There’s a guy I know. I’ve known him since the beginning of all this. We met at the WeWork. WeWork Labs to be precise. I was working on my thing, he was always working on something. He is a developer. I know he sold a company once to a high profile NYC startup but not the kind of deal where you read about it in TechCrunch.

He’s a funny dude who is clearly talented, good natured, but sometimes others found him abrasive. I was a clueless former Wall Street guy thinking he was about to change the world by bootstrapping an outsourced app. I and him and a handful of guys and gals were always on that floor together day and night, at the second WeWork location, original WeWork Labs members. When it was a community that outsiders sometimes misunderstood to be a collective where its members had to contribute a mandatory number of hours doing tech for other’s projects. When Trista knew everyone and held it together. …

Enough with the fintech lists.

It’s last Tuesday night and I’m at the Nasdaq Marketsite in Times Square for a special TechDay reception. The microphone is now in my hand. The room is room packed with several dozen startup founders from a a number of different industries. I’m about to begin introducing myself and our “TechDay Techie” awards which will be presented to five startups. The Techies are a nice way to honor some of the over 450 startups that were about to spend a long, crazy and fun day on their feet two days later at NY TechDay. This year, we had five awards. The award finalists are pared down and then ultimately they select a winner all by a group of NYC ecosystem startup friends & mentors. I’m about to hand out the first award, the fintech award. I know already this award is not going to a household name startup. It’s not even an NYC based company. It’s actually a pre-launch Vancouver VC backed startup (they’re actually seriously cool). Earlier in the evening I’d even met the founder and liked him a lot. But something happened when I looked into the crowd. Seeing a few of my friends from a few of the marquee local startups, something unexpected came out out of my mouth. …

The State Of Fintech Acceleration In The USA

You’re an early stage fintech startup, looking for a network, funding, and a shot at exiting down the road. What do you do? It’s noisy and it’s going to get noisier. Expect to see even more one and done corporate “accelerators” and “labs”, more large global banks entering the fray with competitions and the landscape is going to get even more confusing.

My hope is that this blog identifies the key players and look at who appears to be adding value. …

If you’re a founder/entrepreneur with no tech experience.

If you’re non-technical and “doing a startup”, I have a pretty new idea that I’d like to float your way. If you’re paying an external firm for development services, why not consider spending an extra few bucks and hire (for money) a newly minted web or mobile developer to work as a liaison between yourself and them? In this blog, I’m going to lay out what role he or she may add value, help spare you some mental anguish, and they never have to lay a line of code.

Most likely, unless you come from within the startup community and have had some early success you’re not going to get a primo developer to drop everything they’re doing to become a full time employee for your awesome idea. Even for all that equity. They’re just in too high of demand. Now, if you’re lucky enough to have secured funding in the hundreds of thousands before having a product, congratulations, there’s a chance you’ll be able to convince a developer to follow you to the gates of hell if- you start paying them a competitive salary immediately. So for most people, the search begins with the shotgun emails to their personal network to find a suitable firm to build. And then the often perilous and confusing journey begins for the founder/entrepreneur. …

The other day, a friend of mine, who is a member of the NYC startup community, told me he was buying a one-way ticket out of town to Thailand, and wasn’t sure when he was coming back. This isn’t someone who sold his company to Yahoo, but just a guy who has had an up and down career and needed a break. He was going through a bad split-up from his partner, and wanted deeply to take the opportunity to explore the world.

In 2012, I also left my comfort zone and traveled to places I only dreamed of after a 12 year career on Wall Street that I was fed up with. This was perhaps the most profound experience of my life, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of the beauty I saw, and the peace I felt at times. I also credit this trip with the spark that ignited my passion for building something meaningful professionally and becoming an entrepreneur. It also helped me define what success meant to me personally, which is the trick for how and why I get up in the morning. …


Jesse Podell

Fintech Accelerant In NYC. Open Innovation @Citi Co-Founder @techdayHQ @wedeliversmiles

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