FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.2-Jul 27): Canada’s Role in the Global Fintech Industry with Sue Britton, CEO & Founder of FGS

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | July 27, 2018

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.2-Jul 27):  Canada's Role in the Global Fintech Industry - Interview with Sue Britton of FGS

Host:  Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest:  Sue Britton, CEO & Founder, FinTech Growth Syndicate

As CEO & Founder, Sue brings a depth and breadth of experience and passion in corporate innovation, partnering, B2B sales as well as overall market expansion to her clients.  The FinTech Growth Syndicate provides FinTech innovators and start-up company leaders the tools and expertise they need to grow their businesses and accelerate their response to the changing needs of their clients. We are a different advisory firm. Our model is designed to provide you with agile, on the ground experts – talent that has deep experience in corporate innovation, design thinking, commercialization, market expansion and partnering. We are truly deep in all things “FinTech” and are plugged into every corner of the ecosystem, and can leverage relationships and knowledge of the global FinTech ecosystem to accelerate innovation. Prior to starting the company, Sue was Vice President & Head of Global Innovation for D+H. the 21st largest FinTech globally.

About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Friday Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the legendary Sue Britton and talk about what Canada has to do to stay competitive in the fintech space, Canada being super hot to outside investors, and why diversty is going to revolutionize finance.


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!

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

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here


Transcription of Interview

Manseeb Khan (MK): Hey everybody Manseeb Khan here and you are tuning in to the NCFA's newest podcast series Fintech Friday. I'm going be honest with you I'm a little nervous and my guest today our guest today is an absolute juggernaut in the industry. She’s been a veteran for 25 years in the space. Today I have Sue Britton and Sue. Thank you so much for making like this is incredible.

Sue Britton (SB): Thank you so much for being here as well like I totally flattered and here your way overdoing it, but I am thrilled to be here to chat with you.

[00:00:31] MK: I don't think so. I think I think you deserve everything that is said to be completely honest with you. You're the founder and CEO of the Fintech Growth Syndicate. Also known as I've just the FGS. Could you talk a little bit more of what it is, and I guess what made you launch it?

SB: Yes sure. The story of launching it has. You know I left the company I had a 25-year career working with some amazing Canadian companies that. Honestly, they are often tech companies. But we didn't. Twenty-five years ago, we didn't think of them as Fintech. They were technology companies providing solutions to financial institutions. And my last gig I ran innovation for one of the biggest tech companies in the world it's now called an Finastra. Love what I was doing and when the company decided they wanted to go in a different direction I just thought you know I'm going to start my own thing and keep doing what we were doing which is FGS is here to. Help accelerate innovation and we do that with big companies and help grow startups particularly fintech and play a role in the industry. Being a connector and someone who helps promote collaboration. So. It's been exciting. Last three years have been kind of crazy and exciting. That's incredible.

[00:01:59] MK: So, from your amazing resume you've also worked with the Canadian government. Right. So, my next question is the Canadian government doing everything they can to be globally competitive in the Fintech industry so it's a tough question although I'll answer it directly with no. Because

SB: I mean in the early days of FGS I got involved with global affairs and I am the fintech adviser to global affairs as part of their what they call their ICT advisory committee and basically what that means is. You know I'm giving them feedback about how their global affairs program is working which. I don't know if you know much about that space, but they are you know there's something like 1600 people around the world that are paid by the Canadian government to help companies like you know Curexe or Wealthsimple or you know you name one of the thousand fintech companies with. You know support them to do business in other countries. And so that to me is fundamental to what we need from the government. And there are other pockets that are also I think doing well and government is kind of this big label for policymakers and regulators. And the problem we have in Canada and I think this is a general comment about Canada. We have such a big geography that we set up our regulatory framework to be you know provincial based in some cases and. Across the board. You know there's no one. There's no one regulator there's no one policy maker and so like I think of it like it's this patchwork quilt. And so. Until we figure that out the government. Has a really hard time themselves trying to figure out how to make change happen. So

00:04:02 MK: So, I guess what type of fintech models do you think that Canadian fintech’s are I guess internationally acclaimed for and what sectors do you see up and coming. Canadian for their companies could leave a stamp on.

