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On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Gary Garth, an experienced entrepreneur and the author of ‘The Zero to 100 Million Sales Blueprint’, a book targeting the entrepreneur that wants to scale their business with a replicable, reusable and scalable sales methodology. On this episode, the pair discuss how Gary found himself living in Medellín, Colombia, developing the Zero to 100 Million Sales Blueprint, what is Elev8 Media and when did he realise that work pressure may lead to addiction and mental health issues, and Gary’s tips for sustainable growth. Make sure you listen until the end of the episode because Gary has a very nice surprise for you all! KEY TAKEAWAYS          I exited a very successful business in 2020 but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So, I took a sabbatical year where I travelled around the world trying everything from plant medicine to figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to do something different and make a lager impact. Columbia had always been on my mind and Medellín had a vision of becoming the Silicon Valley of Latin America. So, I went to check it out and now I’m all in with several offices, an incubator, an accelerator, a marketing agency and some real estate investments. This is home now. I’m the Viking of Medellín. It’s a hard journey. A lot of entrepreneurs have this fantasy vision of what it takes and 8 out of 10 cease to exist into year two and only one of those entrepreneurs makes it beyond $1 million in annual recurrent revenue. What’s shocking is that most of those that become successful is that they experience burnout. When you dive into a venture like that you have to be prepared mentally, physically, spiritually for what’s ahead; the adversity and how to overcome that. A lot of companies that pitch to me often have ground-breaking concepts, great ideas and they have prepared everything and anything you can consider, they’ve almost gone into analysis paralysis in terms of how the product should be shaped and so forth. But sales is left to the end of the equation. I ask what’s your estimated cost of acquisition, what’s the total addressable market, how are you going to penetrate that, who are your competitors, how are you going to differentiate from them? They don’t have the answers to any of those questions. I’m giving back through my book where I talk about training thousands of reps over my career, over 200 re-sellers in a previous project, I’ve worked closely with Google’s and Microsoft’s sales teams, so I’ve been able to see what patterns occur, what works and doesn’t work, and what it takes for folks to sell and create a true revenue machine. I’ve also created a planner to combat burnout where you can focus on gratitude, set goals, build habits and all the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years.   BEST MOMENTS ‘There’s all these social media tips and hacks on how to be the next Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, but it’s 16-hour days, there’s no short cut.’‘To be successful you need to put sales and revenue first. If you don’t have cash you’re out of business.’‘Every entrepreneur has the desire to change and shape the world. The only way to do that is sustainability, to become profitable, that’s how you can grow, reinvest and expand.’‘Double down. Don’t back down. Things may seem uncertain and there’s a lot of scepticism in the market, but I think there’s a lot of opportunity. If you’re hesitant about launching, expanding to a new market, if you want to wait for x, y, z scenario changes don’t wait. Go for it.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Gary Garth is the Founder and CEO of Great Dane Ventures, Elev8 Media, and Accelerator Platform™. He also leverages his resources as a sales leader and angel investor, helping high-potential startups go-to-market, scale, and become profitable via 360 degrees sales and marketing support, incubator programs, advisory services and proprietary technology, engineered with the purpose of empowering entrepreneurs. He has been featured in Inc., Forbes, Success, and many other prominent publications. A serial entrepreneur since 2002, Gary has started and successfully exited six companies, including large outbound sales call centres, radio advertising networks, and an award-winning, eight-figure digital marketing agency. Born in Denmark, Gary now lives and works in Medellín, Colombia. You can discover Gary Garth here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/garygarth/ About Elev8 ELEV8 is a Digital Marketing Agency and Growth Accelerator Program exclusively designed for the Addiction Treatment and Mental Health Center industry. ELEV8 solutions are engineered end-to-end with proven marketing and sales strategies, full transparency, and a meticulously data-driven ROI approach. With ELEV8’s solutions, clients drive admissions at a consistently profitable rate via 360 degrees digital marketing, sales enablement, CRM, and tech stack implementation. With newly founded offices in the heart of Medellín, Colombia, the ELEV8 team is composed of international A-players in the digital agency space, are all working towards one shared vision— to become the world-leading digital marketing agency for Addictions Treatment Centers. Download the book: The Zero to 100 Million Sales Blueprint Check out the site: https://elev8.io/ ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.com  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Amy Buchan Siegfried, an experienced founder, CEO, entrepreneur, investor, and speaker. Amy is the Co-Founder of Last Night’s Game, a platform that breaks down sports in an easy-to-understand way, through email and weekly podcasts. She also serves as the “on-air talent” and face for the company. From creation to execution, Amy has managed organisations and significant initiatives, including fundraising, marketing, program development, and community relations to empower others with ideas, information, mentorship experience, and resources. Sports Tech includes over 17,000 startups ventures 30% of which have raised $35 billion of VC funding with 11 active unicorns. Business models range from fantasy sports, eSports or Casino games to Fitness and Wellness tech often used in health insurance. On this episode the pair discuss Amy the investor, the entrepreneur and the women in tech, why Last Night's Game, niche markets yield success, the challenge and the opportunity for women entrepreneurs, and tips and best practices. KEY TAKEAWAYS I love to recognise the talent of those that are out there hustling trying to make things happen, and making those connections and making things happen for them. You want to support those who have the ideas, what’s 15-30 minutes of my time for somebody who’s trying to make their thing happen? Getting things started and taking the first step is the hardest part, if you can give that extra vote of confidence or ideas or connections, that can help them be successful. The ideas to differentiate yourself only come from talking to others because, when you’re the founder, you’re stuck in your own head and don’t see all those other things. Be a sounding board, be available. Last Night’s Game was set up about 20 years ago. I was working as an intern at the Arizona Diamondbacks MLB team and one of my girlfriends asked why certain things were happening and I thought she was really missing out on an opportunity to connect with her co-workers. We were working in a male-dominated industry and sports is a common language that allows you to level the playing field in the office. So, I thought about how to teach her about sports in an interesting way. My brother and I devised a way to make sports approachable so they could use it in day-to-day interactions, or dates, etc. But it took until 14 years later before we had the time to work on and launch it. I’m successful because of what I learned in the corporate world. It was a good structure for me. So often now the corporate world is depicted as the bad character in a movie, but it’s not, there’s a lot we can learn from it. You learn to work as a team in the corporate environment, you have to work in someone else’s structure, alongside personalities that are not like you. There’s still a way the corporate world can evolve, and we should all be evolving no matter how big your business is so that we don’t end up as a ‘has-been’ company that nobody wants to work with. The foundation of having relationships is still critical today. We’re more connected than ever but more removed than ever. How do we maximise and humanise that connection? Get out and meet people, build relationships. If you’re not comfortable being the people person, hire someone who is. It’s the same as building a team around you that isn’t like you, doesn’t think like you, doesn’t live on the same block as you. A diverse team brings a different perspective, and everyone has their different talents.  BEST MOMENTS‘Sports is like food: It’s a common language that we can all speak, everywhere you go has a national dish and a national sport and everyone’s really proud of that.’‘How are you making yourself different from everybody else? That is how you get funded, if you’re different that’s an excellent thing.’‘The biggest challenge in investing in businesses, from an angel investor viewpoint, is that everyone wants to be everything to all people. You can’t be, it’s not possible. Identify your target market.’‘Our whole goal is short and sweet. We all know we have information overload, but we crank out a lot of content.’ ABOUT THE GUESTAfter seeing how the ability to talk sports gave her the upper hand as a woman in business, Amy and her brother Scott created Last Night’s Game to give their friends the same advantage. Last Night’s Game empowers its readers to join the sports conversation, even if they don’t know the first thing about sports. Her career has included working for a Major League Baseball team and in other male-dominated industries. A third-generation entrepreneur, Amy once flew around the world in 58 hours and 37 minutes, has lived internationally and is a master of small talk, bringing people together and the handwritten note. You can often find this married lady working with the entrepreneurship community nationwide and teaching her toddler about sports, food and other things he’ll have to use to make small talk one day.Reach out to Amy: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amybsiegfried/ About Last night’s gameEmpowering you with the latest sports and pop culture news, so you never have to resort to talking about the weather. Last Night’s Game empowers its readers to join the sports conversation, even if they don’t know the first thing about sports. The conversation doesn’t have to be that painful. Having worked in the sports and corporate world, Amy knows how sports can level the playing field and how helpful it is to have a team behind you.  Last Night’s Game goal is to make it easier for you to stand out in the crowd.  