SAVE THE DATE - APPLICATIONS AND PARTNRESHIP OPPORTUNITIES OPENING SOON!

Category Archives: Fintech Interviews and Podcasts

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15): Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation

Share

NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019

EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski

About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy!

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guests:

  • KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn)
  • JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view)

BIOGRAPHIES:

Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The success of TCF has led to Kate being asked to join the Chamber of Digital Commerce Token Alliance, seen her featured on the international podcast Creating Wealth with Jason Hartman, been included in multiple industry articles, and served as a guest speaker at events around the world.

Jason Sosnowski is a full-stack developer with experience across a range of technologies. He leverages his deep knowledge of leading-edge technologies to bring robust, scalable, lasting solutions to complex and evolving business solutions. His expertise includes blockchain (Bitcore, Ethreum, Hyperledger), serverless (AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions), machine learning (TensorFlow), artificial intelligence (TensorFlow), and cloud services like AWS, Azure, Alibaba Cloud and Google Cloud Platform. Jason’s solutions are grounded in best practices for security and compliance and he works with a variety of languages that include Javascript, Python, Ruby and Node on the server side as well as React, Vue, and WordPress for front end.

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2


Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan : Jason and Kate thank you so much for joining me today.

Kate Guimbellot: Absolutely. Thanks for having us

Jason Sosnowski:   Our pleasure.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. So, I'm going to make this a free ball question so for the fans could just give us a rundown of essentially who you guys are and what the travel coin foundation is?

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah absolutely. So, you know the Travel Coin Foundation, we're a not for profit we're based out of London, England but because we're a global foundation our team members are all over the place. Jason is in Toronto where I know you are. I'm actually in Kansas in the U.S. So, we travel the world and this whole foundation came out of the belief system knowledge system that. You know why we are here. Why is any one of us here. And for us it's about leaving a deposit not taking a withdrawal so that when we pass, we will have left something behind we will have made a difference and we do that because we believe that travel is the one of the biggest things that can solve the division that we see in the world. If you travel at all in particular if you travel out of your own country. You very quickly realize how much more alike we are than different. And so, with that mindset the question was Well what keeps people from traveling. You know some of those things that you get fluctuating exchange rates, or you land in an airport and there's no Wi-Fi or you have loyalty points at the Radisson, fifty thousand points at Radisson but it doesn't help you a bit if you're trying to put something on Delta or. You know. All of those sorts of things and that's really what the foundation was born out of is a desire to help solve the issues that travelers face so that we can allow travel to be an easier experience to get people out of their comfort zones and around the world. And it comes from Jason and I are partnered with Lisa who is our chief operations officer and all three of us have spent decades on our own both personally and professionally traveling the world. So, all three of us love it. Jason's been to I've been to every all but six countries that I can ever find. Jason how many of you been to?

Jason Sosnowski: I am now one hundred and thirty-one.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah. So that's really what it comes out of.

Manseeb Khan : Wow. I've only been to L.A. That's it. I don't travel much.

Kate Guimbellot: We're going we're going to open the world to you. So yeah really what it's about is when we travel around even now, I go to a country that I haven't been to in a decade or I go somewhere that I've never been before. And you know people who don't travel think Oh my God I don't know what I would do I don't speak the language I don't understand the culture. It doesn't matter. You get there and you realize that everyone just wants to be happy. They want to have a good job they want to have fun with their friends their family. They want to raise their children and they want to leave the world better. And that's what that's what the foundation's focuses is to help make that happen.

Manseeb Khan : I love the idea that you guys are kind of like I'll stick with the Radisson and Delta example. I mean you're having all these like airlines and like hotels like team up and like have their own little groups of like be it benefits like hey look if you travel us you get this this and this the fact that you guys are kind of like combining everything and kind of like hey like this is what might give us a bit more of a conjoined experience was it the point of traveling is to like have more or less like a sense of purpose. See  the world and understand the world a little better get a little bit more worldly get a little bit more culture and see like how you started off the show hey you know we're all the exact same. You know like if it's like for like me and Jason here in Toronto you're in Kansas with the exact same people were very similar, similar experiences, similar pains what may have you and the fact that just bringing that together and making that much more accessible for everybody that's in and of itself is pretty freaking incredible.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah, we're very one we're very proud of what we're doing we're very excited about it and it has taken a level of bravery I've got to be honest from the beginning. We've had a lot of naysayers and we've been around over a year but that first six months was pretty painful. Wouldn't you say Jason?

Jason Sosnowski:  it was challenging for sure.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah because you have to stand in your own truth you know and when you say to someone Look our foundation is going to raise funds and we're going to help bring Wi-Fi free Wi-Fi to the entire globe because we believe that Wi-Fi is a right not a luxury. And people kind of go Oh yeah right. OK. So, like no we are doing it. I mean we're having conversations right now with a company in Africa that gets Wi-Fi to place in Africa that have been up till now unreachable. And we're also working with some of the biggest names out there who are working on the satellite systems that will do that that will canvas the earth with Wi-Fi signal. So, we've had big dreams that we know we're going to continue to focus on and things like that loyalty point system you know in the US and Canada. I know the average is 21 to 23 loyalty point programs people belong to any one individual. And we just feel that there has to be a way to give people an exchange area where they can go in and put in those fifty thousand Radisson points to be able to turn them into Delta points. So big things are that we plan on solving that can that list continues to grow. And it's just really nice to kind of get to this point and be able to say you know look we're achieving what we set out to do because that first six months we didn't have a lot of people standing beside us in belief right.

Manseeb Khan : So I mean before I jump in to a little bit because you guys do have a ICO I think Jason might be a little bit better to go and a little bit of nitty gritty to that would mean you talked on the phone like you mentioned how like you haven't done podcasts like six months and how much you've grown I like how you guys the route you guys took is  so much more unconventional than the rest. Could you just like talk on that a little bit more and just give the audience and me because like I'm obviously very intrigued of like how you've too much deviated from  everybody else and kind of like built allow building this amazing company.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah absolutely. I'll give you the highlight and then yeah Jason is just absolutely brilliant when most brilliant minds I've ever known. And he can he can tell you kind of the revolutionary tech side of it but in essence you know ICO is I know you're  surely aware of is you know raised the most amount of money and the least amount of time. Right that's the whole point. And so those ICOs tend to come in and go out within hours or days or weeks that no more than a couple months. But from the very beginning we decided that we were going to utilize that ICO and bring it to real people not a handful of millionaires or you know. A. Slightly larger group of people who do this all the time. We want a global community of real people like you and me who can put in up to five hundred dollars, a five-hundred-dollar cap on becoming a subscriber that you can get up to five hundred dollars invested, and it's become part of that ICO. And so, we know we need a time and what we did is we built our ICO out over a 26-trench schedule and each tranche which happens about every four weeks or when that tranche runs out a coin, we release the next tranche of coin and we are bringing. It up from a deeply discounted value that started at a penny. And at the end of twenty-six tranches when it goes public it will have reached a dollar. So. This has not been about getting as much money in the door as we can. This is about enlisting people in our belief of what we want to achieve and doing it globally. And we would love to reach up to a million global community people around the world by the end of that 26 tranche and that global community is. Is the success of travel coin. It's why we sit here now. In tranche 19 headed to tranche 20. So just six months away from the end of this ICO process and we have. Tens of thousands of people around the world who each hold a travel coin because they see the vision, they want to be a part of it. And it's been built so beautifully. So that's what I was referring to in the very beginning people just kind of shook their heads and said that's not how you do it. That's not how it works. And we were like Yeah, we know but. You know one of the issues in the world with digital currency and the countries that are pushing back against it is this fear of people losing everything they own. You know in a pump and dump or something like that and we wanted to do this with complete integrity and transparency and safety. No one's going to lose their hats at five hundred dollars per person. So that's really been the revolutionary approach and it's been really great after a year being able to say to people see it's working, and Jason saw you chime in because you built the system. I mean you're the brains behind it.

Jason Sosnowski: Yeah absolutely. When we started people were calling us crazy. They were saying how can you do this this is what an ICO is about. You know this isn't how it's supposed to happen, and we just like to reiterate what you said there Kate we just decided we're going to do things differently and be open and show everyone how they can be a part of it and that's that was the other point that you made. Kate that was really important to us where it's not about a few millionaires or a few whales getting in and doing a pump and dump or something like that and snapping up all of the assets or funding a specific project because they were big investors or something like that. It was about actually bringing others into the tank as well as into the community that we were building so and making it accessible. We've done that both by the ICO and through our corporate or corporate partners as well.

Kate Guimbellot: And that's been a big part of it. You know we very early on we connected with a company who became our first and is still our biggest and most supportive corporate sponsor someone who saw what we wanted to do. They were starting off themselves. There is a company called my travel biz. They're a global company. They're dedicated to travel. They are opening up the world through a travel product that they have, and they support us. They acquire travel coin and it gets awarded to their reps around the world and so that has helped to build that community as well. What it's done is one we've been able to take market share and get a name recognition literally around the world. So, we have subscribers in over 50 countries in the last year, but it's allowed us to go from that proof of concept and for a long time I talked about as being in proof of life you know as we existed through those first 12 months but now, we're able to talk about proof of success. So even before travel coin goes public the success and the adoption of it have allowed two really huge things for us and one it was a surprise. I'll get to that in a second, but the first thing is we've been able to develop out a merchant program because so imagine if you had been one of those people a year ago who got travel coin. Well great but now it's just sitting there you can't do anything with it. And that takes a lot of patience to wait twenty-six months before you can actually utilize something that you've invested in. And so, Jason built really a revolutionary secondary market where within our close community they were able to buy and sell trade basically their coin. So that was massive. So, it gave them a use if they wanted to trade some they could. The other thing that we that we've done though is we've built out a merchant program. So, I mentioned our corporate sponsor. We now have in excess of 30 companies that want to be involved in travel coin. And so as a merchant they subscribe which means they just sign up they get their electronic wallet and they're now selling their wares and their services in countries all over the world where if you're a travel coin holder you can go in and through our electronic wallet which Jason beautifully built he and his team you can not only get a discount on their product but they will accept a certain percentage of your payment in travel point. So, it's still a close community. It's not a public coin but that whole approach has been crazy. And that's something that is really only doable because of the way in which Jason built the system. And then secondary to that what it's allowed us to do is we've actually just recently launched our first public coin that did not go through an ICO process. It's called Travel coin plus and it's an open exchange right now. That was really that, I'm so jazzed about that I'm not going to steal Jason's thunder because he's got to tell you what makes this so different, but we could not have done travel coin plus had we not taken this slow and steady wins the race approach to travel coin. So, Jason you share what travel point plus looks like. That's I'm very proud of that.

Jason Sosnowski: You know everything you said is spot on travel coin plus is sort of the it's a different asset from travel coin and travel and plus is a publicly available sort of a traditional cryptocurrency where it's in the open market it's not through a. ICO it's available to anybody who wants to acquire it  we're on 2 exchanges at the moment and we're working with a number of others to be on the additional exchanges. But travel coin plus is a sort of a hybrid between a public and a private digital asset in that travel coin. We've launched a private block chain that solves a lot of the problems that are faced by traditional public walk chains, but we provide public access to it. And that's really a step in a really different direction because a purist maybe in the cryptocurrency space would say well that's not really a crypto currency because it's controlled in a secure environment and it's not fully decentralized in the traditional, the way we might traditionally think about it from a technical perspective where it's fully decentralized but the way that we govern travel coin Foundation. First off, we only trade if we have travel point plus which we do we only trade our travel point plus in a very transparent manner. So, we have an announcement. And if we're going to be selling travel coin plus. But we have a what is called a proof of authority network as opposed to a proof of work network. And if you've ever done a cryptocurrency transaction when there is a lot of transactions on the network say last year when I don't if you've ever heard of crypto kitties.

Manseeb Khan :  I know Crypto kitties very well.

Jason Sosnowski: Crypto kitties it virtually ground the ethereal network to a halt and that really exposed a massive issue with it's not just the Ethereum network but with all cryptocurrency with a lot of crypto currencies whereby especially powerful work ones where if that work happens and there's a lot of transactions and there's not a fast mechanism to verify those transactions. Then the cost goes up and you know at one point you know transactions were costing fifty dollars on  bitcoin at one point. And the sort of antithesis of the value of crypto currency if you think about it where I can move tens of thousands of dollars or you know virtually unlimited amount to value cross-border. Person to person anywhere in the world. Normally I can do it for pennies but all of a sudden bitcoin was costing 55 60 65 70 dollars to run a transaction. And that was that sort of defeats the purpose. So, travel coin plus we saw all of these issues’ transactions are slow. The number of transactions that can be processed per second and the cost of transaction and we launch the travel coin plus network it's a fully. Ethereum compatible network it actually runs on pure vanilla Ethereum. And the beauty of it is that it's proof of authority not proof of work. So, we have 10 sealer nodes and only those nodes can approve transactions and travel coin Foundation. We have those kinds of nodes and they're operating all over the world. And so far, I think we're almost out a million blocks actually that we that we've mined. Wow. Actually, sorry let me rephrase that it's not it's not mined its minted because we don't actually mine. Sorry it's seven hundred and seventeen thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight blocks right now but we don't mine blocks in a proof of authority network we mint them. So, we actually just produce those blocks and the sealer nodes that have authority they can verify a transaction and it's a random amongst those ten each time. So, it's super cool.

Kate Guimbellot: And it's green which is very important to us. The green technology side of it being a foundation in particular the idea of utilizing the amount of power it takes to power nodes when people are mining them. It's one of the reasons one of the other main reasons we went the way that we did with cloud minting.

Manseeb Khan : Cloud minting could you talk a little bit more about that because like this is this is a very interesting concept because you guys are going from minting for mining or you guys are sort of like proof its authority. I think like this is something like a concept that I think many people may want to look into it if not adapt so can you talk a little bit more on Cloud Minting.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah, I mean I'll give you sort of the marketing angle because I get the opportunity to travel around the world and tell people who don't understand any of its kind of what it is and then Jason can give you the teeth to it. But in essence you know for those you who haven't experienced it you know if you want to mind bitcoin for instance you've got to have the nodes you've got to. It takes an enormous amount of energy, I think. What is it in the US Jason's like six thousand dollars to mine one Bitcoin I think and in other countries it's up to twenty-seven thousand dollars’ worth of energy consumption to do that work in addition to the equipment and the fans because of the heat and all of that? So, we the people who come to us to become mentors don't have any about it's all through the cloud, so they don't have to have the equipment. They simply buy into it and then the coin every 10 seconds a percentage of coin is minted for them. Jason you want to fill in the blanks with the cool tech stuff?

Jason Sosnowski: That's about it. We've got our sealer nodes and we've got lots of other nodes and those sealer nodes they funnel transactions that are sealer nodes  seal them. The beauty of the system is that you don't need specialized equipment you don't need. You don't need a server farm, a room full of servers and specialized computers that asic miners that are  `running 24/7 competing for the authority to produce a transaction. You're on our network and your producing transactions those sealers will seal  those transactions for you, and they'll be added to our permanent block chain. The idea that you don't need all of that stuff also makes it more accessible to everyone around the world. You know  a normal person without a huge amount of technical knowledge can join our network and benefits of having a cryptocurrency and participate in using that new technology.

Kate Guimbellot: The important thing for us is you know see a need fill the need and then find partners. I've always said I want I don't want to be the smartest person in the room right. I want to have smart people around me all the time because they pull out the best and all of us. We feel the same way with our company. So even with that let's take travel coin plus. Right. Because I talked about travel coin. We have a merchant program and all of that travel coin plus we wanted to not only have to have it as a digital currency that goes out there goes on the open markets. But we wanted to give people a purpose for it. Like let me give you something that could really change your life. With this travel coin plus. So, we've actually partnered with a company called Crowd share club. And so, if you if you become a mentor of travel coin plus you get your node. You can take those travel coins and you can put them towards property ownership real estate which as you know is the number one best investment that you can make. But no one has the money to go to. Well for instance they have a project in Dubai. You can't go to Dubai and spend five hundred thousand dollars on this property you're selling. I mean I know I certainly can't. But what crowd share club is done, and they have now partnered with us to achieve. Are there crowd funding real estate projects? So now if you are someone who has travel coin plus we can give you a real-world application right now that will benefit you over the coming years over the coming decades and help build your portfolio where you can own a percentage of this. Amazing. It's called the world's Dubai. I don't know if you know about it, but they've reclaimed sea. You know they put land out there. They've made all these islands and they're getting ready to get things open for 2020. When they're celebrating their big celebration in Dubai. So, and there are other properties that they offer around the world. So that's you know our point is not just to give somebody a resource like a digital currency or whatever. We want actionable items. We want to help shift people's lives. Ordinary people who would have never been able to do that. Some guy who's working his tail off in Pakistan could never dream to be able to be a part owner in a in a hotel room in a suite in Dubai. But that's what as the foundation. That's what we want to do. And that's why the companies with whom we've connected ourselves as sponsors and as partners are all also revolutionary. I mean my travel biz and crowds share club and you can go onto our Web site and see all these opportunities and that's what we're going to continue to do is not just provide someone anyone can give you a digital currency. God knows there's plenty of them out there. we are doing this to allow people to change their lives in ways that they could never have conceived.

