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I’m thrilled to be joining Techstars as managing director for the Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in New York City. I am taking the torch for this role from the talented Jenny Fielding, who is continuing her role of managing director of Techstars IoT.

Over the past five years, I’ve been fortunate to have helped nurture the largest community of Fintech entrepreneurs in the world through Empire Startups. My experience in Fintech started before the hashtag with product management and strategy leadership roles at Blackrock, Goldman Sachs, Instinet, and E*Trade. Most recently, I was the Entrepreneur in Residence for the Barclays Accelerator in NYC.

In my past Fintech experience, I’ve learned that building great companies is about throwing out the rulebook, not just creating a mobile friendly version of it.

As tweetable as that may sound, it’s a wild oversimplification. If you just build it, they won’t come. This is especially the case in Fintech, where even the greatest hustlers can fail to acquire customers and secure distribution partnerships.

My deep dark secret is that I’ve also been in the belly of the beast and lived to tell the tale. I’ve been on the inside of the largest and most successful investment banks and asset managers and have built the products that Fintech startups seek to disrupt today. I’ve been an agent of change and I’ve also been mired in the opposite. Now I’m ready to take that experience and help startups pave their way with new products and disruption.

While small, agile startups will always ship technology faster than larger teams, some say Fintech distribution, customer acquisition and trust can’t be accelerated. I disagree.

Here’s how we’ll do it:

  • Capitalize on the lessons learned by the global Techstars network on building products that instill trust in consumers in order to build great businesses.
  • Laser-focus product roadmaps by working with our “enterprise customer-in-residence,” Barclays.
  • Hone the story and test business models by leveraging the top community of Fintech mentors in the world.

Ready to knock the cover off Fintech? Apply here.

This blog post, and the million moving parts before it, would not have been possible without the mentorship, support, and 5am Slack messages of Greg Rogers and Jenny Fielding. I truly thank you and am honored and humbled to join the team.

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Jon Zanoff Jon Zanoff
Jon Zanoff is the managing director of Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in NYC. Often dubbed the “Mayor of Fintech,” Zanoff has spent 15 years galvanizing the Fintech community in the States. Previously, he was the EIR for the Barclays NYC program.