Follow updates on the sports and pop culture world so you never have to be left talking about the weather.Discover: https://lastnightsgame.com/ ABOUT THE HOSTSabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner. Twitter: SabineVdLLinkedIn: Sabine VanderLindenInstagram: sabinevdLofficialFacebook: SabineVdLOfficialTikTok: sabinevdlofficialEmail: podcast@sabinevdl.comWebsite: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Chris Hutchinson, CEO of Canopy, a company on a mission to revolutionise renting and help people grow, both financially – by creating a better life for themselves – and easier financial resilience. As the CEO of Canopy, Chris is an optimistic result orientated senior leader with clear interest in building highly effective teams. During the course of the podcast, the pair discus how Chris moved from his CFO role to landing the top seat of Canopy, why financial resilience is such an important topic across markets, and the three most important takeaways from scaling a startup during an economic downturn. KEY TAKEAWAYS          It’s really important to have a background with numbers. Businesses are inherently all about delivering a product for your end customer. But, fundamentally a business isn’t going to be viable and successful unless it comes down ultimately to numbers. The other key thing to remember is that a lot of the finance people (CFOs, Finance Directors, Head of Finance) are often second in charge to a founder of a CEO prior to moving into the CEO position and as such have a much broader breadth of understanding of a company than most people in an organisation do before they take that hot seat. One of the things I absolutely love about the modern age of business is that it feels that we’ve really moved on from negotiation, win/lose economics, and being taught to get one over on the competition, even in a partnership scenario, into something which is far more prevalent like a win/win partnership solutions where you both benefit. I’m very good at seeing quickly which ideas are worth executing and then executing and delivering on it. I feel this is powerful because it’s a skill often overlooked in startups where vision is always seen as incredibly valuable and the passion of the founder is undoubtedly one of the most important things that gets it off the ground. Inherently, the reason most startups fail between seed and series A stages probably isn’t because they don’t have a great idea, it’s because they are unable to execute on that idea. Canopy is trying to shake up the rental industry in the UK initially, but then broadening to international expansion in the future. Essentially we’re a tech-driven company that improves the lives of letting agents and tenants by offering a solution that identifies the right tenant for the right property really quickly, really easily. We then help build a brighter future for those renters by building their financial health, resilience and trying to create an equal opportunity for them whatever their background and goals.   BEST MOMENTS ‘As you grow in your career in finance you have a relatively unique position where you’re involved in pretty much every area of the business while also sitting on top of big, key, strategic positions and decisions.’‘Are you building a team because they’re going to deliver for you and you’re going to demand everything of them and they’re going to need to meet those expectations, or are you hiring people who are really, really good at what they do and they have the expertise that you don’t have?’’70-90% of renters aspire to being a homeowner, but lots of them just want to enjoy their lives while living in a property, have a little bit more money in their pocket, to save up for a holiday/car/etc.’‘You can definitely do more with less. Whatever you think you can do, you can do more with the same amount or you can definitely do the same that you’re expecting to do now but with less. You’re spending too much money, you’re definitely doing stuff that you don’t need to do, you can optimise, you can cut down, focus prioritise and deliver more return on investment.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Chris Hutchinson: Results driven. People focussed. Eternally optimistic. Strategic senior leader with significant experience in the FMCG and Financial Service sectors. A proven track record of success across diverse roles in both Unilever and Bupa Global now driving start-ups through sustainable growth and funding. Worked Canopy. Advisor Startup CFO Started career with BUPA.   About Canopy We’re on a mission to revolutionise renting and help people grow, both financially and towards a better life. That means making things faster, easier and fairer for everyone – renters, agents and landlords alike. At the heart of our system is the RentPassport, a totally free digital profile that takes the hassle out of house moving. Renters can create a profile in minutes and use it every time they move, and agents and landlords can instantly pre-screen tenants – saving everyone’s time and cash and getting renters moving faster. We believe every new move is a chance to grow. That’s why we help renters grow their credit rating by tracking their rent payments – improving their financial wellbeing, one month at a time. It all adds up to a comprehensive profile that reassures landlords – and turns the house-moving slog into a stroll in the park. Want to join the movement? We’re growing fast and always looking out for the next bright spark to join the team. Check out our job listings below, or just drop us a message and say hi. Canopy, InsureStreet and Insure Street are trading names of InsureStreet Limited which is an appointed representative of Resolution Compliance Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 574048) to carry on insurance distribution activities. Website: https://www.canopy.rent/ ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.com  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks Sean Boyce, an expert product builder who helps companies, large and small, realise their vision when developing and owning world class SaaS products without needing to make all the mistakes that are typically made by most product companies. Sean has successfully scaled his own product companies including StaffGeek and Podcastchef. Today though NxtStep Sean helps B2B SaaS businesses to build the products that matter most for their target audiences. On this episode the pair discuss: FinTech trends, automation, and Chat GPT, market challenges and what is happening within current capital access needs, why it’s essential to democratise access to drive financial inclusion, and Sean will share some thoughts on how to build good SaaS-based B2B product offerings.   KEY TAKEAWAYS          I’ve always been involved with and fascinated by technology, both hardware and software, but I got very excited about the possibilities of software earlier on in my career, particularly automation. It has the possibility to out the people in the process in a better position to be able to leverage the technology and software to make incredible leaps forwards in progress. I worked in corporate and startups, building companies of my own in tech and finance. I like to spend time diving deep into industries, spending time with subject matter experts and better understanding from them the progress they’re trying to make and what’s holding them back from making that progress. Usually there’s a bottleneck in the process somewhere, and I look to try to figure out what is the fastest, most cost-effective way that I can leverage technology or put a strategy in place which enables them to make considerable progress in a shorter period of time, much more cost-effectively than however they’re trying to solve that problem today. Chat GPT is pretty remarkable and has made its way round the world relatively quickly since they released some of their latest updates. That’s really interesting in terms of what that product is capable of. I think we’re going to see a new ‘gold rush’ leveraging tools like that based on what people have been able to see it’s capable of in order to use as a tool, or a component to build other tools and resources for people to get a lot of value out of. One of the most revolutionary elements of Chat GPT is that it’s a leap forwards in progress in how we access information – or it’s going to be, as it get continually polished – as opposed to most people’s current strategy, which is to leverage a search engine like Google where I’m presented to a list of results after I ask my question, some of which may or may not get what I’m looking for based on how I asked the question and whether or not that information is out there and available yet. You have to update and evolve your strategy for innovating and investing in your company based on the implications of global changes are for your organisation. As money is no longer as accessible or cheap as it once was, fundraising and gaining access to the capital you might need to do what it is that you want will probably be a bit more difficult which raises the bar for who is going to receive capital and when, making competition more fierce. Try to make as much progress on your own with the resources you have, if you can. It will usually end up being advantageous in the future.   BEST MOMENTS ‘I’ve always looked to automate the time-consuming but error-prone elements of any processes that we might need to do so that people can leverage the technology in a better and more empowering way, so they can make considerable progress with a lot less resources much, much faster.’‘I’ve seen Chat GPT being used in everything from automating significant, time-consuming elements of content creation and copywriting all the way through to using it to write code for you to build applications and building blocks as opposed to writing anything in a customer fashion.’‘Whenever possible, making processes that are really important simpler ultimately makes them more effective.’‘.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Sean Boyce helps SaaS businesses realize your vision of owning a world-class software product WITHOUT needing to make all the mistakes that typically sink most product companies. Sean has already made those mistakes as he has successfully been able to scale his own product companies (staffgeek.com and podcastchef.com). Sean loves to received questions on how he can help founders and their products. Just email him at sean@nxtstep.ioor booking time to discuss whether it would make sense to work together using the link below. https://nxtstep.io/ ABOUT CONNECTIV Connectiv is a live events studio that for the past decade has dedicated itself to creating industry-leading gatherings. Our passion and our expertise are owning and operating at scale, vertical-specific conferences. The events we have created attract more than 15,000 people each year. In 2021 we will be bringing to market two new vertical shows including Manifest - the future of logistics. Where industry transformation is front and center, while the change in industries is inevitable what will never change is our mission to help facilitate face-to-face interactions. We believe the in-person experience is the best way to push conversations forward as well as discover disruptive trends that are changing content consumption and consumer behaviour. Website: https://connectiv.com/ ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.com  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Jay Weintraub. If there is a term that describes Jay over the past 15 years are the words "event entrepreneur. Jay transformed his early digital marketing domain expertise into an industry-leading event shaper.  Today, Jay’s portfolio consists of: Blueprint (real estate tech), Manifest (logistics tech), Medicarians (age tech), and Cumulus (agri / food tech). He has delivered four exits, and his passion for  thoughtfully connecting people – Connectiv – a portfolio of industry-defining events. While events are what the communities seek, Jay wants to serve unique experiences. He shares that success is not measured by the number of attendees or sponsors. Instead, the team at Connectiv judge ourselves by our impact on some of the world's largest, most complex, and necessary global industries.  On this episode the pair discuss: Jay’s main areas of interest post-InsureTech Connect, why industries? What purpose? How does Jay serve sectors by delivering highly engaging conference experience and meet face to face? What can we learn from cross-fertilizing learnings from attending other events from problem solving to collaboration. KEY TAKEAWAYS The beauty of an event is, oftentimes, you’re trying to capture a movement, you’re trying to find appoint in time where the world is changing and when that is. There’s so much uncertainty. Simply face-timing with the right people can add an immense amount of value. Is the movement in InsureTech about new product, new ways to underwrite, different ways to do claims, was it back to customer service or engagement? It could be everything. The question is: Which one is right for you? If we can find ways to make things predictable and repeatable we can do more and more scale-ably. That’s one of our goals. For a company like ours that convenes large scale events, the milestone is about how we touch more lives. For us, touch more lives is connecting more industries in the same way. There’s almost always some company that touches multiple verticals.  No one wants to be first, everyone wants to be first to be second. The hardest part about what we do is that, like everything else, scale matters. It’s really hard to get to a 7,000-10,000 person show starting off at a 300-500 person show. What makes the challenge is that everyone thinks it’s super scalable (like tech), in our type of business it’s not just about raising a ton of money, getting the biggest sales team with the biggest funnel, it’s not a single widget that you can scale across an infinitely large team. It’s about the one-on-one connections which is more akin to scouting, venturing or startup roles, there a lot of not-so-glamourous work: research and figuring out who’s is relevant.   