Manseeb Khan : Crowd sharing in the real estate space that's a topic that we've definitely covered on the show. I mean just the fact that people can be part owners or partial owners of property investments. I mean look we have like R2 investments a couple episodes back we're like they're helping people get in getting to commercial real estate which is even tougher right. Like owning a house is great but I try owning an office building or an entire plaza. Oh, and let and you're my age. Like I'm just a kid out of college I could never build a lot of wealth right.

Kate Guimbellot: Well I mean like just this property in Dubai for instance because everything that crowd share putting out there are really good solid. They already have yields right there we have rental yield numbers so they're able to say this is an established property not buying a slack of land that you're going to build on the one in Dubai is a guaranteed average 8 percent return for a guaranteed 12 years and it's unheard of. I only Dubai could do that. But that's exactly to your point. Someone your age right now could for a pretty low amount become a part owner in a project like that and then just go let it sit just let it  work for you over the next 10 to 20 years. It's an amazing opportunity.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. Let us know for sure. I mean I'm just going to switch gears here so if you go on the actual travel coin Web site there is a timeline of all the amazing projects that you've completed and a list of future projects that you have to look forward to. So, I mean you guys on some pretty big ones ahead of you, so I guess what some of the challenges are when it comes to you know like opening up free Wi-Fi and you know like opening up real estate opportunities for everyone.

Kate Guimbellot: Well you know I always like to say that you know how you eat an elephant right. One bite at a time. So yeah, we have some big elephants on there. I mean that loyalty point swap system I talked about that's massive. That's and that's not something we're going to achieve in the next year but it's something we just keep chipping away at. the Dow you know to have a voting opportunity for all of our subscribers is very important to us. Jason's made amazing strides on that with his team because we want travel coin holders to have a voice about where we go in the future and what we focus on next. So, what we're doing. You know we slow and steady wins the race we are funding already funding for free Wi-Fi. We have built out that secondary market. The Dow is almost done. We've taken the smallest baby steps in that loyalty point system. We've also introduced something called future travel program with that core partner. I mentioned my travel biz where we're going to begin to identify things like the Hyperloop. You know there are several countries in the world that are looking at how we change travel in the future and make it easier for people. We're going to continue to look for those sorts of programs that we can fund. So, it's yes there are things we're building ourselves internally. Like that loyalty points system and the Dow and things like that but our focus for the long term are our five-year 10-year 20-year plan which we've Already drafted out even before we began includes really finding those people that we can support right. We're not going to create a satellite system to bring free Wi-Fi to the world, but we can find the best of the best out there who are doing it and we can become a strategic partner for them and help achieve that thus feeding back into our main goal of making travel easier. So yeah we have a lot on that timeline and we have a lot that we have put on that timeline because I think I said so someone recently if I told you a year ago that one of the dreams of the foundation is to find companies that are going to revolutionize auto travel with flying cars people would have thought I was nuts. They will still think you're nuts. They do. But today it's a little less nut because I get a lot of articles about a lot of companies. Yeah but that's how far forward we're focused. You know we are going to help change travel we're going to open the world up to itself.

Manseeb Khan : I love that. So, I'm going to throw a question out to you guys. So aside from the incredible work that you guys are doing at the travel coin foundation what are you guys most excited about being in the cryptocurrency space or being in other areas.

Kate Guimbellot: Well I'm sure Jason's going to have some really cool stuff. I'll just say quickly the one of the things I look at week to week I love tapping into where block chain is being embraced where you see new digital currency being embraced. I'm really excited about the growth potential in my team for that and as evidenced by this week I got really jazzed because JP Morgan is the first US based bank that is actually going to launch a cryptocurrency to deal with a need within their system. I think that as we see legislation start to move especially in the U.S. and China where there so anti it, I'm getting really excited about the strides that the block chain and crypto are making in 2019 and just overall for the world. I think that's amazing the fact that Dubai is such a great example of block chain and how they're incorporating it into every aspect of their government I'm really jazzed about it. I think 2020 we're going to have a look back and see 2019 as a real pivotal time in both those industries. Jason how about you?

Jason Sosnowski: I agree 100 percent I think with You know as if it's been a really interesting few years in a crypto space with you know whether it's that situation that you mentioned with JP Morgan and Jim Diamond introducing their own crypto currency this is going to really shake up this space in terms of decentralized crypto currencies and what was interesting is even though they announced it the entire market there was almost no change in the entire market. And that says a lot about where crypto is today I think versus a year ago and where watching technology and cryptocurrency technology is going to be in another year or two years or five years because if a big bank know when the largest banks in the world JP Morgan can say hey we're launching our own crypto currency and the unregulated market who is known for being very skittish and reacting to everything literally doesn't react at all to it. I think that shows the strength and stability of that and then also shows that the world is now realizing hey this technology is here to change and that's transformative. And we're going to actually embrace it as opposed to fighting against it. I think that you know all the projects that we're working on as well. Next year we're going to see lots of other things and like you said there's so many things that aren't on that list that we have going on. It's a super exciting time.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah. You said you said a lot of your listeners are or all of your listeners are in the space some are younger folks who are just coming into it. Others are already in and looking for the next new thing is that. Did I say that right?

Manseeb Khan : Yes, you did.

Kate Guimbellot: So, I love this one Jason. Jason what do your geek out about Most right now in what's happening in the industry what's the what's the next new thing that that you're hearing about.

Jason Sosnowski: You know I really think that at the mainstream adoption there's this there's so many benefits of mainstream adoption whether it's you know whether it's actually making the actual business use case for it or the broader effects that it has on or the potential it has on products whether the strength it has for data and how we can have privacy and we can share our data in a secure way. You know one of the things that that I hear a lot about lately is block chain in say the medical space where here in Canada actually there's a number of projects going on in the healthcare space where you know records are being stored in a secure way on secure block change and you can share that data using your private token with only the people you want to. So even the nurse at that doctor's office that you're at can't see your file only that you're treating physician and they have to authorize access because they have that key shared with them. So, there's lots of you know this is the next step evolution. You know we have a we started this with bitcoin about 10 years ago just over 10 years ago now and it started it was really inefficient and we're seeing lots of benefit. We're seeing lots of efficiencies being made and now we're seeing mainstream adoption. This is like you can because it's the advancement of technology. You know this is what I love, I love pushing the boundaries and making it better and making it easier for people to use.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah absolutely. You know that's actually one of the first times I've understood every single thing you've said when you talk about the stuff you're about. I have to say like whoa Jason I understand what that is. What do you mean?

Manseeb Khan : Oh yeah, I tried I tried to explain to a girl at a bar with security tokens or I was like oh the looks I got from my friends Oh man. The probably listening to this right now in the future belonged there. OK just give me that look like come on.

Jason Sosnowski: But what's really interesting about that is explaining a security token relatively easy compared to explaining maybe a utility token and then explaining the divide between the two of them.

Manseeb Khan : Oh yeah. And essentially how and like security token Okay. And then like a stable token it just oh my god you can just rabbit hole for hours the person you talk to kind of go look like you lost me three minutes like encrypt the what now. What computer do I need? What. I don't know what you’re talking about! So, I'll wrap this up so we'll be the best way for the audience that girl at the bar to contact you guys would it be through email would we through Snapchat, smoke signal. I mean what would be the best way?

Kate Guimbellot: You know the best thing really is to hop online and go to travel point Board and check us out there's a way to contact us there. We're a big presence in social media in particular on Facebook and you can find all of our contact information there as well. So yeah you just hop on and see what we’re doing and see if it aligns. The great thing is people can become subscribers without investing a thing you don't have to invest in travel coin. You can just sign up and stay in tune with what's going on over it travel coin foundation when we're doing something that really sparks a fire and you then join us, join us on this journey because it's for ordinary what I call ordinary extraordinary human beings we want we want to build this global community. And that's what we're doing. So yeah. Travelcoin.org

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

Subscribe & Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2

Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products, innovations, developments, and challenges!

Interested in getting involved as a partner or participant? info@ncfacanada.org

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

Share

The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada

Share

Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019

The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week

Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive.

But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow?

Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a collection of the various policies, programs, plans and funding mechanisms the government has undertaken under the auspices of innovation.

See:  Fielding high-performing innovation teams

In advance of the report’s release, Bains sat down with the Financial Post to talk about innovation and the economy.

FP: With the Innovation Nation series we’ve been doing, one of the themes that is emerging is that Canada has a real opportunity to seize the future economy. But we may be missing that opportunity if we’re not really proactive. We could be falling behind. As a country, are we innovative enough?

BAINS: Well, I beg to differ a bit. I think we have turned the corner. I think we are starting to create this culture of innovation in Canada where we have an economy that works for everyone. The key part is that it’s benefiting the many, not just a few, and it’s creating good quality jobs. And we’re really focused on making sure that it’s also inclusive, that it benefits people living in rural Canada, that it benefits young people who are getting coding. That’s really our goal.

FP: In reading through Building a Nation of Innovators it seems like it’s mostly looking back at the last two or three years since the Innovation and Skills Plan. Is this an election (campaign) thing?

BAINS: This is a report back to Canadians. In 2015, we said, look, we realize the economy is struggling. We put forward a plan and said we’re going to invest in a set of policies and programs to really benefit many Canadians and have it work for many Canadians. And so this is a report to Canadians on what those investments look like. What does it mean for Canadians living in Toronto, or if you’re in Red Deer? It’s telling Canadians, we made these investments. We ran on a campaign to invest in Canadians, to invest in their skills, to invest in companies so they can grow. We’re highlighting those in tangible ways in communities across the country.

FP: That does sound like campaigning.

BAINS: No, it’s a report card, because people need to know as a government you made promises, are you living up to those promises? And what does it mean to them, to their communities, for their own prospects and for their kids’ prospects? The speed and scope of change is phenomenal, and that creates anxiety and concerns that Canadians have. And we’re dealing with that and saying, look, we want you to succeed.

FP: How do you manage that pace of change? The people who are losing their jobs at the Oshawa GM plant are not going to start coding iOS apps overnight. How do you make sure people aren’t left behind as you make the shift?

See:  Passion For Banking Innovation Fueled By Fintech, Big Tech Disruptors

BAINS: Well, that’s a key part. It’s really about making sure the economy, as I said, works for everyone. We’re promoting lifelong learning. Coding is an example to teach young kids critical skills, problem solving, how to work in teams, understand and develop digital literacy. But we also have programs for individuals mid-career. If there’s a change in their work, they can go to school through a grant, they can go to school with an interest-free loan and get the digital skills that they need.

FP: But do you actually believe that the people who lose their jobs to automation or shifts in global supply chains will take up coding and pursue those kinds of jobs?

BAINS: It’s not about coding only. That’s just one example. We recognize that all these sectors in every region are going through a major transformation. It’s about making sure people have the broad skill sets they need for those job opportunities.

FP: Why is the government’s responsibility so broad in this? It’s striking in reading the Building a Nation of Innovators report that there’s money for fundamental research, incubators, scale-ups, every stage along the way. Why does the government need to be dragging the economy into innovation? Can’t we just get out of the way and let this happen?

BAINS: We’re in a race. We’re competing with other jurisdictions. We want to level the playing field. Do you think China is getting out of the way? You think Europe is getting out of the way? You think the United States is getting out of the way? No, they’re all playing an active role. Why would we take a hands-off approach? The Conservatives clearly presented that as an option in 2015 — that laissez-faire approach. But it’s about creating the conditions of success for Canadians to get more job opportunities and, more importantly, for companies to grow and stay here in Canada.

FP: Something as simple as educating businesses on the importance of intellectual property — teaching them that if you’re going to exist in the 21st century, you need to have intellectual property — seems pretty basic. What do you think it says about the country that we need something like that?

See:  Quebec needs new innovation strategies to level the playing field for domestic tech

BAINS: It really is a partnership model. It’s not about us dictating this. It really reflects what we heard from Canadian businesses, academics, researchers, different communities from across the country before we came forward with the Innovation and Skills Plan. Our objective is to really help those businesses understand the value, because for every company that promotes IP, for example, they on average pay 16 per cent more to their workers. For us, it’s about better-quality jobs.

FP: But if the preponderance of our small and medium-sized companies don’t understand IP, if the culture just doesn’t get that, isn’t that a massive problem?

BAINS: That’s the thing we’re trying to accomplish, really create this culture of innovation, saying we want a country full of innovators.

FP: We’ve been looking into the superclusters as part of our Innovation Nation project. They have been in the works for quite a while, but, still, I don’t think a lot of people really know what these things look like. And in a couple cases it’s a bit of a mess …

BAINS: It’s about jobs. It’s a job magnet, and it’s about the jobs of today and the jobs of tomorrow. And really, fundamentally, what did we do? We used our convening power to bring businesses together — large, but primarily a lot of small businesses — breaking down the silos, promoting collaboration and saying, look, work together to solve problems.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org


Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

Share

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8): Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr

Share

NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019

Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton

About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy!

  • Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets
  • Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases
  • Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin)

BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.”

* Senior Business and Technology Executive
* Proven Corporate / Product Development Execution
* Collaborative Leader / Corporate Strategist
* Experienced in Tech Mergers and Acquisitions
* IPO (OPTO) on NASDAQ 1999
* Successful sale of OPTO to EPAY April 2008
* Successful sale of Backstage Technologies to Real Networks 2010
* Multiple private buy/sell transactions while at Optio
* IPO (Modatech) on TSXV 1987
* Multiple successful software startups with Angel / Private Funding
* Mentor / advisor / board member of multiple startups
* Successful, deep partnerships with PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Google

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2


Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan: Daryl thanks so much for sitting down with me today. I mean I'm super excited to jump right into it.

Daryl Hatton: Happy to be here. We're going to have some fun.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, could you just for the audience give us a little bit of who you are and essentially who and what Connection Point?

Is sure  well I'm Daryl Hatton founder and CEO companies call connection point. We're best known for FundRazr which our  enterprise crowdfunding platform is. I'm a serial entrepreneur, startup company took a public on Nasdaq way back in nineteen ninety-nine and we had one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. that year. Fast forward a bunch of years and I left that and said gee do I want to do business again. And I started Connection Point six months in the day after I left the other company. And along the way we started to do fundraising. We learned a whole lot about the market. And here we are.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, what made you kind of switch. Like so why crowdfunding ? Like this was I'm assuming this is early 2000s, right? Like you said you were essentially one of the OG's entrepreneurs out here. Yeah. Why crowdfunding ?

Daryl Hatton: It was actually 2008 and one of the things that we were looking to do is like I want to start this new business but because I was under an intellectual property rights deal with my previous company actually couldn't think about it really. And being careful about it didn't want to think about it while I was with the other company. So, six months in a day I now get free and out and I said OK what can I do. And it took from about September of that year until January to really figure out that I wanted to get into the social funding space. And the reason I was doing it was I was coaching a lacrosse team and I was looking for ways to get paid and to raise money for my team. So, I collect some fees and take some donations because we had a 50/50 turnouts and all that kind of stuff. And I had a little epiphany. I was trying to also get the guys out to practice and I was sending out emails. Nobody was showing up, but I started a Facebook group and posted the date, time of practice and I had a 100 percent attendance. The first time I did that, and a light bulb went on and said Hey can I get them to pay their fee like that. And FundRazr was born. So, it really was all about trying to scratch my own itch and in the early days as we developed the idea of paying the fees really didn't take off very well. But the idea of collecting donations went nuts and that's what we built the company around.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, could you still sticking on the early days I know on our call before we  even started the episode you compare like the early days of crowdfunding and how it's very parallel to now the early days of crypto and Block chain. Could you just go a little bit more detailed about that?

Daryl Hatton: Oh, for sure yeah. I mean when we started crowdfunding no one knew what to call it. And I even had the opportunity to buy crowdfunding dot.com as a domain name and was given some advice by a bunch of people in the industry going I never nobody ever wanted to call it that. Yeah right.  Oops. So, you know the interesting things that happened at that time, but we were really struggling in the beginning to try and talk about this intersection of social media and of finance technology and of marketing technology all into one platform that becomes a crowdfunding campaign. So, we used the word crowdfunding a whole lot. And if you went to the crowdfunding conferences everyone was talking crowdfunding and to the people who were not in the industry, they would come in they hear us and they're going. What the hell are you guys talking about. Like you're not making sense. All you're doing is dropping these buzzwords all the time and one of the things that I hear going on now at crypto conferences and block chain and the whole area of the new innovation and fintech around this is the same thing. There's a ton of terminology. Ask an entrepreneur what they do. And they'll have you know they'll talk about how they've got this unique twist on what they do with block chain to do Dut, Da Dut, Da. One of the lessons we learned from the crowdfunding world is can you explain what you do without ever using your buzzword. Can you explain the value of your business to somebody and have them get it? Why it's important. And why you're going to win without ever using the words. So, for any crowdfunding or any sorry crypto or block chain entrepreneur right now can you tell me why your business will be successful without ever using the words crypto or block chain or any of the terminology around it. What's the business value that you're delivering to the customer. And why is that really important. It may be a technical function that you're delivering but there's a business reason and they're not just a technology reason. And the companies that win are the ones that figure out how to communicate that business reason and build the technology to solve it. Big learning what we had over that time is just you know kind of buzzwords are cool and let make you feel like you're in the crowd but stop it. Start talking about your business and the value and the customers may see a little bit more boring. But it's got a way better higher chance of success.

Manseeb Khan: No, I absolutely agree with you. And I guess I mean like you took a misstep and you said crowdfunding. I think crowdfunding is still in that same conversation. Now you want to be able to kind of give the elevator pitch with like your industry jargon. Right. You want to be able to like to go to like roll up to any random person at Starbucks and kind of like hey this is actually my business does sound like a good idea right.

