Idealog - - IDEALOG / KIWIBANK - lib­

Ac­cord­ing to World Bank es­ti­mates, re­mit­tances to­talled US$585 bil­lion in 2016. And Lib­erac is look­ing to make it eas­ier for in­ter­na­tional work­er­sworker to send money home to fam­i­lies in need.

Idea­log: So what is Lib­erac?Lib­erac What are you tr ying to do here?

Sulu Fiti, CEO (left): My in­ten­in­ten­tion with Lib­erac was to be part of the global sea change to lower re­mit­tance costs in the Pa­cific Is­lands, us­ing in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy. Our ini­tial fo­cus was to use Samoa as a test ground,g be­fore ex­pand­ing out to Tonga, Fiji, and fur­ther afield. Also, there is a dearth of Pasi­fika peo­ple who are lead­ing bus­busi­nesses here in New Zealand, par­tic­u­larly in the FinTech space. Hope­fully other Paci­fiPa­cific Is­lan­ders can be in­spired by our jour­ney aat Lib­erac, and start putting their cre­ative mminds to­wards cre­at­ing in­no­va­tive busi­ness ven­tures.

What did you get out of the ac­cel­er­a­tor?

Just hav­ing ex­po­sure to a hughuge net­work of peo­ple and re­sources that I wouldn’t nor­mally have ac­cess to has been in­cred­i­ble. We’ve been men­tored by lead­ing in­dus­try fig­ures, in­tro­duced to in­vestors, other startup founders, and the gov­ern­ment agen­cies that we have dealt with have had the Ki­wibank FinTech Ac­cel­er­a­tor on their radar, mak­ing the process of work­ing with them much eas­ier.

There has also been a huge amount of sup­port and help from the Cre­ative HQ team, and those as­so­ci­ated with the ac­cel­er­a­tor. In par­tic­u­lar, pro­gramme di­rec­tor Kris­ten Lun­man has been fan­tas­tic and Rick Brown has been our 'guid­ing light’ men­tor through­out this ex­pe­ri­ence. Spe­cial men­tion must go out to Ki­wibank, and their dig­i­tal ad­vi­sor Peter Fletcher-Dob­son. They have some great peo­ple work­ing for them, and have been a plea­sure to work with.

What's the se­cret to get­ting a vi­able FinTech project off the ground in such a short time?

There is no se­cret. Just hard work, tenac­ity, fo­cus, mo­men­tum and hav­ing a ded­i­cated team that can ex­e­cute. Also, be­ing clear and de­ci­sive, so that if, like I did, you de­cide to pivot, then you do so from a place of strength.

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