BEST MOMENTS ‘One of the magic things about insurance is that it’s impossible to name something that insurance doesn’t touch.’‘We’re trying to get more connected as a whole.’‘Data itself is a commodity, you can buy a list of companies. But you’re not going to advance your company by buying that big list and trying to mail that big list. The only way you’re going to do it is by asking: “Is this person relevant?” It’s the personal outreach and understanding your goal.’‘Who do you want to be? Sometimes you have to accept you can’t be everything to everyone. The best companies do this, especially in insurance, there isn’t anyone who’s number one in every line of business.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Jay Weintraub: If there is a term called "event entrepreneur," that certainly best describes my last 15+ years. I transformed my early digital marketing domain expertise into an industry leading event. Four exits later, and my passion for thoughtful connecting forms the basis for Connectiv – a portfolio of industry defining events. While events are what the communities we serve experience, our success is not measured by the number of attendees or sponsors. Instead, we judge ourselves on the impact we make to some of the worlds largest, most complex, and necessary global industries.  Today, our portfolio consists of Blueprint (real estate tech), Manifest (logistics tech), Medicarians (age tech), and Cumulus (agri/food tech).  I have been fortunate enough to speak across the globe and am an investor in 60+ companies as well having been an advisor to a dozen more.  Should you wish to connect, feel free to email jay at connectiv.com. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jayweintraub/  ABOUT CONNECTIV Connectiv is a live events studio that for the past decade has dedicated itself to creating industry-leading gatherings. Our passion and our expertise are owning and operating at scale, vertical-specific conferences.  The events we have created attract more than 15,000 people each year. In 2021 we will be bringing to market two new vertical shows including Manifest - the future of logistics. Where industry transformation is front and center, while the change in industries is inevitable what will never change is our mission to help facilitate face-to-face interactions. We believe the in-person experience is the best way to push conversations forward as well as discover disruptive trends that are changing content consumption and consumer behaviour. Website: https://connectiv.com/  ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Nathan Stuck, an award-winning leader in the B Corp community and the Founder & CEO of Profitable Purpose Consulting, a culture and impact consultancy that helps companies certify as B Corporations. He also founded and chairs B Local Georgia, a non-profit dedicated to growing the number of purpose-driven businesses in the Peach State. Nathan teaches an experiential MBA course on B Corps at the University of Georgia and serves on the board of B Academics, a non-profit committed to research and experiential B Corp learning opportunities around the world. As of March 2023, the latest available data indicates that there are over 6,435 B Corporations in over 159 industries and 88 countries worldwide. The number of certified B Corps are steadily increasing with the largest growing number in the US. 48% of all B Corps are publicly traded companies and B Corp employs half a million workers worldwide.On this episode the pair discuss: Why Nathan decided to focus his attention on B Corps, what does B Corp mean, why does B Corp movement matter, and what does it take to become a B Corp?KEY TAKEAWAYS I always knew I wanted to work in business since high school, later I got an international business degree. By 2012 my career was going pretty well but I went through two lay-offs in six months in 2013. Then I tried to figure out what I was going to do next in my early 30s. I was working gig jobs while waiting to start an MBa and saw a lot of other people doing the same while trying to raise families and there was no hope. It was eye-opening to see what capitalism had become. I discovered B Corp in the second year of my MBa and the sky opened, and the angels started singing, and I realised I’d found my business community of people who believed in using business as a force for good in society. I’d invested so much in myself: late nights, early mornings, things that I didn’t get paid for, but I paid in time, equity, tears, sweat. I was finally starting to see the reward and I decided it would make a good book. It had to sound like me, I make fun of myself and talk about the stupid things I’ve done in my life, jobs that I took, times when I failed miserably, stretching outside of my comfort zone not well. I didn’t want it to be like every other business book where “I’m the most successful human being ever born”, this is more: “I’m just like you, I’ve had a bunch of jobs that I didn’t like and here’s how to hopefully come out of all of that prepared for opportunities.” B Corps are for-profit businesses with a certification that is a lot like LEAN for a building – an outside non-profit comes in and looks at the business holistically: How transparent you are, your corporate governance, your workers, what kinds of benefits you offer, your pay multiplier from top to bottom paid employee, what leave you offer for parents and caregivers, your community impact, your environmental footprint, and your policies for your customers. It scores you out of 80 and validates that. As soon as Gen Z and Millennials found their voices they got together to say business as usual isn’t working for everybody.  They’re fed up with why things aren’t more equitable, why we’ve allowed the status quo to continue when the status quo doesn’t work, and how do we leverage the business community to solve some of  society’s biggest problems?  BEST MOMENTS‘It isn’t necessarily capitalism that’s evil, it’s what we’ve let it become. There’s a whole community of business leaders, owners, and changemakers that are trying to change the world through business.’‘It’s fun to see where you’ve come from, and what you’ve faced, and how you overcame it. A lot of times it’s those moments that unlock the opportunity to find happiness and your purpose in life.’‘Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.’‘I like Mondays so much that I start working on Sunday.’ ABOUT THE GUESTNathan is an award-winning leader in the B Corp community and the Founder & CEO of Profitable Purpose Consulting, a culture and impact consultancy that helps companies certify as B Corporations. He also founded and chairs B Local Georgia, a non-profit dedicated to growing the number of purpose-driven businesses in the Peach State.  He has appeared on multiple podcasts, spoken at events across the country, and hosts the Be the Change Georgia podcast.  His first book, Happy Monday: Designing Your Career with Purpose, came out earlier this year. Website: https://www.profitablepurposeconsulting.com/  ABOUT THE HOSTSabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner. Twitter: SabineVdLLinkedIn: Sabine VanderLindenInstagram: sabinevdLofficialFacebook: SabineVdLOfficialTikTok: sabinevdlofficialEmail: podcast@sabinevdl.comWebsite: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Tunde Salako, an active entrepreneur within the Africa FinTech, HealthTech and InsurTech scene. Tunde wants to connect the dots between inclusion, insurance and technology In Africa. Tunde co-founded HealthTech startup, Hadiel, to drive more health inclusion in Africa and is also the managing partner of the Africa InsurTech Lab, a platform aggregating InsurTech entrepreneurs, startups, corporates, enthusiasts, investors sharing trends on how technology is reverse engineering insurance on the continent and between continents. Investment in the African startup ecosystem accelerated over the past two years with over $3 billion when investment opportunities fell for startups across Europe for instance. During their discussion, Sabine and Tunde dive into 1) FinTech and InsurTech in Africa, 2) opportunities and challenges faced by the local market, and 3) drivers behind the $3 billion of investment made within the African market over the past two years. KEY TAKEAWAYS My background was as a medic, I trained as a physician, and for the past 16-17 years I’ve been on the insurance side of the fence despite the fact I remained within the healthcare system as well. In 2019, I started to go deeper into the insurance ecosystem after more interest was being taken in Africa, but there was no documentation or platform pulling it all together. So, we decided to showcase this to the world and build confidence in relevant areas, so Africa is not left behind. 10-15 years ago, if you wanted to build a website, you had to pay a high cost. By 2017 that changed. Now, building a website is something that’s a walk in the park for everyone, and there is a surge of technology hubs around the whole of Africa (over 700 today), which are very bullish on teaching, coding, programming, and building local talent.  The international ecosystem is now looking into what is happening in Africa, particularly regarding FinTech. Despite the fact there was a slowdown globally, it took until quarter 3 of the year before we started to see that kind of slowing down in Africa because the investors and VC ecosystem are bullish about putting out investments into the local ecosystem. That translated financially into by the end of 2021, the total funding in Africa was about $4 billion, out of which about 55% of those funds were to the FinTech ecosystem, and in 2022 that figure rose to $4.8 billion, still with about 55% to FinTech. When you look at the next 3-7 years, we can churn out stellar innovation because of the technology that is now available in the insurance ecosystem. One of the things that is very clear is that now, with the major players in the industry and InsurTechs that are coming up with innovations, there are going to be more opportunities for partnerships and collaborations either by mergers and/or acquisitions. BEST MOMENTS‘Africa needs to be heard. There's a lot of things going on down here.’‘We want to put a spotlight on the growth and the capabilities that have been developed year-on-year in terms of technology on the continent of Africa.’‘We now have local talent that can build solutions that are amenable to our environment and the key problems affecting the African ecosystem.’‘Incumbents want to focus on how they reduce risk and how to provide value to the customer, while at the same time leaving the technology to the startups.’ ABOUT THE GUESTS Tunde is the CEO of Hadiel, manages Africa InsurTech Lab and an advisory council member of Founders Factory Africa. You can find out more about Tunde below. Tunde Salako: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tundeosalako/Website: https://africainsurtechrising.com.ng/  ABOUT THE HOSTSabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner. Twitter: SabineVdLLinkedIn: Sabine VanderLindenInstagram: sabinevdLofficialFacebook: SabineVdLOfficialTikTok: sabinevdlofficialEmail: podcast@sabinevdl.comWebsite: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Pablo Duarte and Hilario Itriago, founders of The LATAM InsurTech, a fast-growing insurance technology accelerator for startups wanting to enter the Latam market via Miami. Both Pablo and Hilario have been leading insurance innovation in LATAM for years. They both come from industry, and you will discover during our discussion that we are all in the fractional world of tech, where we split our time across those projects that matter most to us. For instance, alongside supporting The LATAM InsurTech, Pablo is also director, client engagement at Bain and Company, and Hilario is also the president at BOXX Insurance, a leading cybersecurity provider. During the podcast, they discuss the InsurTech ecosystem in LATAM, how they support the incumbent, broker, and startup worlds, InsurTech LATAM in numbers, and their InsurTech portfolio and opportunities across the LATAM market. KEY TAKEAWAYS The insurance space as we know it has a phenomenal opportunity with the transformation that technology brings to it. There's clearly a before and after technology that came into our world. That technology is now in the hands of consumers, and we believe that is a massive change. One of the critical things that we want to make sure happens in our markets is that more people get insurance. We're convinced that the more people get insurance coverage, the better their social and economic development will be. InsurTech can bring products closer to the everyday individual who can benefit from insurance coverage and do it straightforwardly and efficiently. This opportunity must be leveraged by both incumbents and InsurTechs alike – and they both can do so. As collaborative as insurance has been over the centuries, the opportunities of InsurTech are no different. We believe that incumbents and InsurTechs can collaborate across the entire value chain and that we can promote and try to influence that happening more and more, the better everybody's going to be, from the industry insiders to the consumers. The InsurTech sector in Latin America continues to be very active. Unlike what we’ve seen in other markets where valuations plummeted, we haven't seen an effect in the LATAM market. There are over 400 InsurTechs in LATAM. The growth rate is about 20% year-on-year, and about 6% of the companies die yearly (just like any venture ecosystem). Some of the fastest-growing markets are in Columbia and Brazil, with one-third of the market in Brazil. We saw the early days of InsurTechs focussing on personal distribution, that type of disruption which typically is the sexy aspect of where people want to go. But over the years, we’ve seen that more and more companies are tackling the commercial space – whether it's small commercial or more traditional, larger-scale commercial business. There's a great deal of opportunity in the sustainability aspect of the commercial insurance space. We're starting to see more and more opportunities there and, therefore, more and more InsurTechs. That's one of the angles that will make many of the economies in the region see more solutions and innovations in that space that could also be taken to other markets. BEST MOMENTS ‘I've been on this InsurTech journey since 2016. Back then InsurTech was just starting in Latin America, so there wasn’t much activity going on, and sometimes we even wondered if we made the right choice to get into InsurTech then!’‘Through InsurTech, we see greater customization and personalization of value propositions. That is key because traditionally, insurance has been very structured and hard to feed into customers' specific needs.’‘Argentina is a country that has been known for innovation way before FinTech and InsurTech, it's a very entrepreneurial country, and precisely because of the economic circumstances, they have a robust pipeline of solutions created and grown in Argentina but want to go elsewhere for growth.’‘In terms of smaller markets that punch above their weight, our first InsurTech unicorn comes from Chile. It's a great balance between large pipelines of InsurTechs coming from big markets and smaller quantities but tremendous quality coming from smaller markets.' ABOUT THE GUESTS Find out about our guest using those links.  Pablo Duarte: https://www.linkedin.com/in/duartepablo/ Hilario Itriago: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hitriago/InsurLab LATAM: https://www.latam-insurtech.com/ ABOUT THE HOSTSabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner. Twitter: SabineVdLLinkedIn: Sabine VanderLindenInstagram: sabinevdLofficialFacebook: SabineVdLOfficialTikTok: sabinevdlofficialEmail: podcast@sabinevdl.comWebsite: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It’s not easy for small and medium-size businesses to find the right protection, even though many more small business opportunities have emerged since the pandemic.  Today, Sabine taps into the knowledge of two industry veterans: Jeff Shi of InsurTech Groups and Tim Lovett of The Hartford, and asks them to understand the current situation with small commercials in the US market. KEY TAKEAWAYS The size of the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market varies greatly depending on the region and the industry being considered. Globally, SMEs account for a significant portion of the economy, employing a large percentage of the workforce and generating substantial economic activity. Estimates suggest that SMEs make up over 90% of businesses in many countries and are often considered the backbone of the economy. However, due to their diversity and dispersed nature, it can be challenging to estimate the exact size of the SME market. Insurers may have pulled away from small commercial coverage in the past two years for various reasons, including changes in regulations, declining profitability, or shifting business strategies, as well as increased competition, higher risk, new regulations in data and ethics, and shifting business strategies. The small commercial lines market can present several challenges for insurers, including: higher risk, increased competition, complexity of coverage, limited data availability, and pricing pressures. These challenges can make it difficult for insurers to operate effectively in the small commercial lines market, resulting in some companies pulling back from this market segment. However, despite these challenges, there is still significant demand for insurance coverage among small businesses, and many insurers are finding ways to overcome these challenges and offer competitive products. The products, services, and business opportunities that insurers evaluate today within the small commercial insurance market include technology-enabled solutions, specialized coverage, customized products, bundled products, alternative distribution channels, and risk management services. These products, services, and business opportunities aim to improve the customer experience, increase profitability, and differentiate from the competition in the small commercial insurance market. However, insurers must carefully evaluate each opportunity's viability and potential, as success will depend on factors such as market demand, competition, and the overall regulatory environment. BEST MOMENTS ‘Small businesses often face a higher level of risk than larger businesses, and insurers may have decided that the risk associated with insuring small businesses was too high.'‘Small businesses often face a higher level of risk than larger businesses, making it more difficult for insurers to assess and price risk accurately.’‘Small business owners are often price-sensitive, and insurers may face pressure to offer competitive pricing, which can impact profitability.’‘Insurers are exploring alternative distribution channels, such as insurtech start-ups, to reach small businesses and offer more convenient and accessible insurance solutions.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Jeff Shi is the founder of InsurTech Groups, where he connects consumers with top industry partners, using advanced processes leveraging innovative technology. Jeff helps consumers to better understand their policies in an effort to meet each of their unique needs. Website: https://www.insurtechgroups.com/  Tim Lovett has been at The Hartford insurance group for nearly six years. Tim helps small and medium size companies make better choices. He has a background in claims management and distribution, both of which allows him to educate and assist agents in growing their small commercial portfolio. Website: https://ir.thehartford.com/  ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Aaron Jones, an award-winning entrepreneur working in Artificial Intelligence. Aaron co-founded Yepic AI, a company in the generative AI space whose flagship product “vidvoice.ai” is a state-of-the-art video translation technology that dubs your lips in real-time. Think about your Star Trek moments when Kirk says, "Scotty, Beam us up!" in any language. KEY TAKEAWAYS Before I was an entrepreneur, I was a cameraman at K Productions, producing a TV show for Sky. I was also an assistant vision mixer adjusting the lighting on the cameras. I thought a career in acting was for me when I was younger, but then I realized that I wanted to make a difference in the world. Everything I've done since then has been around the idea of whatever I spend my time on. I want it to make an impact and change people's lives. At university, I started an ethical fashion brand which got me into eCommerce. I don't care much about fashion, but I do care about people. There was a great story about people producing a product locally that was sustainable and recycled, and I started a foundation in Cambodia to fund education. The idea was that every time you bought a product, you'd be funding a child's education to get parents to earn more and children to learn to break the cycle of poverty. I did that for several years and received an honor from the Queen for my work and numerous awards. Like all great ideas, they evolve, and we realized that if we wanted to make an even bigger impact, we needed to make a place for other designers to grow their brands and sell more products so we could build more schools. That’s how the business evolved into a company called See Fashion – which was a terrible idea. Never work with fashion designers if you want to make money.  We pivoted away from fashion to technology, enabling eCommerce brands with a product and a business to sell more. We did this by connecting all the stores as an intelligence web, using visual search as a hook to encourage users to show us what they were interested in buying by uploading photos to the app/store. It soon became an API business, and we sold APIs to companies like Yves Saint Laurent and huge corporations. The most valuable part of the business was the visual search. We did not own the IP, and because GDPR came in, our sharing network had to shut down as I had not sold the company when I had the opportunity to be acquired. That journey led me to meet with the Founders Factory team more than three years ago. It started consulting on an eCommerce enablement project using Generative AI to enhance and generate imagery. It blew my mind that researchers generated images from nothing, and I became obsessed. We've since probably created the first ‘stable diffusion’ before research papers made the subject popular. Still, ours wasn't very stable and needed an extensive data set to generate the images. This means that, for an eCommerce brand, it wasn’t that feasible. After this, we got into video and formed Yepic AI. BEST MOMENTS ‘Entrepreneurs are a bit of everything. Starting a business in a new and exciting space Is exciting, but it also requires you to wear many hats at the beginning.’ ‘Don’t work with designers, exit and take acquisition offers, do something meaningful.’ ‘A problem that a lot of Generative AI companies are facing is when the hype burns away, to sell it to businesses as a click-through enhancement/ increase to drive more sales, you need to prove that your image drove the sale. So you certainly more than imagery!’ ‘There’s been loads going on in the background for a long time, but the public has suddenly become aware of it, and they’ve realized that Generative AI isn’t just deep fakes, among others. You can create stuff. You can generate images in Canva now. You can edit people out of your photos using AI. The creative possibilities in the eyes of the public have opened up massively.