Daryl Hatton: Yeah. And you know it's easy to stumble into. I mean as I just did it you know it's a shortcut for us to try and take a set of concepts that we have in our head and communicate more easily to other people who also have similar concepts. And it’s just good practice to try and do it without that. Yeah. Absolutely. It's  kind of fun once you get into it because you get to laugh at yourself a lot. Keep taking a shortcut.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. I can absolutely see that see that. So, you guys focus on an enterprise crowdfunding could you just explain a little bit like why is that different than the Kickstarter's and the Indigo's goes out there.

Daryl Hatton: Well yeah it might help to kind of hear the path we've got to with that. And so, let me give you a little bit of background. When we started our crowdfunding platform, we were all about personal funding. Helping people raise money because they had cancer, they had a tragedy, they had a car accident something happened in their lives and they needed emergency funds. And the best way to do that was to talk to the friends and family and get them to the money to help because those are the people, we're most invested in helping you. And it worked, it saved babies and it helped people recover from car accidents and then help people deal with medical bills especially in the United States and along the way. You know we one of the ways we had to communicate was to use Facebook to share and as we were doing that some non-profits came along, and they said you know we love this kind of toolset but it's kind of weird to use it as a person. So, could we use it under the name of our organization. So, we start. Or the name of our charity. So, we added features in to make it so that you could do a personal campaign or charitable campaign. And that ended up you know giving us a whole new set of requirements but a whole new set of customers. And then Kickstarter the time was doing a good job and Indiegogo was starting to do more in funding of entrepreneurial style projects or creative projects. And we ended up getting asked hey can we find our project with you because you guys seem to be really good at social sharing. So now we've got three constituent groups of customers personal, nonprofit and now entrepreneurial or creative and over the period of time as we built out all the features for all of those it started to become what we call an enterprise crowdfunding platform. And the reason for that is that we're solving a lot of the problems for those customers at a much more deep level about things like team` communications around running your crowdfunding campaign. Can you have a lot of people on your team both as managers. Which is pretty easy for most apps to think about but then also as things like promoters. Can you hire somebody on to the team whose job it is to go in and promote you to influencers in the industry and track the results and help figure out whether or not they're helping you raise money for your campaign. So, we call it an enterprise crowdfunding platform right now because the basics of what a crowdfunding campaign are have morphed into. In our case over 10 different ways to do campaigns and some of them are very charitable focused. Some of them are very personal focused and some of them are very much a business focus.

Manseeb Khan: I LOVE THAT! I kind of want you to tell the story that you told me over the phone of that father reaching out to you about as a little girl and like how the example that you use like some people create a business to create a business. Some people kind of fall into the business. Can you can you tell that story a little because I loved it so much.

Daryl Hatton: Yeah. You know one of the things people look at us with FundRazr and there is we've got the different brands we'll talk about this a little bit as well is that there's different ways to do crowdfunding. And when people look at our technology, they get confused by it. So, we actually give it different brand names to help separate the customers apart from each other. Funny enough. But the story that you're referring to when we first launched in it, we kind of have to do a relaunch of the platform in July of 2010 after surviving a near-death experience with Facebook kicking the chair out from underneath us and we'll talk about that maybe too. But basically. So, when we started the campaign and we're focused on these personal donations and my goal in starting this was to build a business. I wasn't trying to go save the world. I wasn't trying to raise money for charitable causes and that was because it was a good thing to do for the planet. I was trying to build a business and we were really struggling. Trying to help ourselves understand why customers were using this and what they were really trying to do. And it feels now like we were just so totally naive about what was going on. But so, we launched in July of 2010 and we're going along we're watching this incredible growth happening. All these people are using these campaigns and we're really focused on how we help them raise more money but not really thinking about why they're raising more money. And then we got a Christmas card, the Christmas card was from a family that had been living off the grid in Hawaii. I think there was maybe people living on the beach kind of thing. He got out of the U.S. military they'd hooked up as a couple they'd had a little girl and you know so they didn't have. They were kind of dropped out a little bit to the system. I think they didn't have health insurance that kind of thing. And they discovered that their little girl had been diagnosed with childhood leukemia. So, in the race to try and figure out how to save her again no health insurance in the US there for that. They found out that the military hospital in San Diego would take her because he'd been in the military, but they had to get the girl there A.S.A.P. because childhood leukemia is a very fast-moving disease. So, they put up a campaign or a FundRazr and they raised that I think it was thirty-five hundred dollars. They needed to get the flights. Like you know right now and given the low accommodation when they hit San Diego and they took a couple of days and they got her there and when they got her there the doctor said if you hadn't got her here today or tomorrow, she probably would have died. And so, they sent us a thank you card saying thanks for helping save our daughter's life. We didn't I mean that just smacked us hard. We had no idea that really that was kind of an end result if you will. The business value of what we delivered wasn't raising money. It was helping save somebody's life or helping save a puppy dog or helping someone recover from an accident. Those are the things the real value we're delivering it wasn't collecting money in a social environment. And so that epiphany just really changed how we looked at the business. And you know we still are a profit-making business, really low on the profit side because we're trying to scale it and it's a harder market than people might think. But it is you know there is that nice benefit that we actually have this big business value. That's a very personal value in a very charitable value in the background and that's a fantastic way to come to work every morning and think about what you do for the day is you help people save probably dogs and little girls.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I mean that's probably the best customer testimonial I've probably ever heard possibly ever if not in a very long time. You did briefly before you jumped in the store you talked about how you broke down your business in to different kind of brands could you talk a little bit more about that and how that ties it to you guys scaling because like you said you guys are not as quote unquote profitable because you're trying to scale. Could you talk a little bit more of the challenges scaling and being a crowdfunding service?

Daryl Hatton: Started connection point and we knew that. I don't know. I just had this hunch that the technology that we were going to build would have more than one use case in the marketplace because really,  it's a marketing system. And so what kind of problem are you trying to solve with it as a marketing system was a personal? Was it corporate? Was it charitable? So we started a FundRazr with the idea that it was the general-purpose platform for crowdfunding using a donations or a rewards type model. So, donations model being your traditional charitable thing. GoFundMe is a good example of that. The rewards model is the Kickstarter or Indiegogo model where you're doing an all or nothing campaign and you're giving the donor some reward back. So that was really it took the majority of our focus and energy and as a result we tended to lump more customers into that pile than we may should have because you know it was just more convenient just as kind of keep them focused on the one brand for a while. But over the last couple of years we've really noticed that a couple of different use cases are showing up that are worth separating them out from the main stream. So, it's all the same technology with a different skin on it and sometimes a little bit of a tweak to the feature set an example that is one of our brands we call CoCoPay. CoCoPay stands for collaborative community payments and it's designed to be used by businesses to allow or enable their customers to use crowdfunding to help them finance the purchase of the product or service. That's a big one mouthful but if you imagine I don't know if you remember. I don't know if we had this chat but there's the company in the States called in Enchroma and they do glasses that you can put on and if you're colorblind it'll help show you colors for about 80 percent of the people who are colorblind that put them on. It's really emotional to not have seen color. And now to see it. I mean this world is full of color, but the glasses are you know mildly expensive there between if you do it right, you're probably going to get two pairs of them they're going to be between five hundred  to one thousand dollars and some people can't afford that. So if you go to the Enchroma web site there's a spot on their site where you can use our technology to start a crowdfunding campaign that will with a  Enchroma branding tell the story using  Enchroma glasses and help you communicate that to your friends and family and co-workers and others in your social network and help you buy the glasses. Now it might be for you but one of the most common use cases is to buy them as a gift for somebody else. So, a classroom we'll get together buy them for their teacher and then or someone will buy them for a military vet they had that happen. Not quite sure how they got there with colored blind, but they did. So that was really cool. And then you know they'll buy them for Grandpa because Grandpa has never had it always took care of the kids, got them go to college, got the grandkids going  never really took the time to figure it out for himself or was it didn't have anything available. So, the family gets together buys Grandpa glasses that let him see color for the first time and the incredible folks tell you how to do it right to capture your YouTube moment. They say take a whole bunch of colorful balloons and take him outside somewhere and don't tell him what it's all about it just ask them to put all these cool looking sunglasses and they look cool stylish glasses and usually what happens is the glasses go on the glasses come off. The glasses go on glasses come off and whoever it is crying. And they because you know it's that it's a super emotionally, I get it and there's some guys that have just gone off on the oh god, Oh my God they're so funny. But the point is that by allowing the community to work together to buy something it may not seem like it's big a use case. But if you get into a lot of medical devices that are maybe ten thousand dollars because you need special Walker you need something that gives someone mobility. They may not be able to afford it right away but their friends and their family and their social networks would go let's fix that for them. Their good person we'll fix that for them and CoCoPay lets them you know safely raise the money and pay it to the company as opposed to paying it into the individual so that you don't have to worry about fraud and it's all or nothing so that if you don't raise enough money nobody's out you know you don't get halfway towards buying one of these things and now what do you do with all the money and refund it to everybody and take a few gets the payment companies you know you're kind of in a net loss for trying to do something good. So, it takes all the best of the crowdfunding technologies of all or nothing social sharing teamwork collaboration in our case you know branding of the company and puts it all together in a package that somebody can use to crowd finance a purchase. Is some idea of where it's the same technology? But if we're going to sell it to a company, they don't want to come to our Web site and see that we're raising, we're saving puppy dogs and little girls they're going how does this affect our business. Why am I doing that? And so, there's a dedicated site to CoCoPay to talk about its business value. But ninety-nine-point eight percent of the technology is the same as FundRazr.

Manseeb Khan: Mm hmm. I mean this does bleed into I guess my next question of corporate good right and how you're seeing. You've mentioned that in the phone call we have that how corporations are now not for the sake of oh hey we're going to go and plant trees just for the sake of planting trees. Now we're going to go and pick an issue that our customers or clients are very passionate about and then try to spearhead it and like the best example I can think of would be when Adidas and Nike decided to take all like ocean pollution plastic and remake it into sneakers because ocean pollution was something that both companies audiences were very passionate about. So, they created a sneaker behind it and that started this whole renewable shoe movement. Right. So why is or how is corporate got like corporate good better or better than the government initiatives that are going on or the charity initiatives or it is, or should we see it as more as like a tag on.

Daryl Hatton: One of the things I didn't say in the beginning. If you actually look at mission of what we have with Connection Point we're trying to well, we are We're reimagining philanthropy. And one of the reasons that we want to do that is that the hypothesis is that we can get causes, corporations and consumers to all work together to solve world funding problems because that everyone can have a win in that and the collective group of all of them also gets a win. So, for example you know you said it very well that consumers are now wanting to have their companies do more than just supply them the product. You know in the case  of the shoe companies they saw an opportunity to not only sell shoes but to solve an environmental problem at the same time. And they knew through research that their consumers would really like that. That's got a kind of a social impact space. You talk about multiple bottom lines you know the bottom line I get a great pair of shoes from a brand that I love the story behind the shoes is fascinating and fantastic. You know these used to be junk in the ocean and they've turned it into look at these things these are amazing. And that at the same time that's reducing pollution in the ocean. So, the consumer there is driving that behavior because they are demanding more from their partners and the partners are interested in doing this because it builds loyalty with their customers. Their ability to go in and use the best things of what corporations can do which is communication at massive scale and the ability to actually execute on programs to change social problems and in some cases though they need to have something like a charity partner actually do some of that work for them especially when it gets into softer skills. So if you've got a company that's not about saving plastic but maybe helping with mental health or maybe helping with child poverty or food distribution or food  safety quality for lower income families all sorts of things like that the corporation might want a partner with a charity for the charity deliver the work in the field but then be able to use the fact that they're supporting that charity as a story for their consumers saying hey you know we all care about this together. Why don't you buy our products? We work with this company and there's a trading of value that goes on in that system where they get money to the charity to do the work the consumer feels great because they know this charity is doing the work. And they may end up establishing a better relationship with the charity and they're more loyal to the company for buying that product. So, it I think it's one of the changes we're going to see in society in the next few years. Is this is going to become the standard way to do it. Because it takes advantage of the strengths of all three parties and we built a product around that that we call Sponsifi and Sponsifi designed to do the place where the company can even make an offer of to the donors or the contributors on how they might want to further support the cause. So again, getting that branding out there that says we're supporting this cause and helping the company get better value for the money that they can spend on it and a more measure of resolve. So that was a lot of words in there, but you know if you can take out the idea that basically cost corporation consumers are going to work together because they already are. We just want to make it easier to do and less expensive for the companies particularly. And I think we're going to see something else transform society.

Manseeb Khan: Yes. No absolutely that's kind of what crowdfunding is what one of the missions of crowdfunding is  to make the world make it a better place right. If it's be that you're saving a little girl or you're saving a little puppy or cleaning the oceans right like though the of the whole part is especially with I mean millennials like me. We love to see that like corporations’ charities governments are taking more of an initiative to actually go after these social causes because these social causes are so near and dear to our heart. And now that companies are kind of using that  maybe some  could be as a marketing ploy some could because they actually truly believe in the said cause it's. Yeah. Crowdfunding. It's going to be very exciting in the years to come. So, with that what is the future of crowdfunding look like. And essentially what are you excited about in the space right. Are you excited that maybe in the future you might have like this block chain integration? I excited that you can start tokenization a lot of donations?

Daryl Hatton: There's lots in there. Let's just before we go there let's think about one thing around. You know I talked a lot about causes and what's going on there and a lot of entrepreneurs that might be listening to this are going here. But what has that applied to me. I don't know I'm just trying to startup and I want to get this product out there and I'm having trouble with funding it. So, one of the benefits of crowdfunding in here is also the fact that because it enables communities to work together to solve a funding problem that's basically the bottom line and what it does. Let's not worry about whether it's charitable or corporate or whatever but if we all can work together and help us work together on that. One of the side effect benefits of this is that businesses that need not have been able to start before because of lack of capital can take a community of interested customers/prospects and we'll be customers and use the model to help them preorder enough product that they can go through the R&D phase the initial production run and get the product into the hands of consumers who really want it. That's a social benefit because now we have a company that was created out of thin air literally and it's providing income and it's providing satisfaction to consumers and it's providing opportunity for people that live out some of their dreams and maybe change the world because they've got a better widget in some form. It's more efficient it's more friendly it's easier to use, it goes faster whatever the real benefit in there is those things are helping our society as well. And a lot of the entrepreneurs that are starting up campaigns right now are small companies are realizing that they have to have that kind of social responsibility aspect baked into their company for two reasons one to attract their customers. And I think this is actually way more important doesn't get enough press to attract their employees. If you want to work for nameless soulless company, you know big office tower why I am here every day. This sucks you know I don't enjoy my work I don't really feel like I'm making an impact or by the way we work for the company we're really clear the part of what we do is to help with this social problem or you know 10 percent of the proceeds of the profits from our company go to support the producers families who are helping us build this neat new eco backpack you know I don't know make up a story there but basically that feeling of going to work and having purpose which we discovered by accident is one of the key motivators for digital natives, millennials and gen Z to want to go to work and they will work really a ton of harder and put more of their life into their work when they feel like that work has got an impact on the planet. So, you can use crowdfunding as a way to help fund the idea. And for all entrepreneurs that are looking to start up a business there. It's a great way to get revenue into your company without having to give up ownership you know equity and securities. Crowdfunding is great but you are giving up. It's the most expensive money you'll ever get because it costs you a big chunk of your company in the future. But sometimes that's all you can do. So, you do it. But if you can fund it with some of these others and have that social tie in you can not only launch your product but build a company where people want to work and where you can have some real satisfaction to work home at the end of the day. So, I think there's a lot in there and that's one of the things I'm very excited about. You know that's part of future is now because it's just not evenly distributed. Well who is it. Who said that the future is has arrived it's not just evenly spread out? We can do that now and then to answer your question about some of the other technology you know what I think of crypto and block chain and much of that industry about is how we make things more transparent and make it easy for us to see kind of our thread that ties through the financial story of the organization.  So, in the charitable world we look at this and say if you made a contribution to a cause to build wells in Africa. Which well in Africa did my money go to build in crypto being mechanism for kind of tracking where the value is with block chain being where did it deploy. What's the ledger of it seems like it's going to be a very interesting topic because when people make a donation they really want to know what good they did? And I can see some technology in there helping make that happen at the moment it's a bit of a geeky love because consumers aren't necessarily demanding that level of transparency, but it could be really cool once we have it because then they might start demanding it more once they know they can get it. So, I think there's lots of things will happen in our financial world because of this distributed ledger capability.

Manseeb Khan: And I think you'd like to harp on more of the transparency aspect. At some point I think people would be pretty excited to see that like oh hey I like that little girl that I donated 30 bucks to. You can kind of track it like how you track like your orders on Amazon right. At some point we'll probably get to like that level of transparency. really. Oh cool. They actually hit this goal or the next milestones that's like that's something to kind of look forward to and it's like it's maybe not gamifying it but like it's you know it just like fueling the fire of  doing good.

Daryl Hatton:  Your right on with that we actually do that now in FundRazr. We have a concept called micro project and we've been leading the industry and trying to talk about this transition from don't fund. I'll give me a really concrete example of this.

Manseeb Khan: No please do!

