Meet the Mentors – Kiwi FinTech Accelerator 2019

Accelerator programmes are a great experience for so many reasons. One such reason is the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best in the business. This comes not only from within the cohort, but from the the amazing coaches and mentors who help guide the teams through the ups and downs of the programme.

 

We caught up with three of our 2019 mentors Stu Christie, Martin White and Brian Steele to find out more about them, what makes them successful and why they chose to get involved with the Kiwi FinTech Accelerator 2019

 

Stu Christie

Stu is Director of StuChristie and Associates. With a background in consulting, investment and early stage capital markets, Stu’s depth of knowledge and experience is awesome to have on-board for our KFA teams. 

 

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I run a niche consulting firm in the early stage capital markets. I am chair of the AI Forum of New Zealand, a core group founding member of FinTechNZ, an Investment Committee member of UoA’s Uniservices and an advisor to various high growth expansion-staged companies. The firm works with investors, investment bankers, companies and corporates focused on the evaluation, commercialisation and value-realisation of FinTech, SaaS and AI opportunities. Previously I have held senior positions in the early stage capital markets, banking and telecommunications industries as well as having co-foundered, grown and exited the mobile banking and payments company M-Com (now part of Fiserv).

What is your role in the Kiwi Fintech Accelerator programme? 

 Advisor to a really promising company in the cohort!

 

What are you most excited about for the Kiwi Fintech Accelerator 2019?

The quality of the previous successful cohorts makes this challenge even greater!

 

What advice would you give the teams participating in the programme?

Rice and resilience. That’s what you need!

 

Brian Steele

Brian is owner of Shoreline Partners, director of partnerships at Giddy Up NZ and an investor. With a background in corporate finance, governance, investment and commercialisation, Brian’s expertise has been extremely valuable for KFA teams!

 

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I have a background in corporate finance and governance and have been a commercial director for Ngati Apa ki te Ra To since 2013 and a member of AngelHQ since 2014. I have a number of roles on commercial and community boards, and have sponsored Circa Theatre under my Shoreline Partners brand since 2005. My investment interests include FinTech, EdTech and increasingly Impact. 

 

What is your role in the Kiwi Fintech Accelerator programme? 

The team that I am helping to mentor alongside Simon Hay, Paul Hocking and Gopika Gnanakumar is Fund a Future. They are determining how to increase the effectiveness of Charitable gifting starting with ensuring tax rebates are utilised. Our role is to assist the team members to meet people in and around the industry to confirm the issue, find product – market fit for a solution,  and then quickly move to a scalable economic proposition.

 

What are you most excited about for the Kiwi Fintech Accelerator 2019?

The combination of worthwhile ideas, enthusiastic entrepreneurs and dedicated mentors all skilfully harnessed by the CreativeHQ Lightning Lab team. Being the third year of the KFA momentum is building and there are already successful companies making strides from the earlier programs.

 

What advice would you give the teams participating in the programme?

The program is only 12 weeks so testing the proposition with a wide number of industry participants early is key. The Total Addressable Market (your product at your price point) needs to be large (and likely international) so ensure you think big enough in your solution.

 

Martin White

Martin is chief product officer at emhTrade. With a background of 20+ years software industry and customer engagement, Martin is passionate about helping startups on their journey- so it is fab having his experience and enthusiasm supporting KFA teams! 

 

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I work in an energy startup, emhTrade. Our mission is to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy technology. I have been around software teams for most of my 20+ year career, and in the past five years I’ve been focused on consumer engagement, energy and startups in general. 

 

What is your role in the Kiwi Fintech Accelerator programme? 

Advisor to MyCap Markets! 

 

What are you most excited about for the Kiwi Fintech Accelerator 2019?

I’m a serial startup mentor – I love helping young businesses through the highs and lows of validation, pivoting and scaling. KFA 2019 is full of potential for all of these things to happen! 

 

What advice would you give the teams participating in the programme?

My advice to the teams is to make sure you have a clear purpose and while you’re pinballing around trying to figure your business out, always check that you’re still doing things that achieve the mission. This makes it easier to do the right thing.

 

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