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Aaron Jones is an award-winning entrepreneur working in Artificial Intelligence. Aaron co-founded Yepic AI, a company in the generative AI space whose flagship product “vidvoice.ai” is a state-of-the-art video translation technology that dubs your lips in real-time. Vid Voice is being used in business meetings, telehealth, live events, and film dubbing. It's the first and only service of its kind, which will be made available via Zoom. Aaron was recognized in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, making him the youngest person to receive a British Empire Medal for services to Industry. He was also awarded Alumni of the Year 2018 by Essex University and shortlisted for Forbes 30 under 30. Check out the Yepic platform here Learn about Aaron here ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Tristan Pelloux, An expert who is passionate about FinTech and Innovation. After several years in Corporate Strategy and Finance at Virgin Money, Tristan decided to launch Strategwhy, an independent management consultancy. He is also the Chief Pencil Officer at Fintech Review, online media on the Fintech industry. KEY TAKEAWAYS I was producing lots of insights for Virgin Money (where I worked in corporate finance) trying to figure out what was going on in that world, the trends, innovations. I thought it was a shame that the audience was so small within the company, so I set up the media site in 2020 to spread my thoughts about what was going on. It’s evolved from a personal site where I wrote blogs to more of a platform with other people sharing FinTech insights and interviews with business leaders and entrepreneurs in the field. This is my passion work and I do consulting, which is how I pay the rent, where I work with companies across Europe and help them with their strategy and helping them to scale to reach a new level. I am Mr Organisation, I like to make lists, do tests, I like plans. I tell my clients we’re going to meet twice a week, this is the agenda of the meeting, this is what we’re going to do this week, this is what we’re going to do next week. It’s about maintaining order. This doesn’t mean you can’t be inventive or innovative, you just need to channel things and do it in a very planned way, otherwise your energy is going in too many directions and you’re losing time. If everybody is aligned, they know what’s going on, there is a clear plan, and you divide the tasks between people then you achieve much more. Things move faster and can evolve faster in a startup than in a corporate business where you’ve got access to a lot of experts and resources. It’s super interesting to see how you can do the same project in two different environments; you need much more adaptability in a startup and the goals are much more about growth, with corporates there are more structures and restraints where everybody needs to be on the page before you can move forward. One of the challenges in FinTech is there are too many companies going after the same customers and there’s not enough money to be made out of retail customers. It’s not enough to be making money out of interchange. This can be great for the customer to have so much choice, but it’s also confusing because there are so many players and it’s fragmented. Lots of FinTech’s are battling to become the ‘super app’, and we’ll see which will emerge. Still, so many of them don’t have good business models and are loss-making, it will be challenging for them with less funding available. But there are opportunities in the B2B space. BEST MOMENTS‘The environment is very different now than it was two years ago. It wasn’t easy to sell but funding was easier, and it was easier to scale. The challenges are the same for everybody from startups to big businesses.’‘What’s important for businesses right now is strategic focus and execution – instead of going in many directions at the same time, do one thing very well. That’s how I’m helping businesses.’‘The next two years are going to be difficult for FinTechs because rounds will be down, some others will get no funding at all. There may be consolidation, so FinTechs in a good position will be able to scale faster through inorganic growth.’‘Some services that were not economically viable to provide to the mass market now are through the use of technology. So, at which point are you going to provide some sort of personalised service when you can do it cheaply?’ ABOUT THE GUESTAfter over five years in corporate strategy and finance at Virgin Money UK in London, Tristan Pelloux launched Strategwhy, an independent management consulting company, to provide independent guidance and advice to business leaders and founders of startup and scaleup companies across the world.https://fintechreview.net/  ABOUT THE HOSTSabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner. Twitter: SabineVdLLinkedIn: Sabine VanderLindenInstagram: sabinevdLofficialFacebook: SabineVdLOfficialTikTok: sabinevdlofficialEmail: podcast@sabinevdl.comWebsite: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Michael Doyle, a brand and capital raise Guru who founded Brand Iron 20 years ago. Michael combines his branding and market making experience with his investment reporting analyst strengths to shape a company dedicated to creating congruent brands supported by strong financial and investment stories. With this approach Michael helped companies he supported over the years raise over $5 billion of capital. KEY TAKEAWAYS Most people think of branding as how they present themselves and their company. I take branding beyond simply the message into something that produces tangible results. By integrating branding into all areas of business – Sales, Marketing, Operations, Finance… you can create a dynamic value proposition that comes alive, gets leads, and generates revenue. We work with companies to identify what’s unique about their brand, how we successfully package and communicate that, and how we put together and take them to market to drive real results and help them achieve their outcomes, whether that’s driving revenue, driving growth, expansion of a new product of service into the marketplace, or expanding into new geographies. The formula to raising $5 billion is really understanding your niche, how and why you’re better, and how to package that into a really clear and concise message. That’s the brand story. What most companies really have a difficult time with is telling a really sound financial story. When I start out with most companies they give me financials and spreadsheets, my job is to extract that information. The other side is communicating, highlighting and showcasing the team and their experience to effectively execute this plan and make investors feel comfortable that they know what they’re doing and confident that they’ll deliver and make this a reality. In order to make ‘x’ revenue we have to get so many people to make buying decisions. To make those buying decisions we have to drive so much traffic and convert them from interested into buyers by clicking on an ad, a blog or a video. It’s a mathematical formula. We need to understand what it’s going to take, what our message needs to be, what are the most effective mediums, what’s the timing? All these ingredients have to come together to deliver the results we want to deliver.  BEST MOMENTS ‘You need to understand what your ‘holistic brand’ is. It’s not just logos and websites – which are important – you've got to have a good culture and have the team that's going to deliver, communicate, and convey the claims on your website and brand materials.’'We don't want our companies to be vapourware. We want them to be real and do what it says they will do. By doing this, you can produce some great results.’'Whether you're a startup, SMB, or a large enterprise, you should always start with the end in mind. What are the end goals you want to achieve?’‘Nothing ever works perfectly. The key is starting with assumptions and then adjusting and optimizing and fine-tuning it to where it's producing your desired outcome and results you're trying to achieve.' ABOUT THE GUEST CEO & Brand Champion of Brand Iron, a brand consulting & marketing firm that forges brands and drives revenue. Raised over $5 billion for clients. Helped 40 companies get acquired and 20 companies taken public. I'm an advisor to PE firms, RE firms, and Tech companies, especially around capital raise efforts, branding, and positioning companies for acquisition. I also do much work with platform companies that PE firms own and help them grow and scale. I've been a part of 3 successful exits, including selling my own company and being part of an IPO. We own equity positions with top-performing SaaS/Tech and Real Estate companies. We also have helped companies raise over $5 Billion in capital and have been advisors to over 40 acquisitions. https://brandiron.net/process/  ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world, working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine talks to Axel Thibon, founder of Wizest, the next generation of investment trading platforms. With his team, Axel aims to make personal investing more accessible, more engaging, and more consistent with today's digital platforms and changing consumer behavior. Today, people think that investing is complicated and intimidating. What if there was a platform to pair novice investors with financial experts? Before Wizest, Alex worked in banking for over six years. He led and guided 4 M&A/integration projects for banks ranging from $300M to $15B and led strategy and transformation initiatives in Renault Nissan Mitsubishi for nine years, Sabadell United Bank for five years, and has taken all that expertise to Wizest for the last four years. Axel has managed and launched a brand new digital bank from scratch.  Sabine and Axel discuss why we need to make investing simple, the challenges with the current mass market wealth management platforms, how Wizest works, and the target market and sources of success. KEY TAKEAWAYS Wizest democratizes access to the stock market through technology so everyone can invest just like the top 1%. A Wizest client has access to a team of financial experts who invest on their behalf, and the client gets to choose which expert they have on their team with one simple click, instantaneously copying their portfolios.  Axel had an interesting path before doing Wizest. He was a mechanical engineer for the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi group in charge of developing parts for electrical vehicles. When attempting personal investment for the future, Axel found the process complicated and unsupportive, and this is when he became inspired to enter the banking world, gaining experience from launching a digital bank from scratch, and eventually dedicating his efforts to making investment simpler with Wizest. Wizest solves the problem that limited capital investors have with the minimum investment barriers that banks place on investors, the investor’s lack of experience and knowledge of the stock market, and the reluctance felt by the investor by the lack of inclusion and transparency of earlier platforms.  When you use Wizest for the first time, you see people. It is very welcoming and personal, with the financial investors sharing their personal profiles first, so you can get to know them before you see their recommended portfolios and understand their styles of investment.  Wizest is working to form partnerships with corporations to increase their reach by offering Wizest memberships to their employees. This kind of service is to offer a service in between savings and wealth management or private investment. There is global potential for this kind of financial accessibility solution.  Axel recommends approaching investing as a personal experience. Rather than just approaching a bank and taking the standard road to retirement-type investments, take some time to consider your current financial situation and your goals fully. Stick to your plan and try not to react to every financial crisis.  BEST MOMENTS ‘This is a journey that is shared by many of us. When we want to start investing with limited capital, we tend to go with cheap or even free solutions. If you don't have any finance background and don't know what to buy and what to sell, it's tough.’ ‘It's not about the service itself, which is about being able to invest or trade, but how the investing happens. So that's what we decided to change with Wizest, which is different from the others because it's not only making it more convenient and accessible, but it is also changing how it is happening.' ‘From there, the user can choose one or several investors they like to build a team. They can build a team that is going to work for them. When I say that when you have $2,000, $5,000, and $10,000 to work with in Wizest, you then work with your team. Your experts help you build your real portfolio. The way you manage your portfolio is not by managing your underlying holdings but by managing your team.’  ‘It’s not like setting up a lemonade stand. To be able to launch Wizest, we have to be able to make sure we have a secure solution that is compliant with regulations and that we have the right sort of technical integrations.’ ‘When you put the plan in motion, the most important thing most people forget is sticking to the plan. Don't be affected by what is happening today or tomorrow in the market or overreact and be scared because when we look historically over the last hundred years, the markets are always up and down.'    