Manseeb Khan: There's a cause called One Girl Can that helps girls in Eastern Africa get an education because the founders of this cause were very successful in business and  the couple he continued to run the business and she decided to run her foundation on the side of it and the foundation was about helping these girls get an education because they knew that the change in the quality of the life for them and even more so for the members of their community was so huge. So, what they were doing is they're building schools in Eastern Africa. And last year we said to them you know that's a major project to build the school. What if we broke it down into a whole series of micro projects? Let's talk about each of the girls that needs to go through these schools and what would be their life like if they were able to go. What are their hopes and dreams and aspirations and let's get people to fund them individually because in aggregate you're going to get enough money to do your funding for the school? And so, we call that micro projects dividing a major project down into the hundreds or thousands of small little projects and our technology is designed to make that really efficient. But now the interesting thing the stories that can come out of this imagine that you know you sign up to help  Purdy one of the girls and she wants to be an engineer because we know that you signed up to fund just Purdy. We can send you updates on what's happening with just Purdy and her journey going through school. So, giving you that same kind of ongoing view into your social investment different you know you put in money but if you're looking for a social payback and not a financial payback. Letting you track Purdy progress we said our you know dream story here is that Purdy adds to her campaign because she's an adult she can do that a young adult but she gets out to her story saying guys I'm really nervous I'm going in for my final here. I really appreciate all the support you've given me to get to this point. M.M. You have an audience in North America around the world waited with bated breath and a little while later you get a thing going. I passed and happiness is going over North America. Because together they made a difference right. Yeah. So, it's that we're doing it now without having to have that level of transparency in the block chain you know to do that but maybe block chain help make it a little bit more precise a little more guaranteed.  That you know what really happened. Somebody just didn't read a verdict. You know the janitor there you want to know that you actually get the good work. Yeah. It brings up other stuff like how do we find overhead? But that a different problem to solve.

Manseeb Khan:  I love the fact that how. Like your example really solidifies the. It takes a village to raise a child. You're going to like hopefully in the future you're going to see like actual like villages or like  digital villages helping raise children like in Africa or like Syria or when they have you only got like following that story it's kind of like its kind of like a vlog.

Daryl Hatton: So, it's well you know I think one of the other projects we're looking at is to fund portable solar powered charging stations in for villages in Africa. And would people be willing to donate to help make that happen if they can hear the stories of the villagers lives that have been transformed. Because when they have power they can study. The kids in the village and study at night without having to burn kerosene in their homes which is so hard on their health and is expensive. So, if they could end up having light that will let them on their laptop or their phone or their board the tablet, they're starting to get some technology but they don't even have power yet. Giving them a way to have power, would consumers around the world be willing to support some of that and in you know in exchange for the stories that are going to come out of that village and the impact it's going to create. And if you take a kind of an interesting view of philanthropy as a form of entertainment it's a discretionary spend like it's we just choose to spend it. But some people are willing to spend small amounts of money to see that that result happen more than wanting to go to a movie or wanted to go up for you know a lot of people say hey I'll give up a cup of coffee discretionary spend element  every day for a month just to make sure Purdy gets through example right. That's philanthropy as entertainment. And I think that's one area we're heading to as well.

Manseeb Khan: I love it. Philanthropy is entertainment. I can.

Daryl Hatton: We're reimagining philanthropy. We've got to do that. You know you have basically all of this it is brain chemicals where you're buying endorphins and oxytocin when you make a contribution. That's how warm lovely feeling you get when you feel like you've helped somebody is oxytocin. It's the brain hormone and funnily enough it you know if you give lots of little gifts you get way more of it than if you give one big gift. So, in some ways I mean we're brain drug pushers. We're trying to get you hooked on philanthropy and crowdfunding is your gateway drug. So just be careful.

Manseeb Khan: I'm definitely using on the podcast description of crowdfunding is your gateway drug to philanthropy.

Daryl Hatton: Philanthropy is entertainment. God this story is writing itself right.

Manseeb Khan: Oh yeah. It really is. It really it really is. So too.

Manseeb Khan: I mean hey do you have any additional things you want to throw in like any anything that the audience should be aware of either. Things that you guys are doing at your company or thing other things that are going on in the crowdfunding space.

Daryl Hatton: I think one of the things that I would love more entrepreneurs to know in this is that if we're in the crowdfunding world together you know I talked a lot about how it takes community and I think first startup community in especially in FinTech space and others it is really important for us to think about how we help each other as opposed to how we're just always in competitive mode or selfish mode because it's amazing the amount of help that we've had on the way and the amount of help that now I can help muster for other startup companies. I'm currently advising 20 different startups and you know I've got a nice network that I've built up over the years that they can count on to help them. This working together thing which we learn through doing our crowdfunding business is one of the keys to actually making your business successful. And I really encourage a lot of the entrepreneurs to think about that that when they're thinking about how they ask for help. Also ask how they can help, and it changes the conversation dramatically. And you know you get much better results much faster.

Manseeb Khan: So, to wrap this up will be the best way for the audience to either contact you personally and or Connection Point. Do we snap you? Do we tweet you? do we e-mail you? Smoke signal? What we'll be the best way to contact you guys?

Daryl Hatton: Best way to hit me find me on LinkedIn. Daryl Hatton mention the show or else I might ignore you because so many sales guy is trying to hit me up that way and you can FundRazr.com.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome Darryl. Thank you so much for sitting down today. I mean and thank you for opening our minds to crowdfunding and making the world a much better place.

Daryl Hatton: Thanks for having me talk soon.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

Subscribe & Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2

Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products, innovations, developments, and challenges!

Interested in getting involved as a partner or participant? info@ncfacanada.org

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

Share

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP23-Feb 1): Getting Smart About Crypto and Insurtech Snapchat Models – Interview with Justin Hartzman, Co-founder and CEO of Coinsmart Crypto Exchange

Share

NCFA Canada | Feb 1, 2019

Ep23-Feb 1:  Getting Smart About Crypto and Insurtech Snapchat Models

About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Justin Hartzman the CEO of Coinsmart. They chat about education the average Canadian on crypto, the future of digital wallets and the new wave of insure-tech. Enjoy!
  • Move over bear, OTC markets are biting at the bit
  • Supporting Canadian entrepreneurs and awesome tech
  • The latest in insurtech snapchat models

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: JUSTIN HARTZMAN, Co-founder and CEO, Coinsmart

JUSTIN HARTZMAN BIOCoinSmart is headed by Justin Hartzman, Co-Founder and CEO. A seasoned business leader and entrepreneur, Justin’s passion for innovation has seen him lead numerous companies from start-up to successful exit. His proven track record of entrepreneurial success includes founding the first website brokerage exclusively serving online businesses, pioneering the industry and achieving over $100M in transactions to Fortune 1000 companies, PE firms, family offices and venture funds. He has also led multiple fundraising rounds working with Canadian and U.S. Angel Investors and VCs.   In addition to leading CoinSmart, Justin is also co-founder of​ ​ Needls​ , an Ontario-based company that uses Data Science to automate social media advertising processes for small to medium enterprises worldwide.

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2


Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan: Hey everybody Manseeb Khan here and thank you for tuning into another episode of Fintech Fridays. Just before we get started in this episode, I just want to do a little bit of housekeeping here. I just want to announce that we're super excited here at the NCFA to be launching the 5th Annual 2019 fintech financing Conference and Expo better known as FFCON19 which is going to be happening on April 3rd to 4th in Toronto Canada. FFCON19 is an immersive two-day conference and expo featuring high growth startups, emerging technologies, regulation, game changing projects, the latest trends, deal flow and investment opportunities. This year's theme is fearless with so much global risk in the air U.S. vs. China, Canada and China, Brexit, fintech industry adoption challenges, startup funding challenges, scaling issues FFCON19 is empowering companies with everything they need to build an amazing next generation business right here in Canada taking them global to show off to the world. We're launching it this week and registration and partnership opportunity will be opening up soon so stay tuned and get involved

without any further ado here's Episode 23 of the FinTech FRIDAY podcast with Justin Hartzman the Co-founder and CEO of Coinsmart. Justin thank you so much for sitting down with me today. I'm super excited to jump right into today's conversation.

Justin Hartzman : Absolutely me too. Thanks for having me. Hopefully  I can give some good information be useful everyone. So, Shoot away.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, I know for sure. So just for the audience for the five or six people that may not know essentially who you are and essentially what your company does could just give us a quick rundown of who you are and what Coinsmart is?

Justin Hartzman : Coinsmart is one of the largest Canadian exchanges out there for purchasing cryptocurrency. We have a vision our company to make cryptocurrency accessible not only to those who are currently in the market but people who are looking to come to the market. So, for the people who are there ensuring that we have the best tools, the best support wide coin selection we're actually getting some new coins in the next few weeks. So, they can come and have a really good experience on ramping/ off ramping and actually trading here in Canada. We also run a very large OTC desk. But on the other side of things is to make it accessible to those who want to know more about it. But really have a hard time understanding because a lot of technicalities that go into purchasing, holding, storing, cryptocurrency and we really want to make it as easy as possible for you guys out there. So, you know live 24hr  for support for people. We have a great get smart section we call it that's not just a blog guide on how-to’s. We're always there to help anyone any way we possibly can.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible I mean like one thing. I mean doing the show and just reading all the blogs and articles is the education is definitely going to be the key when it comes to this whole new crypto wave because I mean you know Joe Six pack definitely wants to get into crypto and to understand a little bit more but there's a lot of technical jargon out there. A lot of just words and terms that may go a lot over their heads and just not know.

Justin Hartzman : Well that's the case and we noticed that really early on even when I got into this years ago. I come from the tech side of things if it takes me reading an article two or three times or like the white paper from Satoshi  myself how do we expect anybody other regular Canadian how may have some level of technology background but it's more just an everyday Joe that you're saying. How can we expect them to? So, what we've done knowing that is you know get smart section, so I'll bring that up again here probably a few other times we break down these heavier articles or terms into three levels smart, savvy and expert. I believe are smart savvy and something where you can read it at your level. So, if you're getting into the game, we'll break it down to his easiest, limited form. If you want to keep up in your game go to the next level and the third level you're filing where you're getting really technical into the pieces so we're allowing anyone from know nothing to know everything come in here and really understand it at their speed, at their time hopefully getting all the resources they need to keep up.

Manseeb Khan : That's awesome. I mean I love that getting into the game and leveling up a game I love that. So, I mean you probably got this question more times than you count. So, what makes you guys so much more different to say like the Coinsquare's out there?

Justin Hartzman : Well we love the guys at Coinsquare but realistically where we stand out above all is our user experience and our customer service our clients  service. Are smart grantee  we ensure that the same day we receive your funds the same day that we get your best to having you we have them done for you at that time we have actually live chats where you can actually speak with someone. These are all things that the other Canadian exchanges just don't offer. We know to bring this to the masses, which is what we all need as anyone as an investor in the person space is to bring the masses the market. So, we are really making and again back to our vision accessible. I think that is the key difference. Not only that we've simplified the rationale for not having to understand pairings. You can go from Fiat to any coin that we offer on our system. You don't have to pair it with natural pairing. We do all the background legwork for you. And we just believe that our interface our tools are simply easier and better provide more insight for our users.

Manseeb Khan : I love that. Like the fact that you guys are taking a lot of the heavy lifting a lot of the heavy burden when it comes to just getting into it because it's overwhelming in and of itself trying to get it to crypto exchange but it's an it's a headache if anything.

Justin Hartzman : Like we have instant verification. Who wants to go online and do a one level then get a follow up email then send in some pictures that have someone look at it and then maybe that day the next day, three days later, two weeks later and the hype of things? That actually get approved for in account. How's that very efficient? How is that fun? So instant verification you can actually go on net new client to us E-Verify, email transfer money, and make a trade literally within under 10 minutes. And we really want to make that accessible for everyone.

Manseeb Khan : That's yeah. That's incredible. So, I mean when it comes to crypto exchanges there's definitely going to be security risks. I mean recently in the news you're seeing all these crypto exchanges either just going under maintenance because of security risk or there's got hacked or whatever. What are companies like yourself doing to help mitigate security concerns when it comes to especially to newer customers?

Justin Hartzman : Well I'll give you some stats. Only 30 percent of our clients actually keep coin with us. The rest of them take them off into cold storage. So, we don't go first while 70 percent of the coins that our users or clients have.  Which is great. We love that we encourage that. We help people understand how to do that and coins are kept on our platform. We don't go into specifics like we don't expect anyone else to and what we are doing for our security measures because that obviously  gives it away a little bit. We have a secure in what we do on that side. Just the basic is not over 90 percent of our coins that users leave with us go into cold storage and that's just take off. Location not controlled by us. We use  A third party custodial services who holds them. So that there's no chance of anything happening. This is the same custodial services. The other biggest exchanges in the world use as well. That's what they're good at. So, we give them the ability and  it's very secure for us. We appreciate them as a partner.

Manseeb Khan : Wow that's just crazy 70 percent of coins on hold That's a very interesting stat right there. Yeah.

Justin Hartzman : Yeah. So, we thought to be completely different, we thought that maybe 20 percent of people would take it off because it's somewhat hard to set up a treasurer or ledger or a paper wall or a phone wallet. And then we expected the complete the opposite. But it turns out that 70 percent of our users almost instantly or within 24 hours. Take that off and move it to their own storage.

Manseeb Khan : That say that's crazy. I feel like I just recently read  how digital wallets are becoming the new modern-day brokerage accounts because they're having millennials like me. They're trying to go as cashless as possible right. They don't want to be like walking around with like the dad wallet where it's all bulky, full of cards and cash and change and everything. So, it's that's crazy.

Justin Hartzman : And it makes sense . Listen I have I  don't know how long it's been  maybe 15 years I never had a wallet so I can still understand that. I don't like the bulkiness of it. Anything that I can do on my phone or you know with one card or multi cards is something I certainly look at doing all the time so I can appreciate that right.

Manseeb Khan : I mean like so like where do you where do you kind of see digital wallets evolving then. Because like it's definitely a very new trend. Hopefully I'll be here to stay. Where do you see it kind of going from here?

Justin Hartzman : Well I think if you look at it from a couple angles just adoption from the from individuals which we see happening based on what you just said more than that the mainstream adoption of the ability to use that in everyday use can I go buy at Starbucks? Starbucks did announce that they're going to be accepting cryptocurrency in sometime in 2019. Can you go and you know pay for your TTC fare here in Toronto, your subway fare with that? So, if you can start to do so most things you make available to you. They'll have more adoption, more use for. I think the other piece of that which a lot of people don't talk about or extend the conversation into is for that to also happen we have to think about some sort of currency which may or may not exist on the market in crypto space right now. That is a lot more stable, so you hear a lot more talking of the stable point over 2019/2020 because at the end of day I don't want to know I have let's say this for say numbers sake say I have 50 bitcoin and it costs me a quarter of a bitcoin to buy Coca-Cola. I don't want to go the next day. It cost me entire bitcoin when I know it was worth to me because so when you have  something that's more stable. We always know that one to one is what it looks like. We can have a lot more interest in wanting to spend that because it's that gambling mentality that all of us have somewhere in us. If it's a dollar today but it could be worth three dollars tomorrow. why am I spending it today sort of thing? So, we have to have that stable coin which is what it's going to drive the you know the digital wallet and then the mass adoption has to be there. If there's actually a place they can spend it in the real world. So those are my 3 pillars.

Manseeb Khan : I mean just kind of furthering trying to hash out the full stable coin thing. What are the challenges and  what's kind of uphill battle looking like when it comes to like a stable coin? Like the whole draw towards crypto currency and the whole draw towards. I mean I'm even tied up over the blockchain is the fact that it's not tied to anything, it's free like it's just in the ether right.

Justin Hartzman : That that's exactly the point. I don't have the answer. I don't know if anyone does that or I'm sure that their tons of people working on it. We don't know what that's going to look like, and we don't know where it's going to come from, and I think that's the whole rationale of why we're not. You know you look at the you know the S curve of adoption where before the curve even starts going up it gets into its inflection point because I think we're still very early and we haven't figured out all these pieces. But I think we'll see over the next year or two years some of these come to fruition and I guess at the end of the day what that has to be backed by. What's your question? Maybe it doesn't. Maybe it's just something that we know as one to one because the block chain says it's one to one that we can take in and out. So, it's not tethered to something specific, but it is stable. So, I don't have a really good answer for you. I think it's something that we're going to spend time thinking about. But I think there's someone out there trying to solve that right now.

Manseeb Khan : No that's totally fair. I mean who knows when the next year or two we might find something even better than maybe tying actual fiat or even just gold. We  might figure out a way to make it truly one to one and we don't really worry about it. It could still be what we'll set up to be right. I mean switching gears. Like where do you see the evolution of cryptocurrency exchanges looking like?

Justin Hartzman : Well listen it's been a tough almost more than a year right now in this bear market. We saw a lot of fever December 2017 November, December 2017 to January 2018. We need to see prices start stabilizing up over that five six seven eight-thousand-dollar mark and at that point. I think you will realize this is here to stay. And when I say that with Bitcoin because Bitcoin is essentially the forerunner in this, everything is pinned to that essentially at this point. So, I don't make any predictions on pricing because I think that would be wrong. It's not really a position for me to be in that I do see brighter days ahead. Can everyone hold out for that and believe it until that time. That's something we'll have to wait and see. Right now, it's a topic that a lot of people ask me about. But what's going on about the Canadian exchange we see a lot of the exchanges here in Canada shut down, close doors, disappear even as recently as a couple of days ago. One of our friends out west went down for maintenance. Never came out of maintenance. It's not good for the sentiment of the market for our market to grow and continue to go where we hope it is. I really believe that cryptocurrency should be part of anyone's well balanced investment portfolio out there and we'll be as a new asset class looking for things like you know that company shutting down. I don't want to mention their names not nice I hope everything's OK with them it doesn't add any positive sentiment or trust to the market for us to go we need to have trust. So, we think that we need to see what I hope to see over this next 12 to 18 months is regulation common. People get scared about that, but I don't you know we fall as well as we possibly can. What does or does not exist out there today. And if we have a body covering over this regulation on it, we get. Yeah. People can feel more confident that they're going to have the issue like we've seen in the past. I think that's a positive thing for our marketplace.