SB: Yes well, I don't mean to answer it like all of them, but I do think like when you think about the companies that have been successful inside and outside of Canada.

Wealthsimple as an easy company that comes to mind because you know they're so well-funded and they've got great partners in power financial and are a group of companies like investors group but there's also a lot of other companies that are still there in the wealth space. Artificial intelligence. You know I would probably be. Remised if I didn't say you know we are we are becoming in are very much a leader in that space element AI couple of years ago received over 100 million dollars in funding and the funding came from mostly international organizations or U.S. based. VCs that there are the power houses of VC investment and so that kind of started that I think what was already building it started a very much a you know. A wave of a focused startup. So, AI for sure generally but also within fintech. Companies like Fin AI I from Vancouver who you know are in the conversational banking space. So, there's been a lot of success stories. I think the challenge we have though is you know everyone that starts the company needs revenue to survive, cash is oxygen, yes exactly. And even if you are getting money seed money you know series A funding or whatever you know in the end those investors want to see a return on them on their investment. And so, you need to be able to demonstrate that you can sell quickly, and Canada hasn't been very good to Canadian startups to support that right. So, I think most of the techs are heading south of the border or especially to Europe and other places where it's just easier to get your foot in the door. There's more support and those. You know maybe except for the. U.S. know competition is. Wanted. In these other countries. Right. So sure, but we have we have some amazing fintech companies that have done well here in and outside of Canada and we don't do enough to brag about them. I think because I think that would probably make everybody feel a bit more optimistic.

[00:07:10] MK: Yes, for sure. Yes. Yes, you don't want you don't want any you don't want too many braggadocios us CEO especially I guess the fintech space being so hard to fund because we're not as willing to open our wallets as say the Americans or European countries are.

SB: You know it's funny you say that. So, I was at the Empire's fintech startups event a couple of weeks ago and Empire this is their second time they've had it there too. So, there was two of them and then on almost every panel they tried to match sort of us. People with Canadian people but it wasn't over. It was just more to get different perspectives. And one of the panels was about you know kind of the modern VC. And. The. Anyway, I had a follow up call from this gentleman and he's with a VC called reciprocal ventures. And they're based out of New York and they want to invest in Canadian fintech. I probably shouldn't but I could go on to give you 10 other examples of companies that want to invest in Canadian fintech growth. Like Canada's super-hot. From an investing standpoint. There is a lot of interest in our tech and our people are. Us. Companies and I would say like very much significantly in FinTech for sure.

[00:08:41] MK: I guess would be one of the advantages that Canada has. Would you say that our diversity plays a factor? Why does Canada have an edge in this space.

SB: Yes well, I mean I think Canada has this amazing concentration of talent. We have. You know Kitchener Waterloo Toronto. You know basically coast to coast we have amazing universities and master's programs. Now we have master's programs intact. Like who would have thought you know. And that's producing a lot of really great talent and talent and new technology. You know like Creative Destruction Lab is producing some amazing. Startups from talent and like across the country I think we like 500 different accelerators. So amazing. So, you know and we're not a big country like in terms of number of people. And so, you know I think what makes Canada so great is we've got we've got great talent that wants to you know. Get. A break. You know. Leading edge technology to the market and there's people that are willing to help them. Right. I guess

[00:10:03] MK: How do you see programs I guess like the Female Founders. That's part of the DMZ. How do you see these? Diverse programs within the startup accelerators. Playing a huge factor in the fintech space in general.