ABOUT THE GUEST With his team, Axel aims to make personal investing more accessible, more engaging, and more consistent with today's digital platforms and changing consumer behavior. Today, people think that investing is complicated and intimidating. What if there was a platform to pair novice investors with financial experts? Before Wizest, Alex worked in banking for over six years. Led and guided4 M&A/integration projects for banks ranging from $300M to $15B Led strategy/ transformation initiatives Managed a digital Bank and launched a new bank from scratch https://www.linkedin.com/in/axel-thibon/ ABOUT WIZEST Described by Forbes as “far more authentic than Robinhood will ever be," Wizest is the next-generation investment trading platform. Our technology is democratizing access to the stock market so everyone can invest, like the 1%. Build a team of financial experts to invest on your behalf by copying their portfolios in one click. Optimize with performance leaderboards, pick experts you relate to and align with your values, then learn why they make their trades in your news feed. There’s no limit to the expertise at your fingertips! Wizest aims to democratize the stock market and make investing accessible for everyone. The team believes everyone should be able to invest and achieve their financial goals, regardless of their experience or background. Discover more https://www.wizest.com/ ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Dennis Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Postalytics, a fast-growing software company that automates direct mail marketing, measures the results from direct mailing activity and connects such campaigns to CRM and marketing automation systems to accelerate the way online marketing connects with offline marketing.  With expertise building VC-backed businesses and self-financed businesses, Dennis is a 6 times entrepreneur with the companies he built. He exited 4 of these businesses to larger corporations. Postalytics has grown fast with no VC investment and today is scaling in the US and Canada with an aspiration to come to Europe. During the podcast, the pair cover 1) Dennis’ lessons on building VC-backed and self-financed businesses, 2) what PLG (Product-led growth) means, 3) why every business needs to learn a little bit about PLG and 4) Postalytics’ proposition and roadmap to success. KEY TAKEAWAYS I grew up on a farm where my family and I worked very hard and were entrepreneurial in trying to make extra money. I’d reach out to neighbors and people in the community to offer my services and help them with whatever they needed doing. Some of those lessons apply today, such as... not being afraid to knock on someone's door, telling them what you're doing and how you can help them.  Postalytics is a direct mail automation software tool designed to solve three big problems with the direct mail marketing workflow. This legacy marketing channel has been around for many years and is still very useful and successful, but it hasn't had much technology applied. We've taken some of the best practices from digital marketing and combined them into a software tool that enables marketers to deploy direct mail campaigns in minutes rather than weeks rapidly. We connect direct mail – a physical channel where a printed piece of paper is sent through the postal service – to the marketing tech stack (CRM, CDP), which drives and accumulates knowledge of what happens in a direct mail marketing campaign through Postalytics. Similar to how all digital marketing channels are driven from central locations. We've created a method of assigning a unique QR code to each recipient of a piece of mail. The opportunity is to use that physical piece of paper that offers you something while holding it and drive them to your website through the QR code – which everybody is comfortable with now. BEST MOMENTS ‘Each time you participate in the design and launch of a startup, there's always tremendous learnings you can take away from that experience.’‘One of the challenges with any offline marketing channel is measuring what is successful and who is/isn't responding. We've created some proprietary methods of measuring both the delivery of the mail and who’s responding and where they are going on your website.’‘It's impossible for the QR codes to be manipulated by a third party because each one is unique and fully encrypted.’‘The cost of creating a highly scalable, high-performance platform in the cloud has plummeted. You can do so without spending a huge amount of money. Our business model allows us to capture customers without a tremendous capital outlay. We didn't need to raise much money to get this business off the ground. Once the business got going, it became self-sustaining.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Denis Kelly is CEO of Postalytics, a fast-growing software company that automates direct mail marketing, measures the results, and connects it to CRM/Marketing Automation.  Postalytics evolved out of Boingnet, a software tool used by direct mail service providers and agencies to provide landing pages and email campaigns that complement personalized direct mail. I was co-owner of Wireless City - a chain of 37 Verizon Wireless stores based in Florida, Massachusetts, and Georgia. The company was acquired by Go Wireless in October 2011. Before Wireless City, I was CEO at Adesso Systems, an enterprise mobility software company. Previously, I was CEO and Co-Founder of Adjoin Solutions, Inc., an early Web Services Management market leader. Adjoin was acquired by Computer Associates in July 2003. Before founding Adjoin, I was VP of Web Services at Palm (PALM), leading the Palm.net wireless business, the MyPalm web and mobile portals, and other Palm web properties. Previously, I was COO & Co-Founder of AnyDay.com (sold to Palm), headed sales for Achieve Healthcare, the largest provider of enterprise software and services to the post-acute healthcare industry. And COO at Genesis Business Systems (sold to Achieve). Dennis holds a BA in economics from Colgate University. I build companies, typically having something to do with technology. My role typically spans product development, sales, marketing, finance, and HR. I started life as a sales guy, spent time building products, and running data centers, have been CEO of venture-backed startups, and have built self-financed businesses. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dennisjohnkelly/   ABOUT POSTALYTICS With automated direct mail marketing, marketers use Postalytics to stand out from their competitors. Drive new leads and sales with personalized direct mail that complements email and digital marketing. Deep integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, and other CRM/Marketing Automation tools enables direct mail to look, act and feel like a digital marketing channel that happens to produce trackable postcards and letters. Website - https://www.postalytics.com/  ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to James Marshall, managing director of Spinning Fox, a product led design agency focused on helping large and small businesses solve problems more creatively. James has 11 years of delivery experience and a proven ability to manage super large global accounts having worked for companies including HSBC, Nike, Unilever, PepsiCo, Adidas, Dyson, Samsung, Barclays and Ford. He is passionate about creating tech and operational solutions to solve business and consumer problems and drive opportunities much faster than traditional approaches. On the podcast, the pair discuss: 1) James’ journey into the design thinking and user experience world, 2) why operational efficiency is so hot right now, 3) the power of taking an outside in perspective, and 4) good problem solving requires for us all to take calculated risk. KEY TAKEAWAYS I wasn't that good at school, it didn't suit me very well, but things clicked when I went to university to study graphic design. I worked in my early career as a designer, but I had ambitions to own my own company, but spotted quite quickly that I needed to develop more business skills. I moved to London to work in digital agencies and took a sidewards step into programme leadership, where I worked with incredible clients. That's where I found I was passionate about delivering digital product solutions. Spinning Fox was created after we witnessed digital product teams trying to deliver digital products and platforms and fail, which was quite common, and through those failures, you get learnings. We wanted to build a company to create products and use our learnings to solve problems and develop solutions for clients. Underlying that is a love for design and tech and using it to solve problems. At a high level, the approach we try to take is firstly around discovery, immersing ourselves in our client's world. We can fast track that process through doing some mini-workshops, meeting with stakeholders, meeting the user, ideally, to understand the opportunity as quickly as possible and then defining things, identifying the user’s needs, pain points, and starting to work out the solution. Then we move into rapid prototyping and getting into a cycle of testing and iterating, getting feedback from the user as quickly as possible before moving into implementation. We have full end-to-end delivery capabilities with our team of engineers and QA baked into our process.  We've had instances where the best solution for the client is something we can't do, but we'll work with them as a partner and find a third party to work with and help support in delivering that. We're not afraid to say that. We won’t always engineer things to force it into the areas where we have significant expertise and prior knowledge. It’s about being honest and transparent with a client. BEST MOMENTS ‘I learned early that if I wanted something, I had to work for it.’‘Spinning Fox is a collective of technologists, innovators, strategists, designers, all with one shared passion: Solving problems. That's how we deliver value to our clients.’‘Everything we do puts the customer at the heart of everything throughout the process to validate that we're on the right track.’‘There's no time to stand still as a digital product agency. If you do, then you’ll become a dinosaur in five minutes. You have to be very aware of what's happening in the future. Being able to adapt your business model quite quickly is key.’ ABOUT THE GUEST James Marshall is a delivery specialist passionate about creating tech and operational solutions to business and consumer problems or opportunities. He is motivated by working in an environment of like-minded multi-disciplinary teams. With 11 years of delivery experience James has a proven ability to manage projects with values over £1m for global accounts including HSBC, Nike, Unilever, PepsiCo, Adidas, Dyson, Samsung, Barclays and Ford. Programme management of projects including product and service design, experiential, interactive retail, digital within visitor attractions, large scale web/app builds, end-to-end customer experience strategy and business transformation. Experience implementing process and operational improvements and training teams to run projects using Agile delivery techniques. Fully certified ScrumMaster and DSDM AgilePM with strong and agile experience. Strong client servicing skills through working as the main client contact across many projects and accounts. Strategic thinker and problem solver with the ability to use knowledge and experience to generate new business opportunities and deliver against client goals for programmes of work. Email: jmarshall@spinningfox.com  Website: https://www.spinningfox.com/  ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Guillaume Bonnissent, CEO and co-founder of Quotech, a data provider and technology platform which aims to give access to the very best data to insurance practitioners - from executive decision-makers, brokers, underwriters, actuaries and even data scientists. Guillaume has twenty years of insurance experience as both -> an underwriter and senior executive. Throughout his career, Guillaume encountered one constant issue: the poor quality of data available to decision-makers at all levels, mainly due to legacy constraints. During the podcast Sabine and Guillaume cover: 1) leveraging 13 years of underwriting expertise to build Quotech, 2) delivering underwriting excellence in the 21st century, and 3) growing and scaling Quotech and finally 4) Guillaume’s roadmap to success. KEY TAKEAWAYS Insurance companies must become better underwriters to remain competitive in the marketplace. Underwriting excellence is essential for an insurer to understand, price, and manage a customer's risk to minimise losses from potential insurance claims. Achieving this balance between profitability for the insurer and adequate protection for the insured is becoming increasingly difficult due to the complexity of engagements spreading across the insurance market. Our brokers give clients quick and insightful risk management advice while helping them fill in their application forms. Our underwriters access better, richer as well as more consistent data and analysis to apply their underwriting judgement. Our actuaries and underwriting managers analyse and review the underwriting judgement and all the data and analyses reviewed by the underwriter. Our process includes automated collection and analysis of each business class's most relevant data points, a complete audit trail of the data and decisions made against it, and management of the different authority levels, risk appetites and rating models. Underwriting excellence in insurance is the process of assessing, pricing and managing a customer's risk to achieve the optimal balance between profitability for the insurer and an adequate level of protection for the insured. The goal is to deliver a product that meets the expectations and needs of both parties while mitigating any potential losses from an insurance claim. BEST MOMENTS ‘Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for Digital Insurance Platform estimated at $102.2 billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of $169.2bn by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 9% over the analysis period.’