Dishita is a Partnerships Associate at GYANA a big-data startup. Her team Clear Score created a solution to provide free credit scores for business and were the overall winners and the people's choice at SU54: The Future of Finance!
Dropping out of university made me realise a lot of things especially the importance of community and creating a network of positive, like-minded people around you. With this in mind and realising how important an online presence can be these days I created a sort-of-professional Twitter account and started following people and organisations who I felt were inspiring and making a difference.
I came across a post about Foundervine's event ‘The Future of Finance’ and I decided that my lack of background in finance should not hold me back. It looked like a very rewarding opportunity so I took the chance and booked my ticket.
Breaking the ice
I was very excited but slightly nervous leading up the event knowing that a lot of the others attending had strong knowledge and careers in finance and/or tech. But eager to learn and meet new people I arrived at Monzo HQ on Friday welcomed by the friendly Foundervine team.
The evening kicked off by networking with an ice breaker which can often be painfully awkward if not done well but I was quickly put at ease after speaking to a handful of people. It was such a warm and welcoming environment and it was clear everyone was keen to collaborate, innovate, and develop a fintech idea.
Research and develop
Over the two days we were mentored by industry experts and worked to validate and develop the idea. It was great to be part of a team with such diverse skill set and experience. Our blend of personalities and knowledge which varied from data science to sales allowed us to work exceptionally well as a team. I really enjoyed our group discussions where we all contributed and built on each others ideas while providing constructive criticism.
We also had several talks which helped us gain better insight into various aspects from improving our business model to preparing to pitch well. While it was challenging at times to learn new concepts and implement them in a very limited time it was also incredibly rewarding. In just two days as a team we had managed to do market research, create a pitch and even a working prototype!
As the weekend came to an end we were ready to pitch Business Score: providing free credit scores for business. We’re like Clearscore but for businesses.
I really enjoyed the process of hearing different ideas on day 1 to seeing them come to life through the pitches. It was clear that all teams had worked really hard to develop their idea.
It had been a while since I had done public speaking but when we finally went up to pitch I really enjoyed the experience. I was delighted to later find out we won overall winner, best pitch and also people's choice!
A big thank you to the Foundervine team for creating such events, bringing people together and most importantly for actively addressing diversity issues and creating a platform to solve them.
While I improved essential skills that I will definitely use in future one of the best things I’m taking away from this weekend is the connections I have made. I’m very happy to be a part of the Foundervine community and excited to see what the team do next!
Interested in becoming part of the Foundervine Community? Join us on May 11th for our next event Founderfest 2019 - see you there! Startup 54 brings together ambitious changemakers, young professionals and aspiring tech entrepreneurs to form teams, build prototypes and launch business ventures find out more here