A new role, a new accelerator and plenty of new learnings… 🤓🤓🤓

Early 2017, I started working as a Design Consultant at Creative HQ in Wellington.
I’d previously worked with them in 2016 on their R9 Accelerator programme as well as for support on a corporate accelerator and several Design Sprints. This time however, I’m working full-time across multiple programmes. The first programme to start being the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator…

FinTech is a financially focused programme.
My previous experience hasn’t really covered the financial sector – so for me, this was a huge learning curve. The discovery process the teams go through was useful for me to get up to speed on what the teams were working on. We have ventures working on anything from new insurance to investments, and even one team looking to create an independent bank!

Here are a couple of my thoughts around the sector following the programme.


For starters:

It’s a huge area for growth both in New Zealand and around the world.And the sponsors obviously agree with the growth potential, just check out the SWAG they provided at the start of the programme 😆
Also, some of the stats that I turned into visuals for the KFA Demo Day. 

  • Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2017 sponsors

  • FinTech

  • FinTech

Interested in what else comes under the FinTech umbrella?
Check out this article that I co-wrote with the Programme Manager ahead of the 2018 Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator programme.

Or read on for some of my learnings and general thoughts about FinTech, following my work on KFA 2017.

My learnings…

Check out some of the most interesting (to me at least) takeaways I got from sessions throughout the programme.

David Milner – Designing a Brand

David works at Clemenger BBDO, one of the largest marketing agencies in Australasia. One of David’s early comments really struck a cord with me, as it mirrors my own feelings:

I love working with startups.

One of the reasons for this is that one week for a startup is almost the equivalent of one year in a corporate environment. Not just from the pace of work, but the level of decision-making required and the changes that a business can go through in such a short amount of time. Perhaps because of this, a startup business’ brand* holds so much importance…
*not that developed business brands don’t but for a startup, when they’re in such early stages, the ‘brand’ could be the difference between a sale or not.

Check out some of the insights I picked up from David’s session:

  • Designing a brand

  • Designing a brand

  • Designing a brand

  • Designing a brand

One of the following sessions tied into these concepts really well…

Jessica VENNING-BRYAN – Marketing

Jessica works at Flick Electric Co, in Wellington, which recently won the New Zealand Hi-Tech award for most innovative service. One of the first questions Jessica put to us was:

Why should someone care?

Her tips were focused around EduMarketing.

Because customers intrinsically care about themselves, not ‘our’ product or service, we have to focus on their needs and interests to build trust, confidence and the relationship.

  • Marketing a brand

  • Marketing a brand

And so – my view of FinTech…

What do I think is the most exciting technology emerging in the FinTech sector?

I’m really interested in neobanking and untethered banks.

Neobanks are more about revisiting the entire banking experience for the customer, rather than what traditional banks have been doing; digitising the existing banking experience. So rather than simply transferring statements from paper to PDF, neobanking looks at the way that banking can suit, reflect and also aid the customer with their goals.
e.g. the way that customers habitual spending can be flagged for inconsistencies, or to suggest potential ways to save.

The untethered banking interest for me comes from doing international bank transfers…
It seems so backwards that to access money (anywhere in the world) can incur a charge to both send AND receive the funds. The idea of an untethered bank, with no ties to a particular currency would allow for money to be accessed anywhere in the world, without fees. This seems to be something that the development of Cryptocurrencies is starting to explore – where no exchange rate is required, an apple equals an apple. i.e. value = value

What do I think consumers are looking for in disruptive financial technologies?

I think consumers are looking at ways to take back control. To have 24/7, 365 access to the services they want, but also to be able to define what those services look like.

Whether a person wants to be notified when they have spent more than $20 on coffees in a week, or they want to save $100 per month… or even that they want to be able to filter off the equivalent of their due taxes from incoming earnings so that it can’t be spent…

During the programme I split my time across KFA and the R9A3 programme, so I did a combination of branding, marketing and product focused work with the teams. I really enjoyed working alongside them all and learned so much about the financial sector.

Anyhow, check out the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2017 ventures:

*Blog post photos thanks and full credit to Ashley Church at Creative HQ

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator


Accounting Pod gives students the real financial experience they need to get a job in business

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator


Flatfish makes communication and maintenance in your rental properties easy

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator


Liberac helps Pacific Islanders in New Zealand support family back home

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator


Giving someone with $50 the same investment opportunities as someone with $50,000

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator


Empowering businesses through technology to get the insurance cover that is right for them

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator


Supporting the under-served Millennial market for life and living insurance

Hear what I got up to over at the R9 Accelerator 3 or see some of the work that I did for the KFA Demo Day.