups looking to enter the Aussie market. If you have a global footprint and are looking to expand into Australia I'd be happy to help you plan a market entry strategy.
In the past, I've worked with large ventured backed startups doing an Aussie market scan to work through whether Australia is a market that could work for their product. The engagement can be everything from a single call right through to establishing a presence in Australia.
How do we get started?
Let's connect over a coffee to chat about how we can work together. This is an obligation-free chat.
The next step is usually a discovery workshop where we work through the details of an engagement - and what the first steps will be in us working together. Also, this will give you a sense of whether we're a good fit for the project.
After the discovery workshop, I'll be able to come up with a game plan for the first sprint. This usually takes 2-5 days. Then we're off to the races!