SB: Yeah, I'm glad you kind of brought me back to that. I know you asked me the diversity question. So being a female and I'm a founder of a FinTech accelerator as opposed to a tech product company but you know kind of regardless like. Diversity whether it's in you know gender or you know you know where you were born or what language you speak or your sexual orientation like that you know. It's a huge issue. Let's just say that right. Like where there isn't enough that you can do to continue to kind of try to drive diversity. And equality. You know. Challenge right for me as a female I can say I have had. You know I often actually wear my T-shirt. Because I have had several horrible experiences in my career that and when I look at some of the people even on our own team who are you know in their early 20s it's still shocking to me that there's still stuff going on. With you know people coming out of university who probably have. You know not any real sense of how to necessarily hand themselves in a. In a tough environment and it's I think it's a big. Problem. So. Programs like. The ones at the DMZ and move the dial and Shio and all these different great programs that are trying to, and I know I'm mentioning ones that are female. But yes, that's kind of my passion. But there are so meta. And yet there are still only scratching the surface of the problem. So how many fintech. Companies are founded and led by use by female CEOs. And I unfortunately because I get asked this question all the time. You know can we can you help us find female speakers because we don't want to have less than 50 percent females worse you know are speaking at our events and it's you know it there are lots of females out there don't get me wrong there's lots of great speaking opportunities for senior executives and so on. But try to find tell me how many CEOs and founders many are not that. And that's a that's a real shame. So, a female founders program. Like awesome. We need a hundred of them

[00:12:51] MK: I agree with you. I think the upside would be that like I guess that's kind of what makes fintech such an amazing emerging space because it's because traditionally finance has been a very much an old boys club. Yes right. Old Men's Club we're just like. It's the creme de la creme your youth like my dad to run the bank for 30 years I'm going to run that kind of mentality. Yes, but thankfully with fintech. You're seeing a little bit more a shift where it's a little bit more like the market is the market and the market decides the market doesn't care if you do X Y and Z for transgendered, black whatever it doesn't matter. They don't really care if you're making amazing product and. You are providing an amazing service. That's all that really matters.

SB: And it's something that's kind of like that is such a great insight that. You know and again, a knock against the incumbents who. Have you know maybe gotten fat and happy because they were needed at a certain point in time but then they get so big that now you've got this all these things that are kind of working against you know meeting the changes in the in the in the world. Right. Whether it's changes in technology or you know demographics or whatever. And yet startups don't have any of those issues. And so, you know a startup can be much more diverse a startup can and will attract many more females or otherwise. That's a great point. And so, I think so interestingly that maybe you know some of the things we need to do is focus our efforts more at trying to build more. Diversity within our technology community because at the end of the day you know well I think there's great stuff happening as a female. I'm still often less than a third less than a quarter or sometimes even less than. 5 percent of the audience said. Many of these. You know fintech related meet ups and events and whatever. And so, we're doing we're doing better than before we were before, but we keep the foot on the gas.

[00:15:05] MK: I think it comes down to we have mediums like podcasts that we're doing right now. We have blogs. We have live events. I think. With everything with all those. I think that's going to help greatly accelerate that change. And you're going to see like whoa like programs like the female founders or like SheEO like we follow that's a kickass female CEO and like her insight there's just so much more unique than everything else and I'm yes, I can relate. I can resonate with that right. Yes, and or this certain transgendered CEO or the. CEO of X Nationality like they have such an interesting viewpoint you just like. I don't know it's like I guess people are slowly realizing that the pie is a lot bigger. Yes. And like hey everybody kind of a piece of this and. It's helping, mediums like this helped shedding light on people that you never would have thought about before. Kind of like oh crap that's how female CEOs feel. I never knew that. I never understood that. Now I can be a little more empathetic towards it because not more aware of it and we can navigate this way right.

SB: And you know one of our, at FGS has as You know and a new company. You know we're entrepreneurs we're not trying to you know kind of. Fit the norms that have been you know that are more often found in the corporate world. I don't care if my opinion isn't appropriate for you know, I mean I'm always going to be a professional. But we have to say what we think and course you know because. Because. That's that is another challenge with this whole diversity question. Like in the end I can say what I think but often you know the men in the room. Will you know do things to make us feel like we shouldn't course. And so, we need more outspoken people. On this topic. To continue to walk the streets. And. You know the reality is we do have mostly men making the decisions. Right. And mostly we put the poor white man has just been beat because it's like everybody's immediate you know scapegoat right. Oh, they're all you know wait. Old white men. And they're not. But the men male versus female. You know we're not going to really change things until we get men to say it's not OK to be complacent about the fact that you're you know your team is 95 percent. Male. It's just not right because we can give you all sorts of proof that females are just as capable just as smart just and you don't need to lift heavy boxes. Don't tell me that my physical strength isn't you know is part of the issue. It's more it's more the fact that you know men must agree and then make it and make it. A policy that. You know everyone's equal we're going to treat the people we're going to we're going to demonstrate equal you know division of opportunity just all different. Categories. Anyway. I feel like I said too much on Friday and we like this.