Manseeb Khan : When it comes to regulation and regulations definitely term that gets thrown around a lot. I mean I like an ideal world. Let's talk hypotheticals theory in an ideal world what are these regulations looking like to you to give Canadian crypto currencies a fighting chance at least.

Justin Hartzman :  Well I think Canada is so far is a pretty crypto friendly country and I hope it stays that way. You know we do it very legitimately, we have proper banking partners. We don't hide anything that we do out there. We get asked questions by the powers to be that exist out there at the OSC and we answer them, we provide all detail. We know we're a Fintrac company on our side. So, we report to Fintrac where need to be if there's any suspicious activities. We more of that out there. We need someone who's the governing body to watch over those not nefarious or shady characters opening up exchanges and taking people's money or not custodial servicing properly or you know being part of transactions that shouldn't be occurring cross-border. So those things if there's people in place with those rules or whatever the government body looks like which probably is the OSC here. Well it is right now it should be the OSC here in Ontario. It's a wait and see game right. We're going to follow a lot of rules what happens in the US and I think the US will be sort of the dictate what we see next.

Manseeb Khan : I'm glad Canada's actually as crypto friendly as it is. I mean a lot of people might not think about it actually like when you start reading into it and  actually getting to know some of the key players. Thankfully Canada has a lot more crypto friendly than it usually is being how conservative Canada has been in its traditional past.

Justin Hartzman : Absolutely. We need we need that. Say we have an opportunity to be at the forefront. You're doing another space in technology like A.I. where we're a hotbed for A.I. right now. I love about space as well. I play in it. And as Canada you know we're a great country with smart people. We've a lot of people who want to do great things. But what we don't are the billion-dollar businesses because our market is really small here in Canada. So, we need to support those businesses and these cryptocurrency and new technologies and AI the best that we can to start creating these billion-dollar enterprises are from Canada into the US and Europe and Asia and really take the next level and put us ourselves on the map. So, it's something that anyone in the technology community which I happen for 20 plus years. You know something. I've sold three other technology companies prior to running this. I love it. And we need to support it. And you know everyone has to do their part in that space.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. No. I mean I can agree with you. Yeah, we really don't have a billion-dollar company in Canada and  it's kind of a shame because like the space and just like even just the fintech space and the crypto space and just like these new emerging spaces in Canada we have a lot of very bright, very talented people here. But sadly, we don't have the infrastructure as of yet to really keep them. And have like the next Google the next Facebook just out of Toronto or Waterloo yet.

Justin Hartzman : Well yeah to that point we see all those companies coming up to Canada for our talent but to be frank with you we are a technology company at the heart of things. You know. Fintech or not it's technology that runs this. It is a super competitive market. There is a war on talent. And what we're lucky is we don't see as many people running to the US to those jobs at Google anymore because a lot of them that do exist here and a really big startup community where people get their feet wet into these awesome companies and get their equity and all those pieces. We actually need to start bringing and I've seen this a lot we a lot of people from Brazil and other places around the world coming to Canada bringing their expertise here. So, if we could have people migrate to where we are where all this action is happening and bring other smart folks here you seem to be keeping good ones, but we need more. We don't have enough at this point. So, we need our supply to go up for sure.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. No that's just totally fair. I mean I think it's like once we have an ecosystem once we have, I guess better foundations to support multi-million/ billion-dollar companies then I think talent's just going to pool in. Like you're going to have people from Brazil people from overseas saying hey wow Canada is an actual player and a force to be reckoned with. Why  the heck not work for Coinsmart I mean they're killing it, they're doing X Y and Z in the market. I love to be a part of that. That's something I could definitely  myself being a part of.

Justin Hartzman : Yeah. Breaking news Quadriga just put out a brand-new message 12 seconds ago of a file for creditor protection in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. So that's big bad news here in Canada. That's not what I want to hear. I'm sad to be reading that. Well they are a competitor. So, I want to see this success of the market and this is definitely not helpful for that. You know we just talked about that earlier.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. Oh, that's wild. That's crazy timing. I mean what you said about in 2019. I mean like it's a brand-new year.

Justin Hartzman : I'm super excited by the OTC space and the large financial institutions getting into it. We see some great stuff happen at the end of this year. It's coming out now on the custodial services for institutions and as institutions come to this market, they'll be investing in it. People will know about it more because traditional investors will see it as part of their portfolios and have an  option to buy through those which I think is going to drive more positive sentiment more trust the markets. I think that's a really big piece having them come in here. OTC there's a lot of opportunity for large desks around the world to move heavy amounts of coins. So, I think that's exciting for us, we're playing a role in that right now, connecting great deals and AI obviously playing a big role. And you know we deal with some partners where we can look at how we hedge coins coming in or not much more if we're not matching them or catching them. So, we look at those pieces, can we in Canada as regulation comes offer things like automated financial products much like a Wealth simple can we do that in the crypto space. Understanding based on artificial intelligence. What your risk tolerance is knowing that your risk tolerance can get you to a bucket of crypto currencies that's managed by  AI to give some great results for you in the long run. So, a self-managed driven bucketed goods of ETF funds that I think is something that's really exciting for us as we move forward. Wealth simple you know very respectful company. I went to school with Mike the CEO there I think he's a great guy. Good buddy. They've done something great and they've helped bring a lot of millennials to the market by going Hey you know housing is a little too expensive for us until we can afford that or if we decide not to afford that. We want to be investing. But traditional investment house you're going to your bank or some things that you're doing doesn't really know anything. It's not our way of doing it. If I could go on my phone and answer a couple of questions and know that my money is being managed the appropriate way using, you know proper managers as well as artificial intelligence. That's so cool and that's everything that we're looking for. Can we bring the crypto space?

Manseeb Khan : I mean like just think of it as more of like a lazy perspective of the fact that you have to actually go to a bank, book a meeting wait for your broker to actually sit down with you and then kind of go over it  with you. Like just that just so much like hey if I can do this in my underwear while  making coffee. Why the heck. What an odd design.

Justin Hartzman : Yeah, it's not even that like you know you go in to. Yeah. I don't know people realize this. This is the same thing you talk about social media marketing. I'll talk about that afterwards, but you go into your bank and you set up an appointment with a quote unquote investment professional. What made that person an investment professional? That's someone who's a year out of school. They're trying to do something they're offering products at just the bank has available to you which are clearly well I don't see clearly not but not the best investments that I'm sure you could find better if you find some to help you with that. That's not really what you should be doing. And then the alternative is going to a professional who's been doing this for a long time and manages huge amounts of money but there's a significant cost to that. At the same time which you don't want to bear. So, this technology is the longest offers you got from going from someone who knows nothing to the people who know a lot. You know not clairvoyant but know a lot and bring it to everyone. I think that's really key.

Manseeb Khan : I mean you briefly touched on the social media aspect, but could you expand on that.

Justin Hartzman : Well it's just a social media side of things when I mentioned the same thing. You can go to a social media management company but if unless you have the biggest budgets or you're the biggest brand out there again they're putting on you they're fresh out of university student who's come on to manage your account to answer the phone call for you but they don't manage billions of dollars in ad spend millions of dollars not spend it on all the levers to pull or what's going on. They're just they're doing a job. It takes time to get there. That's the whole point. When you're getting into a market anywhere where it's financial side or social media marketing you want the people who are taking all that amazing top level knowledge and distilling it down into an automated way for you somebody who didn't have access to that previously. So, I just see this as a very big parallel between those two industries.

Manseeb Khan : I love it. I mean look that's kind of where you're seeing challenger banks winning that battle right where you're having when you go to a bank. You definitely have a limited deck of cards that you're playing with comparatively if you go to a challenger bank and even taking it one step further going to open banking and start giving people more options. That's where banking gets really exciting. I mean it's an it's a very weird statement to say a banker getting excited but nonetheless that's  open banking is definitely where banking is going to get really exciting because customers are going to have that much more options to switch mortgage plans, to savings accounts may have.

Justin Hartzman : Yes, it's happening a lot right now in the insurance space like just going to your phone buying insurance plan. They want to see your car your car first you can take a picture of it. If something happens to your car you take a picture of it and show it off and you don't have to wait for the adjuster to come in. And they use A.I. to analyze how bad that was versus the same car that had a similar picture last time what it cost to fit all those technologies are really simple things. Well seeking the personal aspect of it well these don't need to be personal. I don't need to wait for 9:00 at night because adjuster in Toronto is busy after a small fender bender  for him to come to my house. Why wasn't that picture just sufficient? So, I'm totally with it. I am a big proponent of having technology make things easier across the board.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. Insurance tech is definitely something  that not a lot of people talk about. I mean there's definitely starting to be a little bit more of a buzz like insurance tech. Yes definitely. I mean it's a rabbit hole that I would definitely want to discover more on the show.

Justin Hartzman : I love that space. I think is super interesting I listen to a lot of podcasts not specifically about insure-tech but startups and insure-tech and banking tech and fintech and AI obviously big things and Block chain right now. You know like you I was just listening to a great podcast with the CEO of Cover in the U.S. Only right now. But you know simple things like the fact that you have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance you know you're renting somewhere you can pay your 20 bucks a month in case something happens. The fact that you can now take your phone buy it on there. Walk around your house just with a video camera on your phone show the TV that's on your wall, the kind of couch that you have. You know if you have any jewelry  or keepsakes show it on there. It's not a he said she said sort of game when the insurance companies are in business not to pay you. They don't want to you know if you have that 4k sixty-five-inch TV on the wall that you love that cost you four thousand dollars and you don't have a receipt for the can say no you don't have it. If you bought insurance this where you took that video and it's uploaded to your file right there in that app it just stops those problems. You know what it makes it harder for people who are doing nefarious activities like going like I had a 4k TV when they had a little 21-inch tube TV in their house who are scamming. Well good for him. We don't want those people scamming. They mess up everyone else's rates out there. Let's see what you have. Let's replace it with exactly what you had or better and let's all be on the same page. That's what helps everybody. Well it might screw people who are trying to look do things are off center. It helps the rest of us as the masses and I think that's a super important piece.

Manseeb Khan : Right. So, it was the name of the company that you just mentioned.

Justin Hartzman : It's called Cover.

Manseeb Khan : OK cool. I mean. Yeah. Take it take pictures at ensuring like you mention a bunch of jewelries. Instagram's definitely going to have a field day when it comes to knowing what the favorite rapper or artist through it you may have fake chains to try to do that.

Justin Hartzman :  I assume like hip hop. And we came on this call I heard you. This is some good tunes in the back.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. Yeah. Just like I was like I put some a little bit of elevator music before I wait for you to jump on.

Justin Hartzman : I liked it. I appreciate that.

Manseeb Khan : What's the future of Coinsmart looking like in 2019? What's some of the challenges? What's that you guys are going to embark on that I guess some of the listeners and some of the people using Coinsmart to get really excited.

Justin Hartzman : Yeah, I think the future for us is to continue to make it accessible for everyone. Offer more ways to get your money on and off of our network or just super simple. Increased ability just like boots on the ground where they'll be in contact with us or see possibly store front locations. We're looking at expanding into other territories outside of Canada. So, whether that be Europe and Asia or wherever it may be right now. So, a lot of expansion across the board. We really want to make the easiest to use, most accessible, most robust platform out there without over complicating everything. So, there's a huge coin selection like which as I said we're adding six and seven more coins in the next five or six weeks. And then again just simplifying, simplifying simplifying while increasing the security in the background. That's what you'll see out of us over the next six to eight months.

Manseeb Khan : And you can't tell us what coins you guys are adding right?

Justin Hartzman : We can't yet. We have a long list than that were you. So, we have to look at a lot of stuff, it's not easy list. That's just put anything on. We have to understand as truly utility coin in all our security and if to run it through.  We have one-hundred-and-eighty-page guideline of how we determine if it goes on or not. But we have narrowed it down to six and we'll be spreading it out come online shortly and everyone wants to know but to stay tuned we're happy. We'll start out see shortly.

Manseeb Khan : Also, to wrap this up what would be the best way to either contact you or Coinsmart. Why do we e-mail you? Do we Snapchat? Do we tweet you?

Justin Hartzman : Yes. Also, I'm always available and my team is you know just go to coin smart dot com click on the live chat. You can chat there just do a support ticket or if you want to ask me a question or have anything you want to know. I put my email address for everyone. You can email me at me at J H so it’s my two initials Justin Hartzman.  So, JH at coin smart dot com also.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome So Justin thank you so much for sitting down today. We had I mean  I loved the conversation that we had today.

Justin Hartzman :  My pleasure thanks for having me. And it was useful to some people and gave some good info if you guys have any questions please feel to reach out to me guys. J H at Coinsmart dot com.

Manseeb Khan : I really hope they do because this is a very smart individual.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

Subscribe & Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2

Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products, innovations, developments, and challenges!

Interested in getting involved as a partner or participant? info@ncfacanada.org

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

Share

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.22-Jan 25): Reducing Regulatory Burden by 25% in Ontario – Amar Nijjar of R2 Capital & Investments

Share

NCFA Canada | Jan 25, 2019

Ep22-Jan 25:  Reducing Regulatory Burden by 25% in Ontario

About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our Manseeb Khan sits down with Amar Nijjar the CEO of R2 investments. They chat about how R2 is helping innovate the real estate space, the Ontario's Securities commission hitting their 25% burden reduction goal, and Canada becoming a force to be reckoned with. Enjoy!

  • The complexities of Canada's regulatory burdens are preventing us from becoming a global player
  • All innovative entrepreneurs in the fintech sector should be getting behind the burden reduction initiative
  • Commercial real estate is a good asset class and now open to regular investors

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: Amar Nijjar, President & CEO, R2 Capital and Investments

Bio: Amar is the Founder of R2 Capital and Investments - Canada’s First National Online Marketplace for direct investing into commercial properties. Under his leadership, R2 has to grown to 25 employees and in 2017 transacted on $207MM of Debt & Equity capital. R2 has funded several projects diversified by property type as well as location. Amar has funded over $10 billion and underwritten over $30 billion of real estate during his career. Prior to starting Amar was Practice Leader and Executive Vice President at JLL's (Jones Lang LaSalle), Debt Capital Markets group. R2 continues to add talent to it’s fast growing operations and is looking for leaders of tommorow. Amar holds an MBA from Schulick School of Business at York University and an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering.


Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2


Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan:  Hey everybody Manseeb Khan here and thank you for tuning into another episode of Fintech Fridays. Just before we get started in this episode, I just want to do a little bit of housekeeping here. I just want to announce that we're super excited here at the NCFA to be launching the 5th Annual 2019 fintech financing Conference and Expo better known as FFCON19 which is going to be happening on April 3rd to 4th in Toronto Canada. FFCON19 is an immersive two-day conference and expo featuring high growth startups, emerging technologies, regulation, game changing projects, the latest trends, deal flow and investment opportunities. This year's theme is fearless with so much global risk in the air U.S. vs. China, Canada and China, Brexit, fintech industry adoption challenges, startup funding challenges, scaling issues FFCON19 is empowering companies with everything they need to build an amazing next generation business right here in Canada taking them global to show off to the world. We're launching it this week and registration and partnership opportunity will be opening up soon so stay tuned and get involved without any further ado here's Episode 22 of the FinTech FRIDAY podcast with Amar Nijjar the CEO and founder of our R2 investments. So, Amar could you just for the audience give us a little bit more of essentially what  R2 capital is since you are the CEO and the founder.

Amar Nijjar: Sure, R2 Capital is Canada's first online marketplace a technology-based platform that connects retail and institutional high net worth investors alike into private commercial real estate deals, income producing properties, shopping centers, plazas, medical office buildings, apartments, multifamily  housing as well as higher yielding development projects. You see a lot of construction cranes all around Canada. But especially in GTA a lot of action in Victoria Vancouver. Montreal is picking up right now, so we are in for a real estate guy. I used to work with Jones Lang LaSalle head of their debt capital markets group and before that I worked with some of the best in corporate finance. So, BMO, RBC and CIBC. And then we saw technology really disrupting how capital formation happens within the commercial real estate industry and we saw enormous gaps and that's what we're here to bridge to connect ordinary investors for small amounts to buy into large commercial properties or development projects for smaller.

Manseeb Khan: That's incredible. I think that's something a lot of people can definitely get excited about. Real estate is something that everybody, every entrepreneur wants to get into. So, this is incredible.

Amar Nijjar: Yeah that's right it's fixed income and steady returns it's predictable you know money is a little bit illiquid but that's the nature of the industry. You got to buy and hold. It's not like stocks and bonds and ETF where you can get in and out. Certainly, those investments have opportunity in the portfolio of any investor, but commercial real estate is more like fixed income other than illiquidity I think it's a very good asset class to invest in.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I can't agree with you more. So, on top of everything else that you're doing. You are actually sitting down on the regulatory burden reduction committee and helping out regulators like the Ontario Securities Commission hit their 25 percent burden reduction goal and challenge. Could you just explain that a little bit why is this goal important? What does this all mean and essentially the role of this?

