Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2018 blog


After his experience as the Mentor-in-Residence with the inaugural Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator in 2017, Rick Brown came back onboard our 2018 programme as a specialist FinTech mentor. We caught up with Rick to find out what brought him back!

rick brown


Tell us a bit about yourself, Rick.

I was born in New Zealand, and worked in Europe for over 10 years, having worked for in the fintech space for Blenheim Chalcot Group (a large fintech venture builder)Monitise FINkit (including co-leading Visa Europe’s Innovation Hub) and Modulr. I’ve built a broad mix of fintech knowledge and experience across: financial regulations, product design and technical development, accessing and accelerating in markets, and – most importantly – how to ‘maketh the money’.

What made you want to be involved in Lightning Lab?

Simple – I love working with FinTech entre-, or intra-, preneurs!

I offer the teams a real opportunity to use me as a sounding board on key decisions or provide advice on their venture’s direction.

What do you feel you get back from mentoring?

I love to see the continued success of FinTech ventures formed in NZ achieving international success following the likes of PushpayFNZ and Fraedom.

Top 3 things you look for in a team/venture before you commit to mentoring?

  1. Commitment – founders who are 100% focused on their venture
  2. Grasp of Problem – founders have a great grasp on the problem they are trying to solve
  3. Team – great team culture and a mix of skill sets and personalities

What do you think the market needs to progress?

Products that offer clear differentiators – more than just price.

Partnerships – the New Zealand way – so that (fintech) startups can gain real traction in both consumer and business markets.

The bigger prize is offshore – We should all be targeting more than just fintech and innovation for NZ. While our local, New Zealand market can be used to test and learn, carefully chosen offshore markets will always be the bigger prize.

Interested in being kept up to date with future Lightning Lab programmes, make sure you’re on our mailing list. 

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