Why Build a Fintech Ecosystem?
Shouldn’t we be focusing on building sh*t people want, iterating our product, getting traction, scaling, exiting?
Last week at the AngelSummit here in Dublin, it was interesting to see this slide presented by Dave McClure on farming unicorns:
Seems right, right? If you want to build a skyscraper, you’ve got to build a solid foundation. If we want Ireland to become a world-class hub, we need to invest time and effort on the ecosystem.
What is the ecosystem? Here’s one definition:
“A system, or a group of interconnected elements, formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment.”
Organisms, elements, environment?—?it all sounds quite organic doesn’t it? That sounds pretty familiar. If you’ve ever attended a networking event, it’s pure nature in action. The environment is set, the finger food is circulated, flesh is pressed, business cards are exchanged, promises to catch up for coffee are swapped. If you listen closely, you can just about hear the whispered Attenborough narration in the background.
And this system works. People get connected. Businesses are formed, partnerships struck, organisms evolve, connect and thrive.
However, as an engineer, this is suboptimal and deeply unsatisfactory.
Nurture vs Nature
Given that we’re (mostly) sentient, I think we can do better. While an organic ecosystem will eventually evolve through natural processes, why not give a helping hand? Create the conditions in which the organisms thrive. provide nutrients, warmth and light.
The good news is that some of this is already happening. In the last few weeks, Enterprise Ireland announced a €500,000 fund specifically for the Fintech industry. The Fintech and Payments Association of Ireland (FPAI) have organised a number of working groups to help Government policymakers create a supportive environment. And the NDRC is currently taking applications for the 15th iteration of its Launchpad pre-accelerator programme.
As a former startup founder, money and mentoring is great. But there’s one resource you just can’t get enough of?—?time.
During the year there are any number of opportunities to find suppliers, business partners and talented staff. But it might take you weeks, or months, to connect. And during the summer, the events dry up?—?come back in the autumn (if you survive that long).
So this is why we atFintechIreland.com decided to accelerate this process. We created an event where you can meet not just a handful of Fintech people, but dozens!
The event is “Fintech Speed-Dating”, where you’ll not only be able to meet others from Ireland’s Fintech community, but you’ll also get unprecedented one-on-one access to some of the best and brightest in the Fintech ecosystem.
We’ve had such a positive reaction, it would be great to be able to host everyone at this event. But, even for us, time and space is limited. So if you haven’t signed up, here’s my advice:
— Dave ?? Anderson (@supergingerdave) June 2, 2016