Amar Nijjar: Yeah so myself along with a few other individuals’ entrepreneurs in the industry at NCFA national crowdfunding fintech association. There's been a steering committee for burden reduction formed at that end and I put my name in the hat and this selected me for that's just all a new initiative over at NCFA and so thank you for listening to this. I think it's very important for all the entrepreneurs in the industry because securities laws obviously that protect investors but entrepreneurship especially in the fintech space that a lot of gaps and small businesses, small entrepreneurs trying to have a vision to do something bold and sticking with Canada and not going to Singapore or U.S. or UK those economies have much better opportunities. And the regulatory framework is definitely a lot more flexible. We are laggards in Canada no doubt about that especially in Ontario. But what's really exciting right now is to the extent Ford government has really taken taking the bull by the horns, red tape reduction, burden reduction. This is exactly what we needed. So in twenty nineteen I think it's going to be an exciting year and then we're very excited we'll also see Ontario Securities Commission Chair Maureen Jenson come out with a circular notice to the industry internally and externally exclusively on burden reduction so we can talk a little bit about that too but it's a great time for entrepreneurs to get behind this because this may be sometimes a secondary party a for a lot of entrepreneurs. We're all busy hiding in that building our technology and building our businesses and hiring the best talent and keeping them and also renting the space and every little thing is you know. But you are only as good as a regulator would allow you to. So, there is absolutely no doubt in anybody's mind that should be that if they want to be in crypto, in online investments and online marketplaces technology-based sale of securities security tokens and block chain they need to get involved. They need to lobby, and they need to talk to the Minister of Finance. They need to talk to the securities regulator and get our collective voices heard because those entities are open to change and they're willing to listen. It's just we need to make an effort to make them understand what the gaps are.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. Again, I can't agree with you more. It's important to me like you mentioned Canada's very laggard, Canada's traditionally very conservative when it comes to these kinds of changes and I mean its kind of makes sense why they want to make sure that what they're betting on it's actually right for investors. So, could you just talk a little bit more of before you. Before we touch back on what the minister and like what their new vision is. Could you just explain a little bit more of what the current regulatory framework looks like and what the key objectives are of said regulators.

Amar Nijjar: So, the current framework is extremely, extremely complicated. It is mind blowing a complicated you need a lot of legal advice which is extremely expensive and even then, the there is a disconnect between the legal industry and the law industry. The entrepreneurs what and how we are trying to build a business and the securities regulators expectations of the policy in the favorite set that are huge gaps are very wide right now and they need to be bridged. And where do we start. For example, let's talk about harmonization. So, in Canada like we have a dozen different countries, every province has their own mind on how to sell and regulate investments in securities Ontario Securities Commission is the most conservative and the biggest one at the same time too. Ontario has the most number of investors. B.C. has certainly got a role model in this regard and they've been consistently getting the best stores by CFIB. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business Small businesses out there. So, Ontario has been a laggard. It's good to see regulatory changes political changes coming. But there is so much more to be done harmonization for example that I'm talking about. Every province has their own mind in terms of how to regulate that. So online portals now are national and international in nature. There is no physical boundary, there's no paperwork. It's all digital. it's online. It's on the web. So, the gatekeeping of where an investor comes from and how they get into a deal, what amount they can invest in things of that nature get extremely complicated. So, it's like in Canada somebody is trying to run a national platform it's like you are trying to operate in like 12-15 different jurisdictions globally within the same country. So that is extremely painful for entrepreneurs.

Manseeb Khan: That yeah. Oh my God I can't even like you are explaining that it's very complicated. That's like for me a little bit of anxiety. Could you just. So, what do you see the biggest gaps being that you briefly touched on, but I guess to you what you see the biggest gaps being?

Amar Nijjar: So, for example in Ontario there is a so-called crowdfunding exemption which about three years ago was announced by the regulators and the government at the time to promote capital flow into small to midsize businesses the way investments get formalized and capital formation works. The  accredited investors and offering memorandum and some of those exemptions without getting into too much technicality essentially has a lot of burden and cost for a small and medium sized business to raise capital from the investment community. If they were to rely on some of those exemptions so they came up with this funding exemption. It doesn't work. It's been three years at least to the best of my knowledge nobody has been able to use crowdfunding exemption. It was supposed to be if you're trying to raise small amounts a million two million dollars it was supposed to make it easy for you as a business owner to tap into investment community a.k.a. crowdfunding to bring those investors into these deals without having to spend a fortune on the lawyers and the audited financial statements and a plethora of two paperwork. Ironically not one, not one. It's like blasphemous. Nobody's been able to use that exemption because the way it has been structured its just lip service. It does not work. For example, there's a marketing restriction. So, if you are running a small business and you want to raise a million bucks and you go to our portal or some of the other portals like a friend finder or a you know lending loop and some of these others. They cannot rely on this exemption in Ontario and advertise to the broader market on the Internet that we are raising. You are raising money to us through our portal to the investment community and investors can invest. There is an advertising and marketing restriction and yet on top of that there is an audited financial statement required even though you only get half a million dollars of capital. And anybody who is doing the audited financial statements knows that they can cost anywhere from twenty-five to fifty thousand dollars. So, you can imagine you're trying to raise half a million bucks and you're spending 25 to 50 thousand dollars on audited statements alone per year right. And then whatever is left you are this cost of capital raise is portal cost as well. The regulatory filings, the legal costs. I mean the model has  been put together in a way that it's completely doomed to fail from day one. And the proof is that nobody's used it. So, a lot of these things need to be rehashed and change and the industry together needs to verbalize and vocalize their pain points to make the change happen.

Manseeb Khan: How else is that impacting the industry especially to new entrepreneurs and small business in the fintech space aside from the crowdfunding.

Amar Nijjar: I mean there's a lot of excitement. People go to these conferences a lot of young people. There's tremendous amount of talent in Toronto and Ontario and Kitchener, Waterloo. I think we have a good university. We have a good work ethic. So, we have a we have a great talent pool and a lot of those millennials are interested in jumping into the entrepreneurship world. And it's very challenging. Access to capital is extremely challenging. The regulatory framework to set up your business and your company. The red tape that you have to go through is excruciatingly painful. But the worst is if you're in any business that can be perceived as in the business of selling investments or furtherance or trade you get regulated and now how you get regulated, how you get licensed and how you maintain that there's a tremendous amount of burden on smaller firms to get the answers in a timely fashion. It takes forever. There's no simplicity in the process. It's extremely complex and it can be very discouraging for a lot of small entrepreneurs. And we've seen a lot of companies either never really took off or they took off and they just failed. And there are numerous examples where in Ontario we were really pushing talent away or we are setting them up for failure because of the red tape and the burden is huge. It is hard as it is to start a business. You know the wages are very expensive the rents very expensive in Toronto and somebody is able to sustain the business organically. The regulation and the burden just to the complete killer. So, there is a huge long list of the tombstones and the graveyard of all these young entrepreneurs who wanted to start up something, but they just got caught up in all of this and that it was a failure.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I mean hopefully with these new regulatory changes and just hopefully  the excitement in the fintech space in and of itself hopefully allow these young entrepreneurs can kind of look past that and not like you like we mentioned before kind of go abroad and start businesses elsewhere like you mentioned in Singapore when may have you. You did briefly touch on the CFIB report. Do you have any comments based on the report that just came out?

Amar Nijjar: Yeah. So, I mean the people can Google that and read more about that. There was a financial Post article on that, but I think one of the most encouraging things are that we were consistently getting a C, C minus D rating for last several years I think over a decade. And finally, we jumped from C minus I believe last year to A minus. If my stats are right something like that. So, we made a significant jump but at least a direct result of the Ford government and you know Fideli's office trying to push down at the grassroots level to cut the red tape and reduce the burden. So, Ontario opened for business team. It's certainly going around. And what was personally very encouraging for me was that on January 14th only 10 days ago or so Ontario Securities Commission came out and they have set up an agenda, a task force to reduce the burden on smaller entrepreneurs like us by 25 percent. And this is directly the result of the governments that the government of Ontario is open for business action plan. So, I think we definitely need to give kudos to the government to helping us out. It does flow to the grassroots level now. It's too early to see how the results are and how it all pans out. But I think the first step. Ontario Securities Commission is asking the questions. Anybody interested in this they can just google burden reduction. Ontario Securities Commission staff noticed, and they should be able to see summary of that. But the regulator is starting to ask some of the key questions. For example, are there operational or procedural changes which would make our day to day life easier or less costly. Are there ways to get greater certainty regarding the regulatory requirements. Because we have oftentimes waited for over a year to get approval on something simple lasting bureaucracy. So, when we see this it's very encouraging. There are questions around their forms and filings that we and other market participants need to submit. That can be lessened. Are there other items that are unduly burdensome. So, all of this is very encouraging, and I really hope that our community will participate. They're asking for feedback, I think. Craig Asano at NCFA is doing a phenomenal job putting it all together. So, people should reach out to him and write to him and also make the comments available to Ontario Securities Commission Act. Comments@OSC.ON.CA. It's very for the industry lobby just together.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. Hey, I got a shout out  Craig. I mean that guy cannot get champion enough. He's doing absolutely incredible things in the industry and I mean having amazing people like you and having people like Craig and just having so many incredible people in the industry advocating for change I think I really think it's just a matter of time because every single person in the fintech industry has a very great personal brand behind them and they have amazing audiences behind them so it's like hey where you guys are just shedding light on issues and topics and concerns. So, I think again I think it is a matter of time. Everything we happen.

Amar Nijjar: I think one of the things and what you're doing is also extremely helpful. You are part of this change. You are going to make this incrementally better for each of us and maybe exponentially better. And what you are doing is extremely important to get our voices heard. And you know in the Internet age of the blogs and podcasts I think the message goes fast and people appreciate that. But you know what. One of the guys that I think you should interview on your next one should be Grant Vingoe. He is vice chair OSC, Ontario securities commission. I've an opportunity to meet with them. Very, very nice individual and very professional. He understands the pain point and he has expressed enormous willingness to help the industry. So, I think they need to be on the podcast. There is another individual Naizam Kanji . He's director of the M&A and he is the special advisor to the chair on regulatory burden reduction. You should get Naizam Kanji on your show as well. And these things are extremely important to do.

Manseeb Khan: I just wrote that  while you're giving me the names, I was writing them down to lock them in for the next couple episodes, so we'll have like a little burden reduction regulatory a theme there. We mentioned the minister a little bit. Could you just be looping back? Could you explain what the guidance kind of looks like. What are you excited about? Would you not accept about? I mean there's definitely a lot of excitement behind this but there's probably a lot of concerns, could you voice a little bit more on that?

Amar Nijjar: Yeah, I mean look this is all positive. It is definitely extremely positive. So what Fideli's office, what Ford government's messaging open for business burden reduction all these good things that they're saying. What's encouraging is that it would appear that it's just not lip service that it's actually getting pushed down to the grassroots level through the government and associated bodies whether that's ministry of labor, Ontario Securities Commission, financial services commission of Ontario and many other layers of regulatory bodies out there. So, it's very encouraging step. And they've made a blanket statement 25 percent burden reduction. And I think that's extremely important to set. That's kind of a milestone because other than that it's just a bunch of words and it doesn't mean anything. So that feedback down to the different government bodies to take action is a bubbling through the industry. So, it's very encouraging to see that.

Manseeb Khan: Is there anything else that you're currently excited about. I mean being in the real estate space, being in the fintech space now , 2019 is a new year. I mean everybody has their one thing that they're excited about. Could you just for a second give us a little bit more insight of what you're really excited to see in 2019.

Amar Nijjar: Right. So, look you know perhaps I can talk about platforms like ours and I'm sure there are many others that in different industries the value that they're creating. So, what is R2 fundamentally do that's different than the public markets and other opportunities out there the public market the reach stock somebody can invest in a real can or some of these other equities out there it's public market risk. You get 4-5 percent distribution and then the real estate could be fine if the stock market takes a tumble. Your stock does too. The large real estate is in the hands of billions of dollars of pension fund managers, investment managers, institutional money managers, large family offices to them basically high net worth guys and girls. But the masses they're like an estate look around real estate is all around you. But how do you participate in that. How do you take a little investment off your holding into real estate? It was impossible because all of that is private. You can buy it you know if somebody has as rich dad, they can certainly put together to few million bucks and buy a property worth 8 million take a mortgage for five or six and put the 2 million is cash and have a nice 15 percent return over per year for the next three to four years right. But fundamentally the value we are creating groups like ours are creating in the industry that we are allowing investors to invest into those kinds of deals for small amounts. Ten thousand dollars, twenty-five thousand dollars and sometimes even smaller. So what we are doing is we're opening up a source of capital for property owners and developers who need that capital formation to be able to do more product yes to charge a fee but they're happy to share in the profits and the rental income and development profits and at the same time we are opening up investment opportunities for small investors to invest into property direct. So how are the regulators and the government allow us to work is going to fundamentally change lives of many people and that investment in wealth holdings right. The Wealth simples. You know what they have done allows small investors to go online in a fun exciting manner. But those groups like ours we are only as good as the regulator would allow us to. And the bandwidth is small. Right. Like our runway is small so if we either we get over the hump and we survive, or the burden takes over and it kills the business and then the innovation moves to other jurisdictions then we as Canadians we cannot afford to leave talent from Canada elsewhere.

Manseeb Khan: Yes, I can't agree with you more. I mean just talking to like CEOs that are building companies in Canada, build companies in Toronto. The talent pool in Canada is actually incredible something that a lot that a lot of Canadians if not maybe the world may overlook and just letting that die and letting about to just kind of go to waste that just would be such a shame. But I mean on the positive end are seeing a lot more last year especially this year a lot of international investments coming into Canada actually seeing hey wow Canada actually has some really talented people, very interesting very, smart people and they're building some very incredible. Let's be part of this. Let's try to grab a piece of this or let's try to build this to become the next Singapore or what may have you right?

Amar Nijjar: Hundred percent. Hundred percent. We are attracting talent from other jurisdictions. I think there's a lot more to be done there. We are certainly you know with just tons of talent here that we need to retain better. You know I think diversity is our strength. I think with all the backgrounds we have that that's driving entrepreneurship that comes along with a lot of immigrants. They come with the dream. And I think all of that makes Canada a unique place. So, our regulators and the government need to help us to bring some of the success stories outside of Canada and make a global success story. Canada's a small market and economies of scale are incredibly difficult to attain in Canada. But on top of that we have all this burden. So, unless we innovate and be flexible, we cannot create delays. Look at how many Canadian success stories are out there especially in the technology space compared to the stories coming out of China or India or USA obviously. Right. We are far behind, but we can do so much better.

Manseeb Khan: Yes. I can't agree with you more taking stories like yours taking stories like some of the past guess that we've had or just Canadian success stories and kind of projecting it into the global marketplace. I think that's just going to help us even more and let outside eyes kind of understand like what's kind of going on and hopefully help because Canada like you said is a very small market and it has such a potential to be such a power player. But as of yet like we're making steps but we're not there yet. Right.

Amar Nijjar: So, thank you for your time. I do have to run for a meeting unless there's any last.

Manseeb Khan: No, the last one would be what's the best way to contact you. Do we email we Snapchat you? For people to want to get into or to  R2 investments or just to talk to you directly and to understand a little

Amar Nijjar: My personal contact is best on LinkedIn which is Amar Nijjar and R2  without the D so if somebody linked in me that I am I'm more than happy to accept the invitation to engage with them. Our  Web site to learn more about how we are innovating in the spaces r2-re.com and re as in real estate.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, Amar thank you so much for sitting down me today and yeah, I wish you all the best and we'd have you on our show again.

Amar Nijjar: Thank you.

Manseeb Khan: And yep that's it. That's the on the show on the behalf of Canada's leading national fintech crowdfunding association. I wish you an amazing FinTech Friday and weekend.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

Subscribe & Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2

Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products, innovations, developments, and challenges!

Interested in getting involved as a partner or participant? info@ncfacanada.org

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

Share

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.21-Jan 18): Meritocracy, Decentralized Innovation and the Power of Collaboration, CEO Next Decentrum, Hussein Hallak

Share

NCFA Canada | Jan 18, 2019

Ep21-Jan 18:  Meritocracy, Decentralized Innovation and the Power of Collaboration

About this episode:  On this episode NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Hussein Hallak the CEO of NextDecentrum. They chat about AI in the education space, mentorship, and what decentralized innovation looks like to him. Enjoy !

  • Humans aren't perfect but we've managed to create online meritocracy through communities and value systems
  • A vision for global education and decentralized access to innovation and mentors
  • Top advice to startups and entrepreneurs launching new ventures (passion, idea, ability to add value)

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: Hussein Hallak, Co-founder and CEO, Next Decentrum

Bio: Hussein Hallak is the CEO and Founder of Next Decentrum, a blockchain education company. Evangelist at Launch Academy, one of North America’s leading tech incubators with over 600 tech startups incubated and over $150 Million raised. Serial entrepreneur and startup founder with over 25 years of business experience. Developed 20+ startups and mentored and trained thousands of entrepreneurs. Creator of Intro to Blockchain, The Blockchain Course, Blockchain Business Fundamentals, Make the LEAP, The Startup Course, and the Lean Entrepreneur Acceleration Program. Strategic advisor for several successfully funded tech and crypto startups including Fintrux, Interfinex, Traction Health, and Peace Geeks. Marketing advisor for leading conferences including Fintech & Funding, Traction Conf, CIX, and Van Funding. Graduate of the Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme. BSc in Electronics Engineering. Featured in Forbes, BBC, Entrepreneur, Roundhouse Radio, and Notable. Passionate about tech, lean, startups, design thinking, impact, blockchain and decentralized innovation. I live to inspire entrepreneurship and unleash breakthrough innovation through connection, collaboration, and community.

