The Startup Team: 4 + 3 = 1

The days of building something really innovative on your own are long gone. Edison – the prototypical inventor – had a huge lab and many assistants. Steve Jobs led teams of innovators. I have been arguing for a while, in corporate environments and my blog, that no sane company should reward individual contribution/results and settle […]

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Why We Don’t Invest…

In our work at STB Venture Capital we see hundreds of financial technology (“fintech”) companies. We ask all companies to submit their startup profile through the Gust web site — our submission page is here. Most of the time, we have to reject a proposal because it does not fit our preferred profile – we […]

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I Love Bureaucracy

I used to complain about “bureaucracy” all the time. I was trying to bring new technologies to Sberbank, and at every step I was slowed down by procedures that either did not apply or did not exist. And when they were applicable and had to be executed, another level of organisational resistance intervened, the “bureaucrats” […]

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Fintech Thoughts

Many years ago, I was working for a large Canadian bank, managing two very different development teams — one using C++ to build a derivatives trading system, and one of Cobol programmers maintaining the bank General Ledger application. While the culture clash was obvious to any observer, nothing reflected it better than the big poster […]

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VC Negotiation Fun

When we started SBT Venture Capital, we were excited about a future of identifying great companies – visionary teams with excellent products. And excited about the post-funding challenge of helping them grow to their full potential. What we did not foresee was the huge amount of time spent on negotiating details, from term sheets to […]

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Moven Moving Forward

I have said many times that competing with banks, trying to disrupt banking through new technologies and new business models has a small chance of success. My theory is that, while some incumbents may be slow and blind, I don’t think it is possible for all incumbents, all banks, the industry as a whole, to […]

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