#TechFinimized: Founder Stories, From Then to Now 💥

We hosted our fourth event in the #Finimized series in London — this time focusing on founder stories and delving into what that journey looks like. It was a night of witty remarks and inspiring insights from founder’s Nicole Pretorius at SheCanCode, George Bevis at Tide, Jonathan Baker at Simudyne, and Peter Myatt at Bean.

We had a great turnout at TechSpace in Shoreditch! The team enjoyed seeing familiar faces, as well as getting to know new people that came for the first time. The Finimize vibe was alive, a great mix of users were present, and the conversation sparked enthusiasm throughout the audience. We’re already looking forward to the next one! 😉

Nicole Pretorius — SheCanCode

Originally from South Africa, Nicole started her journey in the UK by interning at a large bank as an Operations Analyst and moving on to work as a Technology Consultant with another large firm in London. It was here where she began to hone in on her dream of increasing the number of women in the workplace, especially in tech.

She started SheCanCode as a side gig, while her directors encouraged her along the way. Yet, she almost gave up. She talked about the importance of firmly believing in the mission of the company you’re founding in a steadfast manner. Without this kind of dedication, you could tap out sooner than you think.

However, she persevered and pitched SheCanCode to investors. They are in the early stages right now, but will be launching their product — an online platform that will enable companies to build and grow sustainable communities of women in tech.

When asked her biggest piece of advice, she mentioned how important it is to be extremely succinct when pitching to investors. They want you to get straight to the point. It was inspiring to have a female tech founder on stage!

George Bevis — Tide

George told his story in a witty way, that caused many laughs in the room. He started out his journey in a similar manner to others on stage. He worked for Capital One as a strategic Business Analyst. He then moved on to the Bank of Scotland, and then to Worldpay. Throughout his time there, he really began to value small businesses. He wanted start a bank that would allow these businesses to follow their dreams with minimal admin work.

That led to the founding of Tide, which is a bank for small businesses and addresses that pain point of doing all of the admin as well. The most important thing to him in founding Tide was to build the right team. When you have a great team that really works together and accomplishes the mission of the company, then you’ve done it right.

When asked how to deal with the stress of being a founder, George answered that he drank a whiskey on the regular, and made sure to clarify that he’s not even a drinker. It’s a high stress job, that’s for sure! 
George is stepping down from CEO at Tide, however he is looking forward to continuing to play a key role, both inside the business and on the board.

Jonathan Baker — Simudyne

Jonathan hails from the UK and has an incredibly analytical mind, having studied mathematics, econometrics and the like at Cambridge. He went from teaching mathematics to founding Simudyne. Through teaching he observed how decisions are made and this led him to create a tech company in the fintech space to simulate decisions.

Right off the bat he talked about how being a founder is not as romantic as it sounds. If you’re not the type to grind it out and stay with it, he noted, then maybe being a founder isn’t for you. It’s one of the highest stress-inducing jobs that exist.

His biggest tip to aspiring founders is to really find the niche where you will flourish — aka finding that perfect product-market fit. If you have an idea, that’s great, but you really need to hone in on the main point and why this idea will be successful.

Peter Myatt — Bean

Peter, CEO & Founder of Bean, started out discussing his childhood. He grew up tinkering with all sorts of things, which led him on a path of wanting to constantly build, innovate, and create. After having studied Biology at the University of Bristol and traveling for a year, Peter decided to go into consulting: as most biology majors end up doing, he noted. 😂

After a few consultancy gigs, he realized that he didn’t feel fulfilled. He wanted to build something, to create something that mattered and made a difference in people’s lives. From an initial video game app came his startup now: Bean.

Bean is a fintech startup that manages your subscriptions, and helps you save money by canceling unused subscriptions thus lowering your bills and making you a happier person. His main tip is to make sure to have a co-founder. There will be days where everything goes wrong, he stated, and it’s good to have someone along for the ride with you.

You can watch the whole event below and hear the journey of all speakers. Who knows, maybe one of the founders will say something to inspire you to become your own. 😊

What do you want the next event to focus on? Send me your pick!

~Anna, Community at Finimize