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts:  Season 1  |  Season 2


Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan:  Hey everybody Manseeb Khan here and you are tuning in to Episode Twenty-one fintech Fridays. Today we have an absolutely incredible guest Hussein Hallak, Hussein to say thank you so much for sitting down with me today.

Hussein Hallak: Oh, my pleasure. I'm looking forward to it. Thank you for having me.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. Know for sure. So just for the audience could you just give us a little bit more of. Tell us a little bit of yourself who you are and essentially what your company does.

Hussein Hallak: Yeah. So, I am the CEO of Next Decentrum. Next Decentrum is a company that builds a tool called the CXO.AI and the aim of this tool is to help Everybody learn from or everybody learn from everybody else. So, we believe, and I believe I grew up in and out of Syria Damascus. And there the biggest challenge was it's a country where there is not the same thing that we have here in Canada. where you don't have people mentoring you helping you. You really have only the education from the government and that's about it. So, I when I reached here in Vancouver five years ago to be probably in a couple of days it will be five years ago, I realized that everybody is into mentorship. Everybody is mentoring somebody else. Everybody has something that they want to contribute and give to somebody else. That was a big mind opener for me. And what I realized is everybody has something to teach and everybody had something to learn. Now I lived that for the past twelve years in Dubai but I was thinking that that's only me and the people around me but I realize now this is a mindset that a lot of successful people have, a lot of people around the world want to learn from those people instead of just reading books and instead of just attending courses there's a lot you can learn from someone that can guide you through the way. And this became very valuable when I spent over three months trying to learn how a Bitcoin transaction works. I'm an engineer but I studied engineering so it shouldn't be that hard, but the reason is I couldn't find the right material. So, a lot of mentorship is guiding people and getting them to find what they need really, really fast. So, I thought this is very powerful. Can we build a tool that help people teach through content curation? That is what we're building. That is what we're super excited about. And I think and I believe that it's going to change how people learn. It's going to be a great addition to how we learn right now. We're going to provide many people the ability to share their experience share what they're capable of doing to contribute and a lot of other people to learn from them. So that is what we're building. That is what I'm excited about and that is a little bit of my history I have a long history of building many startups. And this is what I do as an entrepreneur. All my life that's all I mean in building startup taking that idea from just an idea to a company.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No that's it's you do have a very incredibly extensive background in entrepreneurship and just not only just building amazing companies but also helping mentor like. It's not like thousands of entrepreneurs and giving and like you being their guiding light of like "Hey these are the mistakes I made as entrepreneur. These are the actually really rock-solid  advice that I have gotten saved my ass more time and time again. It's incredible that we have amazing people like you that are not only out their mentoring people but also creating a platform, an educational platform for everybody to kind of get more or less the same kind of mentorship or just that one tool one that you're offering for all looks for such amazing people.

Hussein Hallak: That's so kind of you. I realized by working and having a lot of people helped me to get to where I am, and I couldn't contribute back to them. So, the only way I could actually paid back to them is to pay it forward by helping other people and my condition to helping other people for them to help other people. I think that's how we build a community of interconnected people that are committed to each other that that creates prosperity and help people thrive. Everyone around  us .Like I was telling a friend of mine that this is he asked on me why do you do that?  And I said because it gives back to me it made me feel good, but he pressed me even more. And I think it's a matter of survival. When you grow up in a place where everybody brings you down and not intentionally but just being in a place where oppression is just the norm. You grew up kind of knowing that unless people around you are uplifted going after what fulfills them you cannot realize your own dreams. So, it's a matter of survival that you need to uplift other people and help them achieve greatness for you to achieve greatness. So that's why I do it. It's a very selfish approach of why I do it.

Manseeb Khan: Just building this new ecosystem of just entrepreneurs and just helping each other and just creating bridges. What is incredible because now you can go and ask other CEOs or other founders for help and for questions and everything because they've probably gone the exact same things you are, or they are probably haven't faced that problem yet. like Oh crap. I didn't even think about that OK. What are you doing? OK. That kind of makes sense. OK let's do that too.`

Hussein Hallak: Yeah. It's very it's very uplifting. Mentorship is probably the lifeblood of successful entrepreneurs. Your basic premise is you can't get there without a great team and a lot of supporters and people rooting for you. People helping you. Yeah so definitely an essential thing. I completely agree.

Manseeb Khan: I mean I like I don't want to give a shout out really quick to Craig. Craig is the CEO and the founder of the National fintech crowdfunding association. Just what I've learned from him. Just like an arm's distance or just via a text or just via weekly phone calls of seeing where we are like. I've already grown so much as a person. And I'm like Oh my God. I'm so excited to see how much more I can grow. So, like the mentorship thing really just and like meeting amazing people like yourself from the podcast. That is so incredible because I'm just like every day I feel like I'm like growing so much more like I'm 10xing  my growth because I'm talking to like OK cool like what are you doing this week. OK. This week we're on to talk about  AI education. I'm like OK cool. What does that? I don't know. Find out my boom Crash Course. Yeah, it's awesome. It's the best it's like one of the best feeling the world.

Hussein Hallak: Yeah. Shout out to Craig. He's probably one of the hardest working people I've met. Oh my God. I agree. Relentless. Yeah. I thought I was hard working when I worked with him on some of the conferences, we're putting together like Vanfunding at a FSCon. This guy pushes it to a completely different level. I thought my God. Oh, you pushed me definitely by seeing his work ethic and what he's working on. I definitely enjoy working with him. Sometimes I hate it because he pushes way too much. And yeah. Good to push beyond the limit and kind of experience a new a different horizon. Of where you can go with what you're doing. And it's that kind of people that I've met through him are awesome.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I mean it's always like testing out your boundaries and like figuring out how far can you take it like what's your threshold. Like and Craig is one of those incredible people that will really test like Oh you think he can go this far. You can actually know this much further. So, switching gears could you just explain to the audience a little bit more of why  AI education is important. Given all the things we're seeing in the media like all like hey like Skynet is going to take over everything like why education is such an important factor when it comes to A.I. and how do you see services and platforms like yourself helping people understand the  AI conversation a little bit better.

Hussein Hallak: Well for us. AI was born out of the need of achieving the end, but we have in mind. So, the end we have in mind is an education that works for you. You're not locked into a system that you have to adjust to it. So, the biggest challenge right now that we see at least in the education space is that you're locked into a way of how the educators see that you need to learn about a topic which makes sense. They are the expert. They are the leader on the topic or thought leader and they know they have a certain way of doing it. However. Think to take into consideration the diversity and how people learn the different styles of people learning the different pace. It's really hard to locking people into a certain way and that's why online learning had a big problem which is learning and people committing to the courses is only around 10 percent or 10 percent of people get to complete the courses they sign up to. So, they find out they paid and then they only 10 percent completion 10 to 20 percent at best which is a massive problem. We need people to learn we need people to gain new skills. We need people to have the ability to execute their work, so we thought what the best way is. What is a better way of doing it? And we thought  AI can help. And the way we're doing it is that helping AI adapt to people's habits to people ability to learn and to their pace. So, what we do is if you sign up to the courses that we're putting together our courses are curated so we believe there's a lot of content out there so engaging people and helping them to go out of their way instead of being locked into one person's way of explaining things. So, mentors that's what we believe their role is to kind of open up your eyes to the world and lead you to the best of everything. So, if you want to learn that they helped grow. Here are the best content articles, videos, books about growth. Here are the best articles growth articles, books, and videos on let's say how to manage your people and so on so forth. So, the mentorship course is about curation during the best that is out there. And it works according to your style. So, if you want to learn at a certain pace you kind of tell the system. This is the piece I want, and the system adapts to that. The system tracks and this is not broadly across the system, so we are trying to  to be very clear on. We don't take your data and study it and kind of study all the data that's out there and kind of forced you into this is what the A.I. telling you that this is the best you could. No, the A.I. locked in your pattern and learning adapts to how you are learning. So, are you clicking on these articles, are you liking the content of this style not this style?  So, it adapts to your way of learning and tried to suggest to you thing that matches your way of learning. So, learn you gives you that feedback and also taken into consideration what the mentor had set up so it's not taking from the whole internet because we think that doesn't really work. We just so it's a mentor guided A.I. driven. And to kind of adapt to how you learn and how you prefer the best and how you how you grow better. So that's how that's what we're building we're in the process. It's not an easy process which we have to be. We have a long way to go but they're an exciting place we see for this technology and for how it can make an impact in this sector which is education.

Manseeb Khan: Right. I mean I absolutely agree with you like there are so many different kinds of learning styles and just reading methods and like videos my work for some person. Blogs might work  another person some people aren't even like podcasts like what we're doing right now. It's actually quite incredible that you guys are creating an A.I. that understands hey Manseeb actually learns this way. Hussein actually learns This way. Okay cool. Let's just tailor it. They are probably learning the exact same thing. They're probably very much interested of like hey how do I become a better leader. I don't become a better mentor how do I become a better Team member as well. Okay Manseeb likes audio, Hussein likes video.

Hussein Hallak: Yeah well what we have right now due to the resources and what A.I. opens up the way we see it simply is that the way we have been set up is that you prepare everything at the start, and you adapt, you iterate. As much as you're capable to with AI we see ability to constant iteration, constant evolution based on how humans evolved. So, we evolve our way of thought. We evolve our view of the world. We I mean hopefully we continue to learn hopefully fingers crossed. Yeah. Because some people are locked into a certain way of the world and that that's all we are I acknowledge that but a lot of people they want to grow up they want to achieve. You're kind of forced out of your comfort zone and you have to explore new things and as you continue to learn and you take steps forward you change and you grow and you learn new things and you might change how you learn and how you consume information and what kind of information do you kind of desire. So, having the power of AI an adaptive learning kind of adapt to your growth at the speed of your growth that is where we think there is power here. There's a big opportunity and that's what we're involved right now in exploring and testing because we are very big believers in testing and learning from what they can learn.

Manseeb Khan: I love it. Yeah, I love it. There's a there's one of my favorite Gary Vaynerchuk  quotes is always like test and learn, test, and learn it's like you don't like this thing do something else. I love that. I'm glad that you guys are building something that can actually help. Just yeah just making education fun again.

Hussein Hallak: That's where we started. We studied with our interest in block chain right. I've spent a couple of years studying and learning more and what surprised me is how little people know and because people know little and because most of the information out there is kind of guided by technical knowledge written mainly for people who are interested in the space. It was harder and harder for people who are outside even people who are super smart to kind of get in and learn. And that drove them away and said well I'll wait until this thing becomes mainstream and because of the crypto aspect of it they hear all this news about the market up market down and the three is there is a convoluted the promise of block chain what can do and what it's doing right now. It's kind of I would say covered by all this cloud a lack of understanding, of false information or sometimes information that are contradicting. So, we thought that that's a great topic to start with because we believe in things like decentralized innovation is the way forward. We decentralize power. I mean we've seen the impact of decentralizing things. It can work for us for a while but it's about time that we kind of decentralized that so that we have less problems. We have more security, we have more contribution and people being able to participate from wherever they are in the world whatever they are in the let's say in the societies that they structure they don't participate and they can't and they can actually add value and they can matter and build together from wherever they are we need that. Such a state of the world that we live in right now.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. Hundred percent. It's all it really. What are the core principles when it comes to block chain Just like all these amazing new technologies that are coming out especially in 2019 is that we're giving power back to the people? I mean I've mentioned this in the show before. I've had people come on the show they've also mentioned this. It's giving people the power back like your background of like coming from a place with oppression and just growing up and this kind of like cool like I'm very limited on what I can kind of do. And some people like we've mentioned like some people are. Sadly, they get beaten by that and they're kind of stuck the way they are. And they have a way out there's no options or what have you. But with this new wave of technology is new like the way that we're going to decentralize education and you can actually if you want, if you're interested in learning cryptocurrency these are resources out there that can teach you if you want to learn about mentorship, starting on business, how to file taxes, X,Y and Z whatever you want to learn it's out there because there's the Internet and the top of that. There's this new overarching technology that's going to make it that much more accessible and that much more tangible from you to actually like get out of whatever situation.

Hussein Hallak: Yeah absolutely. And it gives and it gives also rise. Every time we have a movement just like the block chain it’s kind of levels the playing field because for once all of the players that are already locking in the benefit of the Internet or so you're going to get it. You're going up against Amazon well to bad for you and Amazon owns all of the areas that they are they are in space. For example, Google. It's very very hard for entrepreneurs that are coming up right now because there were other being gobbled up by these big corporations hence that promise of new technology or new innovation is taken up by that entity and kind of disappeared that you wish if they don't want that they might take on the team and say hey you are smart people just focus on our thing and don't threaten our dominance in our space. And whereas now when you when you build communities especially when it has to do with crypto communities that they like bitcoin. It I threaten let's say PayPal for example just using that as an example. But let's say PayPal acquire Bitcoin. Bitcoin doesn't belong to anyone and things like that. The promise of that so that the community that helps Bitcoin grow is the community that maintains ownership and grows. And if you want to participate you can take part right now. Obviously the longer you wait the middle role you can play but you can continue. You can actually now become a developer of bitcoin if you want. You can participate in obviously because you're coming in late you have to prove yourself. You have to kind of like how it comes in society right. How we operate as people you're coming into a community you participate, you add value. You build up your personal brand slowly by contribution and that's for me closer to a meritocracy. Obviously, we're human beings. There is no perfect solution for life because that only happens with death. You can go into that kind of conversation but to the best of how human interaction and how we build communities and how we thrive together. This is the closest that I've seen so far to a community where it's all about your contribution and it's all about what you add as value and it doesn't matter where you come from, what's your name is because in those communities you're not even known if you want to. So, it all comes down to how much you add value if you add value and you play by the rules of that community. You're welcome. You're celebrated through your work and you have to continue to do that work. So, it's the closest I've seen to meritocracy ever and so on and so forth. If you don't like that community, you can build your own community or participate in another community. Very much about choice very much about what you contribute very much about or not about who you are where you come from and what your background is about what you can do right now for the media and I think that promise if it perpetuated across different industries different sectors can level the playing field for everyone and makes it really about what value do  you add rather than what you say and who you are and what your background is and how much money you have. All of these things become irrelevant and I think that that opens up the door for you and upcoming people to. It's really a marketplace of ideas and a marketplace of actual value.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah it really is like it's the amazing part is that no good deed goes unchecked. Really like if you are  bringing value to the community that you're in you are helping people you're answering questions like you just generally being a good person and helping and being of value, being of service to other people in your community. You're going to get rewarded for that. So, we did briefly touch on decentralized innovation right. What does the decentral innovation look like to you? And what are you most excited about. Like what is something that like oh when that happens, I can't wait till we get to that level.

Hussein Hallak: Well I'm excited about the ability to definitely public decentralized innovation and just like the Internet a public accessible to everyone network and that people participate without limitation. That is what I'm super excited about. I'm super excited about being able to solve real problems. That means I mean one of them is the ability to payment. A lot of people from our world that we live in right now the Western world. When I teach about a block chain. When I teach about bitcoin, I explained that that they here you don't see the value of that because you have multiple options. But even if you go to a city like Dubai who's known the fact of the Western world are being very modern and only a few years ago entrepreneurs could not build a company that accepts payment. Because the it's very expensive to set up a merchant account with a bank it's very limiting  and it's  highly expensive.  So, you cannot accept payment. So, imagine if you're building a startup that is online and you can't accept payment you can do it. You have so entrepreneurs really friends of mine who were originally from Canada had to travel back to have access to Stripe for example to be able to build their company. And that becomes very limiting. He was Canadian By and by origin so he could travel back but a lot of entrepreneurs there don't have any choice which actually limit the ability to build a great idea. And that's why decentralization in my world is connected definitely to innovation. It's a new way of doing things that enable all these ideas to pop up to be able to accept payment from anywhere in the world. And now truly you can build a startup that impact anywhere in the world even if you're in a place where you don't have accessibility to those resources that we have here. So, I think that's the biggest promise the biggest promise is to give access. I think the word access was probably the most dominant and the most important. If you give access people have the ability to innovate. People have the ability to add and contribute and up to up to now we had all kind of innovation happening at centers that circle cities where accessibility were resources. And now with the promise of decentralized innovation you can have really people who are sitting in a rural town whether it's the US and the state or here locally in the prairies in a very rural town where you have just internet access. you can now build a business and have access and contribute to someone who is living in Indonesia out of all places. They're just top of my head. You can be in a war-stricken country and as long as you have the access and you're able to be safe you can contribute, and you can change your situation. We can contribute with ideas because there's a lot of brilliant amazing people around the world that have the ability to contribute to. Have something that we need in the world maybe can contribute to solution in the other. So that's the first let's say promise access. The second promise is collaboration, true collaboration. Right now, collaboration only happens say on a big scale when certain people come together and are committed to a goal that they even if the goal that doesn't pay the money like Wikipedia. Most likely for a goal that gives them money and there they can take care of like a company which is a corporation like Facebook for example. But then you have a singular goal but would decentralize innovation. People can now contribute to multiple things and add value to multiple projects that actually solve real problems like the problem of climate change for example like the problem of let's say war or having people for example for humanitarian crisis. So, things like that people can participate and can participate in solving it and can  be the solution. While it may not be possible a certain area or by a singular body like a corporation it can be possible by many different people participating from around the world and creating a community that connected and working together. That way. So, I think active collaboration and the final word innovation is bringing something or creating something together that. Can never or could never be perceived before or thought is possible that adds value. And I think that is where innovation happens. So, these are these three promises that I think is central organization can bring. And that's why we're super excited about it.