[00:18:23] MK: This is great because like I guess we're having to talk like how the whole talk started with like not enough people are talking about it. So, we started talking about it and now it's like oh there was that other guy if we can cover enough. So, you did talk about how it's important for entrepreneurs to speak their mind and see like issues and provoke change and be as provocative as they can to help change the tide this way or that way you do deem myself as an intrapreneur as an entrepreneur. So, I just yes. Could you explain why that is it's just important to have intrapreneurs in your organization. Yes, as it is to have entrepreneurs and organization.

SB: Yeah and I we’ll just take that completely away from the diversity question because I think. That's about you know so innovation is something that has gotten a bad rap as a way of characterizing trying to do something different in an established organization. But when you see innovation become a thing in a company it means that the company saying OK wait a second the where what got us to where we are today was great wasn't that it wasn't it wasn't you know it was great it was great. Do we've been very successful but what's going to get us from today to survive in the next 20 years is likely something different and we need to bring in people that. Are. 100 percent focused on. Thinking differently and move it because you know when you work in a corporate job for 25 years all the new stuff is in that far corner of your desk and you never get to it. And so, innovation these are entrepreneurs these corporate intrapreneurs are there to try and support the company knowing that. Technology is changing their customers’ needs are changing. You know what OK in the past was isn't ok and, in the future, and we want to work towards the future. Right. So, an entrepreneur is also like a startup entrepreneur. Right. And the entrepreneurs have to say wait a second we need to think differently, or you know start thinking about your biases or your barriers and think about how we can do this or how might we do this. So, I think that you know we do this naturally as entrepreneurs because we must survive. Right. But as entrepreneurs we need to give them more credit for they do a tough job that gets a lot of. And I don't know if I can say this but a lot of shit and a lot of kicks in the head on that you're right.

[00:21:07] MK: You know it comes down to as long as people inside companies are. Challenging I guess their CEOs or the heads of the heads of departments. I was like as long as people are understanding. What got us here is not going to take us so much stuff. Yes, because it's either you will evolve, or he dies sort of like how the right. It's like it's always it's always changing always getting better. It's like you know I could do I could do better.

SB: Things at once in a meeting like I should be change or retire. Yeah, I think that actually speaks to because you talked to a lot of fintech’s and they would say certainly the CEOs some of them will be very vocal and investors and other folks will be very vocal about the fact that you know our big banks are full of this huge layer of executives who really don't have any incentive to change course and maybe have an incentive not to change right. Because you know they're so huge and there's so many layers of them that they really can't challenge the CEO and they don't want to they're going to retire in five years. They've got big stock options on the table. They get paid you know 100 percent bonuses if they hit their financial targets which mean taking funding away from innovation and change or retire. I think you know as much as I don't necessarily support you know mass. Firings or changes I think you do. For any CEO to really be affected with innovation they need to realize that it's not just the other thing that they're trying to do. That one person is going to make somehow magically happen. It needs to be across the board across their executive team across their executive team’s executive teams you know like the 18 different layers horse and die. That is something that can only be CEO and board driven.

[00:23:04] MK: I agree with you, I love the change or retire. That's yes that's going to be a T-shirt at the end of this. I love that So. OK so what. Aside from everything we talk about what other big changes do you hope to see in the fintech space other levers other than Canadians community investors and Canadian Financial situations being a little bit looser with our wallets. Yes. What changes do you hope to see this space?

