108 episodes

A weekly podcast that looks inside the the minds of entrepreneurs and at the crossover of startups, enterprise, finance, technology and life as we know it.

MoneyNeverSleeps Eoin Fitzgerald | Pete Townsend

    • Entrepreneurship
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

A weekly podcast that looks inside the the minds of entrepreneurs and at the crossover of startups, enterprise, finance, technology and life as we know it.

    108: Alphabet | Emmett Kilduff and Eagle Alpha

    108: Alphabet | Emmett Kilduff and Eagle Alpha

    Emmett Kilduff, founder and CEO of Eagle Alpha, talks with Pete Townsend about alternative data, launching his first startup at the same time as the Lehman collapse, pairing his conviction on the ‘problem-to-solve’ with staying power while waiting for the market….and his secret life as a Montréalais!

    EPISODE OVERVIEW:

    Founded here in Ireland about 8 years ago, Eagle Alpha are Pioneers Connecting the Universe of Alternative Data. Pete first came across Eagle Alpha a few years ago following an intro from Enterprise Ireland, and they’ve stayed in touch ever since. With Eagle Alpha’s strong base of clients in the US hedge fund market, and Pete having a long history in this space, he has always been keenly interested in how Emmett and Eagle Alpha are progressing. In this conversation, we also get into Emmet’s initial inspirations for Eagle Alpha, the benefit of patience when you know you’re right but the market’s not on board yet, and the importance of creativity in responding to the unexpected.

    HIGHLIGHTS:

    On the influence of a father who was Ireland’s first successful fintech entrepreneur, which meant Emmett ended up “reading business plans and novels instead of novels as a young kid and as a teenager.”

    On his first startup, CMYPitch.com, “That was my MBA in startups – you can’t go to Harvard or Stanford to learn that type of material, you’ve got to live through it.”

    On starting Eagle Alpha, having the conviction that "hedge funds should be relying on data to make data-driven investment decisions, not just sell-side analyst research reports.”

    On some of the examples of alternative data: satellite or geo-location imagery counting cars in retail parking lots in real-time at scale as a leading indicator of sales, tracking corporate jet activity, and analyzing anonymized credit card data to predict revenue for subscription-driven businesses like Netflix.

    On his key lessons on waiting it out: “Stay in the game, don’t try to overexpand or try to raise too much money, but try to educate the market to encourage the wave to come.

    On his origin story: “You won’t succeed in anything in life without hard work – even if the timing works in your favor, without hard work, you won’t grasp the opportunity.”

    Key point: “We’re still early after being in our market for 8 years – the big wave is still to come.”

    To learn more about Eagle Alpha, check out their website, and also download their podcast, Profiting from Data.

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    • 39 min
    107: Cross-Trainers | Sorcha Finucane and TrainedIn

    107: Cross-Trainers | Sorcha Finucane and TrainedIn

    Sorcha Finucane, Founder of TrainedIn, talks with Pete and Eoin about her inspiration for the business, the network effects of the platform, the ‘platformification’ of trust and referrals, the fairness of SME access to training vs. that of big business, how experience with both sides of the problem increases network value….and her life in an alternate universe in the military!

    EPISODE OVERVIEW:

    TrainedIn is an online platform assisting training and consultancy providers in showcasing their business and services while connecting them with individuals and organisations in need of their services.

    When we learned about Sorcha and TrainedIn recently, our initial intrigue was driven by the network effects of professional training, where buyers bring more sellers and sellers bring more buyers. Also, as the whole world of professional training became virtual very quickly a few months ago, we wanted to know more about how those delivering training and those in need of training programs were keeping things moving. Pete comes from a family of educators, and Eoin and his family are experienced in educational endeavors as well, so this one hits close to home.

    HIGHLIGHTS:

    Sorcha shared how she’s launched the TrainedIn network by artfully bringing both those in need of training and those providing training onto the platform in such a way that brings immediate value, but doesn’t fleece anyone, and the trust-building benefits of this approach.

