IF YOU CAN’ T BEAT‘ EM, JOIN‘ EM
Peter Fletcher-Dobson, Kiwibank’s digital advisor, is responsible for formulating and implementing the bank’s digital first strategy and was heavily involved in creation of the FinTech accelerator. He explains the rationale behind its involvement.
WHY DID KIWIBANK GET I NVOLVED I N THIS?
Kiwibank had three main aims in setting up New Zealand’s first FinTech accelerator. We wanted to take the first step in creating an ecosystem for FinTech in New Zealand and bring together industry players and create a platform for innovative Kiwi companies to get funded and build globally-focused companies; secondly we wanted to ensure that Kiwibank is working with and potentially partnering with innovators to create game-changing financial services and experiences for our customers; and, finally, we wanted to expose as many Kiwibankers as possible to the lean-startup way of working.
DID IT WORK?
We were absolutely delighted with the results across all three areas. Demo Day was a massive sell-out success and one of the teams was fully funded even before the accelerator ended. We’re talking with three of companies and it’s clear there’s a tonne of interest in what they’re doing from across the board, including from Silicon Valley legends like Bill Reichert. We had 150-200 Kiwibankers mentoring, advising, visiting and supporting the accelerator, so it was great for our internal culture too.
S O WHAT’S NEXT?
I think New Zealand FinTech is now getting noticed, which is massively exciting, but as a country we need to really step it up now and take it to the next level.