‘Insurance companies must become better underwriters to remain competitive.’‘Achieving the balance between profitability for the insurer and adequate protection for the insured is becoming increasingly difficult due to the complexity of the insurance market.’‘Underwriting excellence involves multiple steps, such as analysing customer data and risk factors, assessing potential losses, and deciding on a fair price for coverage. Experienced underwriters must be able to review relevant information efficiently and accurately make sound decisions about each risk. Building strong relationships with customers is also important.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Guillaume has 20 years of insurance experience as both an underwriter and senior executive.  Throughout his career, Guillaume encountered one constant issue: the poor quality of data available to decision-makers at all levels, mainly due to legacy systems.  I've held different positions in Underwriting and Operations, both in the Lloyd's and Company markets, and have underwritten other lines of business, from Credit Risk Insurance to Property Reinsurance. I am very interested in Data Science with proficiency in R and Artificial Intelligence. ABOUT QUOTECH Quotech is a data provider and technology platform which aims to give access to the best data to all insurance industry practitioners - from brokers, underwriters, actuaries and data scientists to claims adjusters and business developers, all the way up to the Board of Directors. Quotech wants to help everyone in the insurance distribution chain to make better decisions based on accurate, material and relevant information. Quotech creates beneficial insurance technology applications, making data-fuelled processes dramatically more efficient for commercial underwriters and brokers. Our founder, Guillaume, is our difference. We're also led by an experienced syndicate builder and MGA underwriter who's also a programmer. His first-hand understanding of re/insurance processes allows Quotech to deliver practical, efficient solutions that enhance and streamline workflows.  Website - https://quotech.io/   ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Sara Simeone, CEO and Co-Founder of Niftyz (formerly Digital Oracles), and Co-Chair of Start-up Working Group, Crypto Valley. Sara is a strategist with a commercial mind, she was one of the first to publish a paper in 2018 on how machine learning and blockchain will have an impact on the future of digital marketing. Sara worked with a portfolio of leading global accelerators, incubators and VC professionals to tackle company maturity and co-develop programmes that both nurture potential and offer innovative capabilities to early stage ventures. During the course of their discussions, both ladies discussed 1) the Metaverse, NFTs and Web 3.0, 3) why Sara launched and developed NFTs and 3) where the market for NFTs is going, and 4) what are the investment challenges and opportunities to deliver for the immersive internet in the right way. KEY TAKEAWAYS I’ve been at the forefront of new technologies and new things happening on the web since the beginning of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. That’s what brought me to where we are today. I researched how machine learning and blockchain will impact the future of data, and in 2017, I got in touch with the Crypto Valley Environment and began to build a network in Italy and the UK. Web 2.0, which is the world we live in now, is dominated by platforms that we use to share content and information online. Sometimes, unbeknownst to us, our information is sold online. It’s a business model that Facebook (meta), Twitter, and many other publishers out there use to leverage to generate money. Web 3.0 in a container of new terminology. We’re looking at it as a decentralized web where we decide how our information is used and who we share it with, though there are still a lot of limitations from a technical point of view as well as a significant knowledge gap. Metaverse and NFT are very much connected. Niftyz looks at NFTs as the keys that unlock specific content that is stored either on-chain or off-chain, unlocking a lot of information, data, tools, features, badges, and exciting new things on the metaverse. If we don’t understand NFTs and how to use these new tools, it will be challenging to get access to the metaverse itself. We’ve been trained by the web, and society that we have to monetize the outputs that we create. With Web 3.0 I see another angle, what I call ‘the input economy’ where I can start monetizing at every single step that goes into creating that output. From this perspective, we can see NFTs as empowering the monetization of this value-creation process. For instance, if my brand creates mock-ups of my fashion items, I could potentially create an NFT version of the mock-up and ask my community to vote by purchasing the one they like the most. This market research can be used in the future to create a physical item that people want. From here, AMAs with the designer, virtual fashion events only for users, etc. BEST MOMENTS ‘Niftyz is basically a platform that wants to enable businesses and brands of all sizes and industries that want to get into this new world of NFTs.’‘Everybody’s trying to get into the Metaverse, and brands are building teams with competencies around this, but it’s more of a PR/marketing play at the moment, whereas in the future, it will give some returns.’‘NFTs have a bad reputation. In every phase of the internet, cowboys are trying to get rich quickly. Now, NFTs have begun to be adopted by artists because they’ve found a way to get in touch with a different type of audience.’‘Web 3.0 is creating a new value for our know-how. That’s the ethos behind Niftyz, empowering people, businesses, and brands to monetize their know-how in a brand new way.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Sara Simeone is CEO and Co-Founder of Niftyz (formerly Digital Oracles) and Co-Chair of Start-up Working Group of the Crypto Valley. She is also a technology industry mentor, strategist, and growth management specialist with particular strengths in the optimization and commercial development of early-stage, rapid-development tech businesses.  Her ability to predict commercial and technical challenges far ahead of critical milestones is proven. As a respected strategist, she works with a portfolio of leading global Accelerators, Incubators, and VC professionals, tracking companies’ progress and maturity and co-developing programs that both nurture potential and offer 360-degree support to innovative early-stage ventures.  With an ability to decipher complex business concepts and technologies, she creates data and KPI-based go-to-market strategies that really work. Practical experience includes managing and mentoring senior teams, negotiating multi-million-pound contracts, guiding companies to achieve maximum results without compromising team morale and P&L management.  In 2018, Sara Simeone published her master's thesis on how machine learning and blockchain will impact the future of digital marketing. She was one of the first marketers in the world to publish a piece on the topic. This piece of research gave her access to several professional opportunities: mentoring startups at CV Labs in Crypto Valley (Switzerland); consulting for emerging technology companies in the UK and abroad, and lecturing at Manchester Metropolitan University as an Associate Lecturer of Digital Marketing Strategy. Sara Simeone: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarasimeone/  Website: https://niftyz.io/#/  ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Dr. Avi Baruch, co-founder and COO of Previsico, and Jonathan Jackson, co-founder and CEO of Previsico. Previsico is a surface water flood forecasting specialist, enabling people and organisations to minimise the impact of flooding.  Flooding cost the global economy more than $82 billion in 2021, accounting for nearly a third of all losses from natural catastrophes, reports the Swiss Re Institute in a 2022 study. Estimates from Statista show that 29 million people were affected by Flooding in 2021. Flooding is the second largest weather-related peril after droughts.  During the course of the podcast, Avi, Jonathan, and Sabine discuss: 1) Flooding and the difference between natural hazards and man-made disasters, 2) Previsico’s four step-method to reduce flood risk, 3) build back better and why we ought to protect the small and medium-sized business from flooding, 4) protect, predict, prevent and 5) top tips to reduce the risk of flood. KEY TAKEAWAYS During the course of my PhD, I realized that academia wasn’t for me, but saw so much potential in the technology we were building to monitor flood water in real time to give early warnings. I felt the only way to really get it to be used effectively on the ground was to spin-out the company. We explored quite a few different markets to find out which would be served best by it and that’s where I met Johnathan. In order to reduce flood risk, there are four main steps we recommend you take: Step 1 – Understand your risk, there are a lot of really good risk-monitoring products already out there on the market. Step 2 – Invest in the right risk measures, these include flood defences or setting up non-return valves. Step 3 – Have a flood action plan, knowing what to do when you’re expecting a flood, moving stock, turning electricity off, who’s responsible for the response? Step 4 – Use an early warning system, this is the final part of the jigsaw when building flood resistance. If you take all those steps you can substantially reduce the risk and hopefully prevent a disaster from ever occurring. Resilience measures are often really simple things, like turning off the gas, electricity, water. That alone can save a huge amount. Moving your car to a safer place, really simple stuff that makes a huge difference. People in communities like Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, for example, where back in 2015 they were closed down for months after a flood are not reopening after three days, it’s a massive change because they understand what to do. Other communities that are not used to floods are more challenging because you’ve got to know what to do with the warning you’ve been given. COP26 made a big play around the fact that the UK government cannot defend the country against flood, the country has to learn to adapt to flood, and adaptation means starting to take responsibility for flood plans and resilience measures. That’s being backed up by the insurance industry making really important moves in terms of ‘build back better’, where a property has been hit by flood, that homeowner will be given up to £10,000 additional funding by a number of insurers to help them put in flood resilience measures to protect against flood going forward. BEST MOMENTS ‘Flood risk is rising, there’s more extreme weather, the weather is more volatile, climate change is causing heavier downpours – particularly in the summer – and longer, wetter winters.’