SB: seeing people take risks right. I think that is one of the things like if you look at RBC. And we don't work with them that we know their partner like beta they do very similar stuff to what we do and there's lots of that out there. So, it's great but I see them launching like RBC ventures. Now they're plunged which obviously ventures are about creating new ventures within not within. I take that back outside because they're physically outside of RBC but there are also. Products that they could probably launch inside of RBC but, yet you know kind of strangely not their products that will lead to more PC customers being able to do business. With RBC right. So, it's all in support of their goal. Now they're doing obviously reach which is an accelerator program. Those are those are risks. But. But that's the kind of stuff that we need to see happening and I don't see it necessarily as much with the other. The other big five you look at Desert and National Bank and some of the other. Smaller financial institutions and credit unions and they're doing some amazing things. But out are you know Canada is held back by the fact that the banks can still change because they are you know like collectively the ones that are you know 90 percent of the. Market. Have the power to slow some of these changes like open banking. Right. Right. I mean open banking is there are companies in Canada that can already facilitate open banking open making is already in the U.S. it's already in the U.K. you know it's it is going to make the fintech space explode. Because in theory what it does is it gives. The customer of the bank the ability to use a product that today they probably can't use or may not. Know may not be able to get access to for whatever reason. So, I mean those kinds of things I think going to see a ton more artificial intelligence-based solution. And again, to see a ton more. You know new product offerings. Outside the existing bank product offerings.

[00:25:00] MK: What advice would you give founders to help better foster positive relationships with these financial institutions

SB: Good question. I mean I think you know. I could probably talk for an hour about that because we work with a lot of founders or companies that are scaling to help them try and get you know their message clear to be able to sell to a financial institution so if you're. You know if your B2B obviously because this is probably more of a B2B conversation like you need to understand who that person is that you should be calling. You know it's funny I did a panel of you know kind of private event and I don't even remember when it was. Sometime it was called the north winds fintech blah blah something or other. Anyway, it was really great event. But. The panel was. Intact. Head of. Investments and partnerships and national banks. Had. Investments and partnerships. And both would say. Not a ton of. Canadian techs calling them. So shocking number wow. Yeah, I know I was like What the hell. Like that's not. That's. Because you hear more. Oh well you know I can't get my foot in the door. So, first. Anyone running a you know an investment fund that is looking to invest in FinTech companies or you know the partnership guys spent some time with them. Going to be careful that you're you know each organization is of a different maturity level when it comes to being able to work with a startup and unfortunately some. Some get off on the wrong foot right. Some do it. Proof of concept in their innovation lab and unfortunately their innovation isn't properly supported. Their CEO remember that like big middle and executive problem and so that PEOC never goes anywhere. But I think I think it's about just trying to understand what your product does that will help. That Financial Institution make sure that that's what you lead with instead of you. We're going to take you out of business this his or her approach whatever your product right. Because not you know. I had a boss like 20 years ago. That you know you have those bosses right in your career the ones that tell you things that you're a member. And. You said soon like they're not that smart. And I was like What are you talking about. He's like. Yeah, I mean you're presented to whatever another executive you know team the parent company and you're so perplexed why they're not getting it. And what he was saying was sometimes they just don't understand what you're telling them. So, you didn't mean like they're stupid, but he meant you know don't expect that just because you're meeting with an F SVP or the year and EVP that they have any clue what you're talking about. Right. Like you know like the need to you need to help them understand. I've built this product that will help you. You know reduce your costs or sell more or whatever it is their product does. And then go from there. That will create a much better conversation.

[00:29:28] MK: It's a lot like when if anybody has sales you learn if you can pitch to a nine-year-old and she or he or she gets it. You nailed it same mentality is that what you are telling me?

SB: I think so, but I mean I also think that You know plain language plain language but that the nine-year-old you know I think it has a master's in finance OK. No just like we're selling to your customer. Who is your target customer? How do you find them and get to them and then make yes get off on the right foot?

[00:30:01] MK: OK. So. Sue what would be I guess your golden nugget that helped you with the massive success you so far in your career. What's the one, two things that stuck out like the true stood the test of time. That helped navigate through your success through your success.