    On creating opportunities: “We can bring smaller providers of training together to jointly tender for a big project, rather than the larger training providers getting all of the big jobs.”

    Top skills sought after on TrainedIn in a pandemic – health and safety, leadership, emotional intelligence, project management, wellness and that old chestnut - Excel training.

    Sorcha’s insight that everyone should spend some time in the hospitality industry, especially with understanding customer service, and “if you can communicate with people, you can travel the world with a hospitality passport.”

    On making the right jump: “If you’re thinking about taking a big leap as an entrepreneur, call someone who won’t give you a load of BS and will help you make up your own mind. It’s your own mind that you need to make up, it’s not someone telling you that you should do it, because you have to believe in what you’re doing or else it won’t work.”

    Finally, a shout out to Sorcha’s two dogs, Coco and Reilly, as the first ever non-humans on the show!

    To learn more about TrainedIn, get in touch at contact@trainedin.global.

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    Hit us up on info@moneyneversleeps.ie

    • 40 min
    106: Money Talks #24: Breaking Big Tech | Catch-22 of B2C Fintech | How to 'Love the No' from VCs

    106: Money Talks #24: Breaking Big Tech | Catch-22 of B2C Fintech | How to 'Love the No' from VCs

    This week, Pete and Eoin take look at what to do about the condemnation of Big Tech’s alleged monopoly powers according to US lawmakers, the catch-22 of consumer fintech, Apple One and ‘Rundles’, getting something from VCs if not a check….and godspeed, Eddie Van Halen.

    THIS WEEK’S STORIES:

    House Lawmakers Condemn Big Tech’s ‘Monopoly Power’ (NY Times, 6-Oct-20)

    · Do you break up Big Tech (Google Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft) by geography or by product line?

    · Is financial services the Mr Burns-slash-Dr-Evil strategy for Big Tech? No, I think it was more about monetizing their user base.

    · By being so big, Big Tech create an exit strategy for tech startups – if Big Tech is broken up, will it significantly impact your eventual exit plan?

    How to design fintech for prime users? Embrace complexity (a16z Fintech Newsletter Sep-20, Anish Acharya)

    · How does fintech address the complicated financial lives of those with too much wealth for their financial life to be simple, but too little wealth to pay someone to manage it for you?

    · If I’ve had a long career and always invested with traditional players, I do probably want someone to talk to. If I’m a bit earlier on in my career and made my money on tech, I’m probably more open to managing things mostly through an app.

    Apple One (15-Sep-20, Apple.com)

    · Apple One now offers customers Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, and more services in one simple plan.

    · ‘Rundles’ - recurring revenue bundles - where challenger banks and consumer fintech need to go, managing your entire lifestyle through a single app.

    The Winning Psychology of Top Founders in Fundraising Meetings (NFX, James Currier, 8-Sep-20)

    · Pete and Eoin each pick their top 5 questions from NFXfor founders to ask VCs, as 90 percent of pitch meetings don’t lead to a check, and it’s better to get insights than a bag of rocks.

    Eddie Van Halen fans remember his work on Michael Jackson’s classic hit ‘Beat It’ (NME, 7-Oct-20)

    Leave a review on Apple Podcasts

    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google| Amazon| Overcast

    Check out our MoneyNeverSleeps website

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    Follow us on Twitter Podcast |Twitter Pete |Twitter Eoin

    If you are interested in sponsoring the show, get in touch at info@moneyneversleeps.ie

    • 36 min
    105: Ease the Pain: David Soden and Aptimyz

    105: Ease the Pain: David Soden and Aptimyz

    David Soden, Co-founder and CEO of Aptimyz, talks with Pete Townsend about early entrepreneurial influences, finding purpose in a move from pharmaceuticals to B2B SaaS, the end-all-be-all of delivering customer value….and doubling down during lockdown!

    For more episodes and our entire back catalog of show notes go to MoneyNeverSleeps.ie.

