We had a chat with Startup Weekend Fintech’s mentor, Daniel Roos.
Daniel is the co-founder and CTO of Vest Financial. He has experience building and selling fintech systems as well as running them at banks. Daniel co-founded a startup that went through Y Combinator and is now a growing company.
Why do you think there is so much buzz around fintech?
There is a big buzz around fintech because finance is a huge, traditional industry that is important to almost everybody – thus it needs a lot of innovation and disruption. Fintech is absolutely awesome in both technology and market perspective. It’s connected to the market and it is also a real technical challenge.
How did you start your career in fintech?
It was actually totally random 🙂 I worked in the business for 15 years.
I had a classic career in an very large company. Then a high school buddy from the US called me with an idea that was fintech related. So I took an eye on it, spent a couple of evenings with it and provided a ton of feedback.
So I went to the US, check it out and realized it was worth going for, soon after quit my job and moved to California once we go into Y Combinator.
Generally the norm is to fund a startup early and then if it doesn’t work out, you start a “normal career”. In my case, the “normal career” was first and then the startup one. It gave me a bit more experience and for me was actually good timing.
Which area do you think is a game changer in fintech right now and why?
Many areas are important, but the one that is particularly interesting is consumer oriented finance. Bringing the consumers the same capabilities that have only been available for the private wealth management sector.
How would you pitch fintech to a 6 years old kid?
For a 6 year old kid, I’d say: “Money is important and you know you need to save your money. Do you like iPads? IPad is technology. Fintech is sort of like working with iPads and money.”
As we know humans learn only from mistakes, could you tell us your biggest professional fuckup?
My biggest fuckup was pushing a system into production two weeks too early and living a month of pain because of it.
Who is the Elon Musk of fintech on your opinion?
I don’t think there is one, fintech is missing that kind of superstar personality.. Maybe they are to be discovered!
Being very traditional and staggering entities, what do you think can help banks to survive?
For banks to survive, it is a matter of embracing change. They need to work with technology and become part of the fintech industry.
Continuing question about Elon Musk, do you think that there will be banks on Mars?
Absolutely, without a doubt!
Let’s speak about cryptocurrencies. Do you think cryptocurrencies will take over traditional currencies?
I can see cryptocurrencies taking a bit chunk of it, but probably as part of the mainstream. Central banks are already considering them, so, within that context they can get really big, otherwise they will stay to be a niche.
Are you using bitcoin from time to time?
I’ve only used bitcoin once. That was a weird promotion where you had to use bitcoin to get a good deal online.
What message would you send to you in the past, let’s say you 20 years younger?
I would tell myself to go and try different things earlier. I spent 10 years at my first job..
Check out the interview with Daniel and prepare for Startup Weekend Fintech on the 27-29 January in SUP46!
Hurry up and register for Stockholm Startup Weekend Fintech on January 27-29!
More information about the event and registration here: http://www.up.co/communities/sweden/stockholm/startup-weekend/10233