FIS Founder Spotlight | Connect Earth

Posted on April 17, 2023
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The FIS Fintech Accelerator in partnership with the Venture Center brings bankers, subject matter experts, and financial service executives together with pre-vetted, market-validated fintech companies to advance the financial services industry. We are so excited to introduce you to an ongoing series of meetings with the incredible alumni of our accelerator, and the impact they’re making today in the fintech industry.

Describe the growth or change your company experienced over the course of the program and the role of the Accelerator in assisting with that growth/change?

When we started the program, we naively believed that our product would be perceived in similar ways across the U.S.
Speaking with 10s of credit unions and community banks, we quickly learned that it was vital for us to segment the US market into different focus areas. The pitch and value proposition would change based on the size and/or location of the financial institution. We essentially modified our entire pitch for the US
We also decided to focus more on the “Connect Report” product, which initially only was a concept. During the program, we learned that this would probably be the most successful product in the US, after which we dedicated more development resources to localizing this product for the US market.

How did you act on the feedback from the banks and SMEs? Did your strategy in pitching to banks change over the course of the 12 weeks?

It changed completely. We had to rethink our pitch and value proposition to banks in the US, where ESG / Climate topics were a bit less mainstream than we experienced in Europe. We had to focus much more on financial incentives and motivations, rather than purely the environmental ones.

In what ways have you grown as a founder or team from this program?

As a founder, I was able to meet other incredible entrepreneurs in the US fintech scene. This has opened up a whole new network and suite of opportunities. As a team, we got incredibly valuable insights and have scoped out our US hiring plan as a direct result of the program.

What advice would you give to companies interested in applying for the program?

Really think about how you can use this program to understand your target audience better. For us, it was a matter of understanding the US market. As a European startup, this was our biggest incentive. Don’t just focus on pitching to FIs, but really also spend time with your cohort members. There are amazing synergies between the startups and founders in the cohort.