    For insights delivered to your inbox beyond the spoken word, subscribe to our MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter right here on Substack.

    EPISODE OVERVIEW:

    This week Pete talks to David Soden, co-founder and CEO of Aptimyz, an Irish tech startup delivering a complete and affordable EPOS (electronic point of sale) and back-office management solution providing stability for retail in challenging times. If David and Pete had recorded this right after they met pre-lockdown in February, this conversation would’ve been much different!

    Think about it this way - you build some hard-fought traction with your startup and climb right up to the edge of hitting the market in a big way. Then, the unthinkable happens to not only your target market, but the entire world around you, and the physical interactions between consumers and small businesses that were a critical lever to your business, basically drops through the floor. Well, that’s pretty much a masterclass in “Dealing with Adversity” that you can’t get in any business school on Earth.

    HIGHLIGHTS:

    Being the youngest of five boys in an entrepreneurial household with both parents and two brothers running their own businesses: “It never looked easy, but it was always exciting, and I think I had the bug from that point.”

    On one of the biggest takeaways from his days in pharmaceuticals: “It was amazing as a young guy to be involved in a product launch going from zero to $1.5bn in 18 months, with that kind of scale, and see the pre-launch activity through to launch activity through to hyper growth.

    On his purposeful move from pharmaceuticals to SaaS: “It was always important to have that north star and know what you’re working for and why you enjoy doing it.”

    On his mantra as a startup founder: “It’s not worrying about the money, it’s worrying about whether you’re truly relieving a pain point for the customer.”

    On his thoughts on startups: “For anyone interested in doing a startup, it’s isn’t easy, and if it is easy, there’s a good chance you’re fooling yourself that you’ve found something that’s really worth it.”

    On digitalizing retail: “It isn’t about having a till or a PoS and then going online, it’s about having a digital business with a physical connection to the customer in store, and the virtual connection with the customer online, but managing it all in one place.”

    On the pandemic: “When it hit in March, it was kind of a hold-your-breath moment, and then we realized we could give up, or double down. We doubled down and expanded the team.”

    On delivering value: “There are a lot better things that retailers can be doing with their money right now than spending it on old PoS hardware.”

    On lessons learned from pitching to investors: “Be sure of what you want going into it because you can’t cry about it afterwards if you end up with a bad deal.”

    On looking ahead: “It’s a huge challenge, but we’ll be successful if we deliver customer value. It’s not about the shiny buttons, it’s about helping customers run their businesses more efficiently. “

    To learn more about Aptimyz, get in touch at info@aptimyz.com.

    Follow us on Twitter @MNSShow, @PeteTownsendNV and @EoinFitzgerald9

    • 44 min
    104: Money Talks #23: European Startup Scaling and TransferWise in the Money

    104: Money Talks #23: European Startup Scaling and TransferWise in the Money

    This week, Pete and Eoin take another look at the TikTok deal as a bellwether for change in how entrepreneurs outside the US look at the American market, a peek inside the now-profitable fintech unicorn TransferWise, the Nikola scam, the Yandex-Tinkoff tie-up, YCombinator’s acid test….and Cobra Kai!

    This episode is kindly sponsored by Ireland’s fintech and financial services recruitment specialists, Top Tier Recruitment.  If you would like an intro to the team at Top Tier Recruitment, please click here.

    For more episodes and our entire back catalog of show notes go to MoneyNeverSleeps.ie. For insights delivered to your inbox beyond the spoken word, subscribe to our MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter right here on Substack.

    THIS WEEK’S STORIES:

    What the US and China’s tussle over TikTok means for Europe (Sifted, Nicolas Colin - 23-Sep-20) - Revisiting a story we covered on episode 97: Microsoft Goes Tik Tok and Monzo on the Clock.  But, Microsoft didn’t go TikTok, Oracle and Walmart did, and here’s a good overview of that deal from the Motley Fool.  Pete and Eoin walk through rethinking the default go-to scaling strategy of European startup founders looking at the US as the holy grail.

