Startup Tips from London’s Fintech Week

london, fintech, david k donovanAs the established hub for Europe in financial technology, London kicked off FinTech Week with a bang. The world-renowned event brings financial, IT, and startup companies together for a week of conferences, networking, lectures, and workshops.

One startup in attendance was Simply Wall Street, co-founded by Al Bentley. The Australian-based company built the entire foundation of the organization on top of the idea of providing investment information in a simple, infographic manner after Bentley’s own struggles with understanding the process. He commented, “I wanted to invest in shares, so I started to teach myself about investing…I quickly learned that it was actually very difficult. It took me about six months of research before I felt confident enough to make an investment.”

According to the cofounder, investment advice seemed to be geared strictly towards those who had knowledge of it. This left room for Bentley to create a new business. Startups have been growing at a rapid pace in all Fintech hubs including New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Berlin. If you’re creating your own startup, below are three principles that you can utilize in the financial technology world:

Think Globally

Instead of focusing solely on your own markets, you need to think of the markets across the board. The economy of the U.S. has become (and has been) a global market and will not be changing any time soon so this should be taken into your financial strategy. Target global markets that can best benefit your company.


Keep things simple and clear. Whatever the product is that you’re selling, it’s important for investors to know exactly what it is. If it’s easy to define or to assess what services are free, what services are paid for, and what services are a premium, it will be easier to expand your startup through investors. People want to know exactly what they are paying for and what they are not.

Proximity is Golden

Networking is essential to any business, and people seem to like it when it’s convenient. Position yourself and your company to help you achieve the best results. This may mean relocating. For example, Simply Wall St has extremely close ties to the U.S. and the U.K. At this point, Bentley is considering moving headquarter to London to be closer to their interests there. “…with a presence in London, we will have greater opportunities for partnerships.”

Whether you are looking to launch a start up, or revamp a current venture, FinTech Week provided an opportunity to learn, grow and network. To learn more about the major trends at FinTech Week, see my presentation below:



Information courtesy of forbes.