This article was published on 20 May 2017
Graduates of New Zealand’s first financial technology accelerator pitch their business ideas at Wellington demo day.
Seven graduates of the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator, New Zealand’s first financial technology accelerator, pitched their innovative business ideas to angel investors, early stage venture funds and New Zealand’s business and FinTech community on Friday 19 May.
Some very different, and disruptive, business ideas were showcased including Accounting Pod which aims to improve the business financial literacy of today’s ‘digital native’ learners and entrepreneurs, to ‘Sharesies’ bold plan to democratise investing so all Kiwis have the same investment opportunities.
The Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator is a three-month intensive business growth programme designed to help FinTech companies compete on a global scale. Teams accepted into the programme got to practice market validation and product development approaches used by companies like Google, IDEO, and Tesla while gaining access to New Zealand’s largest network of financial services experts and a high-quality pool of startup mentors.
Callaghan Innovation is a foundation partner of the Accelerator, along with Foundation partner Kiwibank and Creative HQ.
Callaghan Innovation Startup Manager, Elena Higginson says that the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator has offered a whole package of support for participants including space, peer-support, mentors and exposure. “This makes it so much easier for these companies than going it alone, and greatly increases their chance of success.
“The FinTech Accelerator is a hive of activity and provides an amazing opportunity for new players to enter the market quickly. This potential was reflected in the pitches we saw from the seven teams on Friday evening. They also showcased how fledgling business ideas can be tested and developed quickly through business accelerators.”
The Accelerator has some heavyweight support with Xero, Mastercard and Microsoft onboard as industry partners, and sponsorship from Simmonds Stewart, EY and Springload.
The Kiwibank FinTech teams
Founders, Judith Cambridge and XingDong Yan online education platform aims to improve the business financial literacy of today’s ‘digital native’ learners and the new global wave of entrepreneurs ‘real financial experience’.
“Let’s take the real data and story of SME business, obfuscate and turn that into a ‘real financial learning experience’ for every student in the world.”
Tal Meser and Florian Saengers’ have developed an on-demand platform that is turning the painful process of solving maintenance issues into simple, actionable steps for tenants, landlords and property managers. The platform gives all parties an overview, keeping them up-to-date with the progress and notifying the right person at the right time if their attention is needed.
Sulu Fiti and Adi Gupta of Liberac are using blockchain technology to reduce costs of money transfers overseas - passing on these savings to a community of users who are often trying to help family.
“We aim to provide a secure service that ensures you receive the best currency exchange rates and the lowest fees possible. This means family back home will receive more of what you send than they have ever before, that's what we want to achieve.”
Brooke Anderson, Leighton Roberts and Sonya Williams want to turn the traditional investment world on its head. The ultimate goal for Sharesies is to democratise investing so all Kiwis have the same investment opportunities. Their slogan is: “We want someone with $50 to have the same investment opportunities as someone with $50,000."
Teddy is a ‘insurtech’ start-up that helps businesses understand the importance of insurance and access it easily. Co-founders Calum MacLeod and Gopal have identified a gap in the insurance market for small to medium enterprises that struggle to get the insurance they need, on terms that suit them. They have created an online platform that enables business owners to get insurance and the advice they need faster, more efficiently, and at a lower cost.
Through intensive customer research, Sophie, Callum, and Johnathon of Wicket have uncovered a gap in the market of ‘Life’ and ‘Living’ insurance: Millenials are not aware of the risks to their lifestyles, nor the products that can mitigate them.
For more information about the teams see https://nzfintech.kiwi/teams/
Thanks to Kiwibank for help with this story!