    TransferWise reports second year of profit, revenue almost doubles (CNBC, 10-Sep-20) - Pete and Eoin talk through a different way to think about a challenger fintech rather than just a better bank.

    Russia’s Yandex Agrees $5.5Bln Deal For Tinkoff Bank (Moscow Times, 22-Sep-20)

    Nikola saga hits three speculative areas at once: SPACs, Robinhood traders and electric vehicles (CNBC, 21-Sep-20)

    Start-up co-founded by ex-Goldman trader is first fintech to complete takeover of a national bank (CNBC, 4-Sep-20)

    Michael Seibel – Lessons from Thousands of Startups (Invest Like the Best, EP.190)

    Strike First… and Chill: Cobra Kai Moves to Netflix (Ted Theodore Logan, Medium, 9-Jul-20)

    Also, a special thank you goes out to Paul and Laura Smyth at Top Tier Recruitment for sticking with us as such supportive sponsors and friends!

    For more episodes and our entire back catalog of show notes go to MoneyNeverSleeps.ie.

    Follow us on Twitter @MNSShow, @PeteTownsendNV and @EoinFitzgerald9.

    • 42 min
    103: Ya Know The Rules | Jill Richmond and Jewel

    103: Ya Know The Rules | Jill Richmond and Jewel

    Jill Richmond, Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Jewel, joins the show this week to talk about having agility at the core of everything they do, the relationship between regulations and problem solving…and backpacking solo through eastern Africa!

    This episode is kindly sponsored by Ireland’s fintech and financial services recruitment specialists, Top Tier Recruitment.  If you would like an intro to the team at Top Tier Recruitment, please click here.

    For more episodes and our entire back catalog of show notes go to MoneyNeverSleeps.ie.

    For insights delivered to your inbox beyond the spoken word, subscribe to our MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter right here on Substack.

    EPISODE OVERVIEW:

    Jewel is a proposed Bermudian Bank and technology firm building banking infrastructure for digital assets as a bridge to fiat banking. The Jewel team brings a deep set of experience in regulated financial businesses, has provided leadership and guidance on new banking and finance policy in the US and emerging markets, and has a track record of delivering innovative and compliant new financial market solutions. Jewel recently announced their partnership with Anchorage, a platform for digital asset custody.

    In this episode, Jill talks to Pete Townsend about building the business in a fast-moving market while being in the midst of a licensing process, and a few of her personal experiences over the years – see below for some of the best soundbites:

    On building solutions for the fast-moving digital assets market:“Our own agility has to be core to what we’re building. As the market matures, we have to pay very close attention to how the core problems that we’re solving are evolving, and how quickly we can build solutions.”

    On responding to new information from the digital assets market: “As the information coming at us changes, we just keep asking ourselves, ‘Are the problems we’re solving immediate and are they a priority. Even though the industry is changing, the regulatory environment isn’t moving as quickly.”

    On the relevance of her earlier days of building policy for refugee programs to her current modus operandi: ”It was always a policy-first process. I think I recognized that with building something disruptive and innovative in banking, it has to be led with policy as well. If we’re entering a very regulated space as a bank, we have to focus on regulatory clarity first.”

    Also, listen in for stories about Jill’s formative years as a 10-year-old entrepreneur generating 20x returns, her adventures as a solo backpacker in east Africa and her steadfast refusal to postpone the recording of this podcast even though her car was broken into that morning!

    To learn more about Jewel, get in touch at info@dltjewel.com, and you can follow Jill on Twitter @JillRichmond77.

    For more episodes and our entire back catalog of show notes go to MoneyNeverSleeps.ie.

    Sign up for our weekly MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter on MoneyNeverSleeps.substack.com

    Follow MoneyNeverSleeps on Twitter @MNSShow, Pete Townsend @PeteTownsendNV and Eoin Fitzgerald @EoinFitzgerald9

    • 35 min

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