SB: mean I think one is. You know I think instincts are important right now in this fast, fast moving world we live in. So, I would I would be you know I would say follow your instincts and when you're in your corporate career or whatever like you've been working for a while and people keep telling you that they don't think your ideas are right. But you do. You're probably right. And maybe it is time for you to go find another you know another place to do your stuff. When I left my last job which I didn't necessarily feel was as. Fulfilling as it should have been after 25 years. You know this is. Like what we're doing now is exactly what I was trying to do before and it's very successful. So that takes a lot. I mean it's going to take a lot of hard work. All right. Like it's not. It is a seven day a week thing. And. In FinTech in Canada. You must be on the ground. Right. You're not going to read a report, or you know check linked in feed or whatever and really truly understand how be successful you must get out and talk to people and you know put a face to a name and spend time understanding like there's pockets there's that I call them little subcultures. There's all these little pockets of you know groups of people who have relationships have done business together before having started companies before and they're all helping each other out. And if you can. Add some value to that conversation they'll help you out of course. Like we are a very collaborative group in FinTech. And so, I'd say like you know. Commit some time and do you. Community. Service. And. Be out there trying to. Learn. And., I think that will take you much further. Than. Anything Else.

[00:32:37] MK: So, what you're saying is stop listening to podcasts like this called the set of financial institutions that help fund your dream right. More or less. Where are you. OK. Thank you so much for Taking time out your busy schedule to be a guest. This is super insightful and fun.

SB: I love the national crowdfunding and fintech association I think Craig is awesome he's done some really great things. That is a community champion if there isn't. A good model for that everybody should. He asked you to do something. Do it like it's a you guys you and Craig and others like that. We need more of these so that's why I do this because I think it's important.

MK: Ok awesome shout out to Craig Asano. Thanks so much. Some fun I hope to have you around

SB: Yes, we do. Yes. All right. Thank you so much Oprah appreciate it.

End of Podcast

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

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NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
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Why Life Insurance Policies Matter
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
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3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe
Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
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Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Computer Weekly | Karl Flinders | Sep 13, 2018 A Tech Nation programme to support the UK's financial technology startups demonstrates the increasingly diverse range of business-to-business products and services available through the country's fintech community Financial technology (fintech) is providing a market where IT professionals in the finance sector and beyond can find answers to their business challenges through specialist tech startups. UK-based CIOs have the benefit of having these fintech startups on their doorstep. UK government-backed startup network Tech Nation has selected 20 such fintech startups to take part in a five-month programme that aims to scale up early-stage companies. The programme’s business-to-business (B2B) focus demonstrates that beyond the high-profile digital challenger banks and payments companies targeting consumers with funky apps, there is a deep source of niche financial services IT innovation in the UK. Fintech solutions begin life as an idea about how to use technology to solve a particular financial services problem. The speed of software development today means products can quickly follow. See:  UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany But the challenges really begin when it comes to turning a great idea into a commercial success. This is where the likes ...
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Tech Nation startup programme demonstrates richness of UK fintech
Forbes | Enrique Dans | Sep 5, 2018 The growing popularity of fintech and the emergence of competitors in different phases of the cycle, from new banks such as Germany’s N26 to partial service providers such as Revolut and others, or niche competitors such as Shine, highlights not just the inability of traditional banking to compete with them, but even to understand the most basic implications of the phenomenon. The banks’ problem is not competing with these types of companies, or at least, not for now. We talking here about vastly different magnitudes, of scale: a service with strong growth like Revolut, for example, expects to reach three million customers by next month, which is nothing to Santander’s more than 113 million customers in more than ten countries worldwide. The idea that fintech companies represent some kind of threat seems absurd, seen in the context of size. Obviously, this does not mean that the traditional banks should ignore the phenomenon — and they aren’t. Ignoring change and hoping that size will continue to matter is risky. The big banks are aware that the growth of the fintech phenomenon is mainly due to their own shortcomings, to the strong tendency towards industry isomorphism, ...
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What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

 

 

 

 

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