Manseeb Khan: Access I love that I like that that makes so much sense because you have. All of these old gatekeepers that are still sadly in power and you're having decentralized innovation you're giving access to all these people that you've mentioned. But don't have access to information, don't have the tools to actually build a business because hey the next Facebook could be built out of Like Mauritius for all we know right. The next biggest thing could be built out of who knows where. So, what are some of your core principles you have when it comes to building new ventures?

Hussein Hallak: Well I thank you very much for the question I think for me. Building a company is very similar to climbing a mountain and in particular I related to climbing Mount Everest. I haven't done it. I may do it even though I'm lazy. I kind of related to climb Mount Everest. And if you think about it climbing Mount Everest doesn't make any human sense at all. Like why you would climb that mountain.

Manseeb Khan: There's no sense. Why would you do that so crazy.

Hussein Hallak:  It's really a desire not only that if you don't have it all starts with passion. A passion for something a thought  or an idea. So those people who end up climbing the mountain are driven by a passion to experience what it's like to be at the summit. Now whatever the source of that passion. Nobody cares but it's your passion you know it. So, most entrepreneurs unless you're extremely passionate about the end  result that you're after never ever go after something because the reason things are climbing a mountain is freaking hard. It's the hardest thing you can ever do. And even if you're in the right fit body to do that it's still as hard neared the summit. So even if you get an easy start that you have the money you have the time you have the energy it gets hard at the top. There is something in the climb over Everest called the Death Zone which is above 26000 feet and above that it is closer to the summit and there because of the thin air no matter how fit you are, going to suffer it's going to be super slow it's going to take you forever to get there and fit or not you're going to suffer so unless you have a passion for that you're not going to go through the suffering. So, number one I tell them first of all you need a lot of passion tons of it because it's going to be hard. And so that's the other thing that they need to know what they're getting themselves into. Most people think my idea is going to be the best. And so, I'm going to have a joy ride. It's going to be I'm going to be difficult. There's going to be smooth sailing. I have the money, I have the time, I have the skill set. It's going to be hard regardless of what you have. So, knowing that it's hard having a passion for starting point. The second thing is you need to have a central guiding idea which is adding value to customers. Bottom line if you want to win you have to add value to customers and you have to add it in a way that  no other competitor and no one in the market can ever do. And unless you do that there's absolutely zero chance that you're going to succeed at a big scale. You may succeed to build like a small business but unless you add immense value. So, at the center you have to focus on customers, and you can't. It sounds like a very stupid idea of course people will sign up to that. And of course, they say of course what else. Why are some building. But when you started doing it. Most people get busy focused on how great the product is, adding more features you know ,building the elements and building a business and forget about why they did it in the first place which is to add value to customers and if they have that that's the principle guiding every step. They're more likely to succeed. And underneath that comes a lot of things like you need a lot of customers to build a great big business. So, you need a big size market. You need to talk to customers to know what they want. And that goes into interviewing customers and staying connected. And you need to test your product according to what customers want. Not because you think these features and benefits are great. Who cares what you think it's what the customers think? So again, there is the last thing I think is being humble as an entrepreneur. I don't mean humble as not being flamboyant and not being like you know talking the big game or humble meaning that's your opinion and what you think doesn't matter it's what the market thinks and what customers want and what customers need. And as long as you're humble and it's not about you it's about them and about the value that you add you're likely to succeed. So, passion Customers and being humble. Basically yeah. These are these are core principles that If you follow, you're likely to build a successful business. That's the last thing that I teach entrepreneurs. You can have all of that. And you may still fail. It's there is an element of luck and an element of timing of when you push idea there. So, there is no guarantee. And unless you're entering like you can climb Mount Everest and you may never reach. You have to climb it again. And you have to do it again. And that's why you have to have of passion. So, it's not about just the success it's about playing the game.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No. I love it. So, to wrap this up I'm going to end it off with two questions. So, having trained and mentored all these entrepreneurs what your tried and true advice to these entrepreneurs has been and how do these entrepreneurs find mentors? like how we find amazing people like you and how do we find like actual mentors that can actually help us and make us as incredible as people think we are.

Hussein Hallak: Thank you for that. Yeah. So, I think  core advice is get started now. And whatever you do get shit done in the sense that stop talking about it. Stop thinking about it and do something doing something. It's like kind of ready fire aim or fire. First and then get ready and then aim and then fire again. The key thing here is when you do something you have something that exists in the world. Even if you're doing is you creating a plan and writing it not in your head. But writing it because now that it exists you can evaluate, it you can analyze it, you can learn from it and you can that guide you to the next action. So, whatever you do move from one action to the other. Guided by testing, guided by data, guided by examination which is what the main start up  promise is that have your ideas do something. Build an MVP. Do something whatever it is. Then examine the data so build measure and then learn then from the data and then make informed action. So, this is my always advice to the entrepreneurs whoever sits with me. The fundamental line is what have you done. What have you learned from it? What is the next thing you're going to do? And if you engage in asking yourself those questions. This one game will keep you going. Now that you're going. Now that you've got going. To be second piece of advice is always taking these 10000 stages view every once in a while. So, take a step to step back and say I might head in the right direction. Is this getting me to my vision or what I want to create? Is this heading in a direction that serves the business that actually generates value? Every once in a while, engage in that and step out of your cocoon and out of the daily grind of action to make sure you're heading in the right direction. So, these are two pieces of advice that saved my life, save me a lot of time, and save the money my entrepreneurs that I work with all the time and kind of simplify the process. Obviously, the process of doing is intense. It's complex depending what you're building depending on the solutions you're building but these kind of simple advices and simple practices help people to stay on track and keep going. And don't get stopped by taking time to think and not do anything. Now in regards to finding a great mentor you have to first find out who a mentor and so I mean there is not a coach, a mentor is not an adviser and I've actually written on that so they can actually find my LinkedIn and find a little bit I've written about what makes a good mentor a good mentor. But the key thing is a mentor someone who's willing. First of all, they are skilled at what you want to mentor you on. So, they have to have the skill. You can go to someone who is mentor you for example on growth. Like I would suck in mentoring someone on how growth companies as they move from 5 million-dollar companies to 100 million-dollar companies. I've never done it. I have I don't have the skill set to do that. So, I mean I'm a bad mentor for that so. So even though they like me a lot of people pick mentors that they like and look up to which is fine but make sure they have the skillset on what you want them to mentor you on. So that's a key element because a mentor is someone who gives you access in a particular area defined niche area. They have mentors on strategy. You don't have a mentor. Overall you have a mentor on strategy mentor, on growth mentoring for example how you hire. So, pick the mentor that can give you the skill set. The other thing as a mentor is someone who is willing to do it for free. A mentor is not someone you pay if you pay them. They're either a consultant or a coach.  A mentor or someone but you don't pay for that. There’re no paid mentors. That's at least mind where I come from. You pay a coach, you pay somebody else but a mentor or someone and they are committed to your success. The reason why they're into it be because they are committed to your success. They would be happy if you exceed them and outgrow them and achieve better results than they ever even achieve. So, they're happy to do that. So, they need to have that desire so that they don't hold you back. Some people would actually not want to see other people succeed more than they do, and they are successful they've achieved success in the area of their skilled at. And finally, I would say it's someone that you connect with that you like. I don't believe in working with people that you don't like somebody you can’t be mentored by somebody you don't like. So even if they are a big name in the place if you don't like them if you don't connect with them, you're not going to learn from them. So, I believe life is too short to work with people you don't like. So, I highly recommend that you work with people that you like people who are committed to your success. People who want to see you  have the skill set and have achieved success in that area. Think that would constitute a great mentor. There are tons of  brilliant entrepreneurs especially we're lucky to be here in Canada. Ton of brilliant entrepreneurs, the biggest entrepreneur in your in your sector. They would be thrilled if you reach out to them and ask them for 30 minutes of their time. And final note. A mentor is not someone who is committed to you for life because they may be maybe all he needs is that half hour coffee, but they guide you to something and then you go on to work and that's all you needed. So, they give you kind of an access or a they open a door for you or open your eyes on something and maybe some mentors you need them for longer so don't pick on someone that's complimentary for life because they will. They don't probably have the time that they are successful. So, look at them and ask them for advice and ask them for more mentorship. Just ask them what you want. And they would want to help you we're lucky to be here.

Manseeb Khan: That's true. I mean speaking of which I got to have some are calling for some refunds I don't know. I can't pay mentors. Hussein thank you so much for sitting down with me today. I mean this has been an absolute pleasure.  I think open up a lot of people's eyes when it comes to mentorship and just when it comes to leading and mentoring and essentially why it's so important. So again, thank you so much for your time. This was a pleasure I can't wait to have you back.

Hussein Hallak: Thank you for having me. I had a blast. So great. Keep up the great work.

Manseeb Khan: Oh, I will. I will meet amazing people like you. I mean cheering me on I mean of course. And on the behalf of the NCFA Canada's leading fintech and crowdfunding association I wish you amazing Fintech Friday and weekend.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

Subscribe & Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts:  Season 1  |  Season 2

Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products, innovations, developments, and challenges!

Interested in getting involved as a partner or participant? info@ncfacanada.org

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

Share

Why Open Banking Represents a Seismic Shift for Fintech

Share

Wharton | University of Pennsylvania | Jan 16, 2019

Open banking, a collaborative model in which banking data is shared with third-party players, is expected to revolutionize the financial services ecosystem. For consumers, the opening up of banking data could mean better control over their finances. At the same time, the trend has also raised concerns over data privacy and security.

In a conversation with Knowledge@Wharton, Jane Barratt, chief advocacy officer at MX, a Utah-based company that provides data to financial institutions and fintechs, talks about how open banking will impact  legacy institutions as well as nimble startups.

Knowledge@Wharton: What is open banking? What are some of the factors that have led to the opening up of banking data to make it shareable via secure APIs [application programming interface] with third parties?

Jane Barratt: Over the past decade or so, we have seen open government and other open initiatives. There’s an expectation now of increased transparency. The idea of people sharing their data — their financial data — is not a new one. It’s happening, and it’s happening with methods that aren’t necessarily private or secure or transparent. People don’t really know where their data is going. Open banking is basically accessing the APIs that the financial institutions use to get greater transparency into your own data, and then being able to share that, with your consent and permission of course, with third parties of your choice.

See:  MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11): Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking

Knowledge@Wharton: Could you give some examples of how this is happening, both in the U.S. and in other parts of the world?

Barratt: The U.S. is in the early stages of having an ecosystem built around open banking. Europe has had PSD2 [the revised Payment Services Directive]. You’ve got open banking in the U.K. European banks have a head start on the U.S. in terms of getting the frameworks and the technology in place.

There have been some gaps in terms of understanding by the general public about what open banking actually is. If there is a use case for sharing your data, most people understand. “I can use it to share data with my accountant or a budgeting app.” Or, “I don’t have to manually share my data through a statement or [by] writing it down for them.” But the ecosystem around it is still coalescing.

When you look at Europe or Australia, for example, or potentially Canada and Mexico, these are countries that are leading with regulators. Regulators and governments have come together, and they have a strong seat at the table. Australia has a singular consumer data right — not rights. It’s just the data right, which is that it’s yours. They’re starting with open banking as the first vertical, and then moving into energy and telecommunications. You can see your usage and pricing and competitive offers.

“There’s a lot of talk of the customers being at the center of everything we do, but organization charts do not reflect that.”

And you can see information that often used to be behind the scenes within institutions. The U.S. is much more of an industry-led solution versus a government-led solution. It is by far the most complex banking model in the world. There is a lot of momentum, but it’s still relatively early days.

Knowledge@Wharton: What changes do you think open APIs will bring to banks’ organizational structures and also their competitive positions in the market?

Barratt: From the early days of digital, I used to joke, “Show me a website, and I can draw you your org chart,” because it was always laid out by division and byproduct. There’s a lot of talk of the customers being at the center of everything we do, but organization charts do not reflect that. You now have companies investing heavily in, say, data lakes. These tell us where our customers are and what they do. I think that will start to coalesce around organizational changes.

For instance, who is driving the structure of this? Who is extracting the intelligence from it? How is it being put to work? That’s a more sensible organizational approach than every division having their own databases and CRM and all of the different product databases. It has gotten very messy over the years. Hopefully, true data centricity will come about through how data is collected and what tools are layered on top of it, and all this will help the end customer.

See:  Fintech firms want to shake up banking, and that worries the Fed

We have some data on return on investment from both the institutional perspective and the individual perspective. We have seen that when someone can access their data and is given access to tools, their financial strength improves. Institutions spend a lot of money acquiring customers and cross-selling to customers. Instead of this, institutions could focus on reducing high-interest debt, increasing deposits and moving customers up the value chain to higher value products.

There is now so much more competition [to be the] customer’s primary financial institution — even Amazon could be a peer at some point soon. If financial institutions can organize themselves around customer outcomes, they will be able to retain that primary financial institution status. But if they continue to just cross-sell a bunch of products, then it’s going to be [downhill] for them.

Knowledge@Wharton: Will a platform strategy be profitable for incumbent banks that own most of the deposit and lending market share?

Barratt: Banks are already platforms, especially institutions that have multiple product lines around insurance and deposits and lending. They just haven’t acknowledged it yet. It’s not that big of a stretch to put a level of intelligence on top of it with which people can engage. At present, the language is still around segments. For instance, if you’re newly married, you’re put in that segment. But your financial profile may be the same as a boomer because you’ve inherited money or you’ve got good financial habits and you’ve got good savings. And then you have boomers who have the same profiles as millennials.

It’s only when you get to a platform level that you can extract the intelligence around who a person is based on their true profile. Who I am with my credit card company is different from who I am with my insurance company, or who I am with my primary institution. No one has given me a really great reason to connect all of them. And that is the platform that an institution could be, because they have the biggest advantage out of anyone in the ecosystem, which is trust.

I’ve trusted you all this time with my money. I could trust you with my data. There is a great quote from Walter Wriston, who was the CEO and chairman of Citicorp in the 1970s. He said, “Information about money is as valuable as the money itself.” An institution could be a major value-add player in the data-as-currency space. No one’s talking about this as yet. It could be a seismic shift in the industry.

Knowledge@Wharton: How should challenger banks position themselves in this environment?

Barratt: Challenger banks have done a great job in different countries, to varying degrees. They have done a good job of being more digitally savvy. That has been their value proposition. “I’m going to give you a better app. I’m going to give you a better experience. I’m going to give you better transparency.”

See:  Passion For Banking Innovation Fueled By Fintech, Big Tech Disruptors

They haven’t necessarily invested in their brands or in the trust. As your financial life becomes more complex, are you going to trust your deposit account with your mortgage or insurance provider? It’s still early days to be able to point to a challenger, but I think there are some examples of players who have done an amazing job, like Aspiration out of Los Angeles, which is a values-led bank.

“The newer players are telling compelling stories and offering compelling digital experiences.”

Knowledge@Wharton: What are some of the key lessons that the bigger institutions could learn from them?

Barratt: It’s about being able to tell a stronger story. There is a genuine human need to understand the story behind companies with which you do business. The newer players are telling compelling stories and offering compelling digital experiences. Of course, bigger institutions can do it. They can micro-target it down to the individual if they wanted to and tell a story that’s great for me. It’s just that organizationally they’re not set up for it at this point in time.

Knowledge@Wharton: Is the introduction of APIs going to bring improvements in banking services? If so, what might be some examples?

Barratt: Definitely. We are seeing giant institutions engaging in a deep way with the ecosystem from a contractual perspective. The data aggregators, who have traditionally been the middle men between the fintechs and the APIs, are doing a lot more direct connection. People no longer have to share their credentials. Out into the ecosystem, you can now have much more secure, token-led engagements.

What some of the institutions are doing is that they are opening up their internal APIs. It’s not heavy lifting for them. You can’t see everything. But they’re getting out there quickly, and they are then seeing how the data moves.

For them, it’s less around, “Let’s make this a uni-directional flow of data.” It’s very much the expectation that it’s bi-directional. And if I can get the incentive to connect my investments, insurance, etc. back to my primary institution, they’re in a much better place to be able to service me.

See:  RBC first Canadian bank to open an API developer portal

Knowledge@Wharton: What do you think are the biggest challenges of open banking for both banks and for their customers?

Barratt: With increased transparency, there is definitely increased risk. There is an expectation that the industry should be able to solve these challenges and risks — because that’s what we’ve been doing. But there is a nefarious element to the financial services industry, and so [the question is] with more open data, is there more chance for more scammers, for example? The answer generally — and in theory — should be no, because the personally identifiable information (PII) is taken out. All I’ve done is to allow someone to have a look at my transactions. That’s not going to track back to me. So, the risk element from privacy and transparency should be reduced. However, there are some very creative scammers out there.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org


Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

Share