Program launch — Takeaways from the first two weeks

What a couple of weeks it’s been. Getting everything prepared for our go-to-market program, executing, and seeing new connections being forged in our ecosystem helped remind all of us in the Fusion team why we do the things we do.

It was a fortnight of go-to-market evaluation, external events, and community building for our new Fellows — here’s what happened.

The first few days

The first few days are critical for us at Fusion to have a deep knowledge transfer with our Fellows. By covering the basics in person, we’re able to evaluate and learn our Fellows’ value proposition and business model inside out — directly from the source. With the extended expertise of the Fusion team, the fellows were aided — and sometimes challenged — to adjust the basics and develop a concrete plan for their market entry strategy.

For some, going over the basics you would find in a business model canvas might seem tedious. However, in addition to Fusion understanding how to uniquely tailor our program to each Fellow, it’s also an undervalued opportunity to return to aspects of the business you may have given thought to a few years ago.

“Now that it’s been a few years and some parts of the business have evolved, it was valuable to revisit some of the assumptions we had made about our model and evaluate whether they still applied.” — Jari Hazelebach, CEO at SpeakSee

We didn’t want our Fellows to just take our word for it though. We surprised our fellows with a visit from Josh Partridge, Vice President at Shazam, who coached and gave insight on his previous experiences in big tech companies and advice on how to penetrate a new market. Being able to hear from someone who experienced it themselves gave our Fellows a chance to ask questions and receive answers that could make their growth a bit less bumpy.

The Swiss Connection

To tie off our first few days, it was time for our Fellows to get the soft landing in Switzerland they deserve, by matchmaking them with mentors and experts in their industry. In a country with complicated markets but such opportunity, there couldn’t be anything better than the guidance of a market veteran.

Seeing our Fellows connect to mentors and the community is a thrilling thing to observe. The value is almost tangible when you see a conversation click on both a professional and personal level. Whether it’s a company looking to enter Swiss markets for the first time, or a Swiss founder looking for the right guidance, it’s an opportunity to connect on a human level with a group of dedicated and highly experienced mentors. Each side was able to identify the right profile of someone who they want to get involved with and help build the same venture for the years to come.

Evening Events & The Network

Fusion was happy to host and organize a number of events that truly showed our new Fellows the power of ecosystems. Many left events with education on a new topic, a takeaway applicable to their company, or even a new lead for business development.

Fintech in 2018 — Temenos Marketplace

With Fusion’s innovative corporate partner Temenos releasing a report on Fintech in 2018, it made perfect sense to host at Fusion’s Geneva headquarters. After a keynote presentation from Ben Robinson, Head of Strategy at Temenos, the evening launched into a discussion of the findings and the future, including panelists from EFG International AG, Polytech Ventures, WealthInitiative, and Fusion!

Look for the report to be released soon, which reveals some key findings on the industry, including:

  • The difficulties and emerging interest around having banks deploy B2C Fintech solutions
  • The growing number of platform models in the fintech space and move away from discrete services
  • The changing global landscape as Brexit alters the European markets and focus moves eastward.

Hyperledger Geneva Episode 2

Fusion is home to the official Hyperledger Geneva Meetup, which put on its second meetup of the year. With Marta Piekarska — Director of Ecosystems at Hyperledger — in Geneva for a few days, the organizing team seized the opportunity to have her come speak a second time about Hyperledger technologies and frameworks. We were also joined by Eric Bourdin of JP Morgan, who worked on a blockchain project at a hackathon he was able to showcase in a working demo.

From what was discussed in the fireside chat afterwards, it seems that the hype cycle behind Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain are behind us, with a plateau of productivity beginning to form via platforms like Hyperledger. Though Hyperledger has numerous frameworks to choose from, some audience members were also looking to build and optimize their business using blockchain and could ask what solution would work best for a particular use case.

City of Tomorrow — Crowdfunding for Real Estate

Though it may not be an emerging technology like blockchain, drones, the Internet of Things, crowdfunding has come forth as a critical fundraising method that can’t be overlooked. Though it has been applied to many markets and is used on platforms like Indegogo and Kickstarter to fund new innovations, one market that has started to leverage this type of fundraising outside of platforms like these is real estate.

Making real estate investment options more available to retail investors, crowdfunding poses unique advantages. There was no better way for Fusion to explore these topics than to have two of our Fellows, Blocksquare and Foxstone, weigh in and give insight to their platforms, in addition to Philippe Beckers giving an overview of the Swiss market, as one of the most experienced and active Fusion mentors in the proptech industry. With Foxstone recently releasing their crowdfunding for real estate platform, and our new Fellow Blocksquare flying into Geneva from Slovenia, it was a night to explore how this new fundraising method will have a real impact in the coming months and years.

Upcoming Events

For those interested, Fusion has two upcoming events: Innovation in Sustainable Finance, and Job Night. 💥 Both are set to be full of exciting speakers, networking, and innovative ideas.

Onward

For our Fellows, it’s time to settle into the rest of Fusion’s program, including particular Swiss market entry strategies, mentoring, coaching, analysis of their companies by top VC firms, financial modeling, and more.

If you’re interested in becoming more engaged with Fusion, don’t ever hesitate to reach out. 🚀

Author: Connor Brooks