‘There’s no such thing as a natural disaster. There’s natural hazards and human disasters. If you know where the hazard is going to be and you are able to prepare for it effectively, it doesn’t need to be a disaster.’‘If people are used to having to cope with floods they tend to know what to do. Our solution is a great value-add that we can bring to that situation.’‘We shouldn’t be building new developments on floodplains, especially when we haven’t fully addressed the impact that flooding will have on those properties.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Avi Baruch LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/avinoam-avi-baruch/  Jonathan Jackson LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-jackson-a393102/  About Previsico Previsico is a surface water flood forecasting specialist enabling people and organisations to minimise the impact of flooding. Backed by Foresight Group and underpinned by two decades of research at Loughborough University, Previsico’s world-leading solution is used by insurers, businesses, and the government to reduce losses. Our mission is to be the leading global provider of cutting-edge flood prediction that saves lives and livelihoods while significantly reducing the cost of flooding. Having launched in January 2019, we have a growing team of ~25 people with offices in Loughborough and London. Website: https://previsico.com/  ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Jeff Williams, Managing Director for Kayrros USA, a technology-focused earth observation analytics company using unconventional geospatial data to bring new insights to the world’s biggest industries, including energy, commodity, and insurance. Jeff has an incredible background in top 5 consultancy and M&A skills acquired in the energy sector. He uses these skills every day as he deep dives into the challenge created by methane on its impact on environmental change.  During the course of our conversation, the pair discussed: 1) Kayrros as a series C scaleup focused on delivering solutions using unconventional geospatial data, 2) Kayrros - Off the shelf platform… with white box data analytics and scoring mechanisms to meet the need of today’s underwriters and regulators, and 3) Kayrros, the long-term geospatial partner for the insurance sector looking at solving wildfire and other connected catastrophic events. KEY TAKEAWAYS I got my start, like many Texans who want to get into technology, I started working for a large consulting company at the tip of the spear of energy tech. There I started working with large energy companies on data, and realized that all their data is spatial-related. They have assets all over the country, a sensor network that they weren’t leveraging, but more importantly, we were solving problems that were facing challenges of where to go and where not to go. I then started working with geospatial startups and realized there’s a robust amount of data out there that companies aren’t leveraging correctly. Six months ago, I started working at Kayrros where they’ve made real profits within the commodities and energy network. I fundamentally believe I can use the foundation that they built to work with the insurance industry and expand that foundation from the commodities and energy industry into insurance. We’ve built our insights to include asset monitoring for energy companies to detect climate data–tracking emissions. We’ve evolved from just an insights company to a climate data company. We see the cause of methane emissions, and now we want to start tracking the effects, which include wildfires and floods, and the industries that are really going to be affected by those issues are insurance and banking, which is why we’re really starting to focus on those as the following industries to work with. We track pre-risk, we have a risk score, and we’re using several different geospatial datasets – weather and landslide risk. We also track live monitoring, using satellite data to track live fires with rapid updates that we can give to our clients. Also, post-fire, we provide a damage assessment. What we’re focussing on is not one specific thing. We’re affecting several parts of the insurance company, including underwriting, customer communication, and claims. A challenge that we see with geospatial data is there has been insufficient refresh, really bad granularity, and a lack of transparency. The lack of transparency has really hurt the geospatial industry over the past couple of years. We don’t view ourselves as a black-box solution. Many of our potential customers just get handed a solution by other companies. What we want to do is work with our customers and provide a white box solution where they know exactly what all the data inputs are, and we do that with them.  BEST MOMENTS ‘Companies like Kayrros really want to provide the right insights, and geospatial data really provides those insights for them.’‘Kayrros got its name using satellite data to detect global crude tank levels. We used radar to detect how much crude oil was in tanks.’‘Track climate data using satellites, drones, AI, and cell phone data.’‘We’re fighting the geospatial fatigue in industries. We’re doing that by positioning Kayrros as a true geospatial partner, not a vendor.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Jeff Williams is the Managing Director of Sales & Business Development for Kayrros, where he is responsible for driving the Kayrros North American growth strategy. Jeff's roots run deep in Houston, as demonstrated by his love for the Astros. Last but not least, his greatest accomplishment is his family, which includes his wife and two kids, Lucy and Jake Williams. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreydwilliams/  About Kayrros:  Kayrros is a technology-focused earth observation analytics firm using unconventional data to bring new insights to the world’s biggest industries. By harnessing the power of satellite imagery, natural language processing, machine learning, and advanced mathematics, the team at Kayrros deliver actionable intelligence on virtually any asset across the globe, in near real-time, for better decision-making. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/kayrros/  Website: https://www.kayrros.com/  ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode of the Scouting For Growth podcast, Sabine VdL talks to Federico Spagnoli, at the time President and Head of Emerging Markets Ecosystems for Prudential Financial LATAM, now Vice President of International Total Wellness Solutions. Federico is well known for his work launching Vitality in South America and providing health services to over 1.5 million South Americans, who can today download an App from their mobile device to get access to a multitude of health services.  During this podcast, Sabine and Federico evaluate 1) Federico’s vision about enhancing people’s physical, mental, and financial wellness, 2) where the world of health insurance is going regarding protection and prevention, 3) relevant strategic distribution approaches by augmenting the broker channel, and 3) tips for those interested in monetization models.   KEY TAKEAWAYS I joined Prudential 6 years ago doing an executive program with SAID within Oxford University focusing on disruption and innovation. Part of the theme of my paper was related to disruption in the insurance industry because we haven’t seen this in the industry in many years. When I started focusing on the critical driver affecting our customers. I realized there were a lot of opportunities there for us to start thinking very differently about how we approach business today. These past six years have been the first time I’ve worked in the life insurance industry. I was asked why life and health insurance companies aren’t doing more to prevent conditions and situations that eventually will become a claim, like high cholesterol, which – in some instances – include a pill that can reduce mortality rates by 50%. That led me to look at the aging population, which, along with global warming, is one of the biggest challenges we’re facing as a society. We need to look at the ability to retire comfortably and the ability to afford rising healthcare costs. This made me think about a lot of new technologies and data capabilities that are coming to market that life insurers could use to start preventing, anticipating, and mitigating bad conditions. Mortality risk is not top of mind for customers because today, we live longer. The problem we face today concerns aging populations and how to reduce the risk of being unhealthy through behavior change. Physical, mental, and financial wellness is the ability to understand your emotions around money and develop healthy feelings and a personal literacy around money and wellness. Physical, mental, and financial wellness topics also encompass the tools and strategies that help you feel secure and in control of your personal life. The insurer can engage directly with the customer through the SuperApp, where behavioral economics and gamification allow for the insurer to influence the customer’s behavior by providing annual physical checks and rewards through coins, integrated into a marketplace with choices for rewards, and continuously bringing fresh and exciting content to the viewer.   BEST MOMENTS ‘If you follow a customer-centric approach, you can't view customers with one lens. Not being able to afford healthcare services could result in mental health issues because one has anxieties, which also affect one's physical health -- all generated by limited financial means. We have to look at them all together and provide a single integrated solution.’‘We’re now shifting from life insurance protection to lifetime protection.’‘New generations are thinking more about global warming, social impact, financial inclusion, and a more balanced lifestyle. In insurance, we are already connecting with these customer groups over a long period of time because of the nature of the insurance that we sell. We can start introducing several solutions as part of a platform that can address and be much more relevant to our customer’s needs and behaviors and influence them.’‘Customers that are using the Prudential platform provide a Net Promoter score that is twice higher than those customers that don’t use the platform. The highest level of satisfaction has a direct impact on renewal rates, and platinum customers show higher life expectancy and lower claims ratios.’ ABOUT THE GUEST Federico Spagnoli is passionate about Ecosystem/Strategy and Innovation. General and Life Insurance professional with international experience. Expertise in re-underwriting insurance portfolios, strategic planning, M&A, and business development.  Over six years in Prudential Financial. PII Regional President of Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and Peru (through the JV with ILC/Habitat AFP). Direct responsibility for Prudential Seguros Argentina and Prudential Seguros México.  Responsible for managing the PII's relationship with AFP Habitat and acting as Europe - Latin America head of strategic business development. Member of the Board of Directors of Prudential Seguros Mexico and AFP Habitat About Prudential Financial:  Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) was founded on the belief that financial security should be within reach for everyone. For over 140 years, Prudential has helped our customers reach their potential and tackle life's challenges for now and future generations to come. Today, the group is one of the world’s largest financial services institutions, offering individual and institutional clients a wide array of financial products and services. With operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, Prudential Financial is known for delivering on its promises to its customers and is recognized as a trusted brand and one of the world’s most admired companies.  ABOUT THE HOST Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.  Twitter: SabineVdL LinkedIn: Sabine VanderLinden Instagram: sabinevdLofficial Facebook: SabineVdLOfficial TikTok: sabinevdlofficial Email: podcast@sabinevdl.com Website: www.sabinevdl.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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