On Aug. 18, 2016, Brandeis GPS hosted a webinar led by Ashley Nagle Eknaian, chair of the new Master of Science in Digital Innovation for FinTech, with Jason Zaler, FinTech Partnerships Lead at PwC. This interesting and interactive discussion helped us celebrate the launch of the program, which is welcoming its first students this fall.
Just voted #36 in Onalytica’s list of top 100 FinTech innovators and brands, Zaler offered valuable insight into the evolving world of FinTech and the many industries impacted by this important technology. Zaler began the discussion by pointing out the many ways that most people use FinTech in everyday life through apps such as Venmo, Square, mobile banking apps, and robo-advice services. Because FinTech’s reach is constantly increasing, Zaler stressed the need to continuously reassess the industry.
“Learning so much about what was happening and seeing how fast it changed drove us to reevaluate the way we deliver insight and consulting,” Zaler said. “It propels us to develop a platform to provide that information to clients in real time.”
Zaler and Eknaian also discussed Fintech’s role in financial service institutions, technology companies, pay networks, and of course, FinTech startups. These groups are all trying to figure out how to best interact with one another to understand and maximize the new technologies available — to create the perfect marriage between financial institutions and technological innovation. The dialogue and new questions springing from these groups constantly draw many into this emerging field.
Competition with FinTech startups
Today in FinTech, some of the most important services exist on the backend of operations that consumers don’t often see. For example, FinTech services are used to clean up bank ledgers.
FinTech startups are essentially disrupters in the industry, knocking out other companies who would otherwise control this back-end technology. In order to help customers, big financial institutions are directly acquiring apps and cutting out big companies, making the process more efficient. As there is a lot of competition in this evolving industry, better products are constantly coming out for people to use on a day-to-day basis.
“It’s really an ecosystem where there’s a lot of movement, a lot of competition,” said Zaler. “The thing to be aware of is that as these companies jockey for a position, there is one benefit to the consumers: better products with better interfaces that you can use in your daily lives.”
Keeping customers through FinTech
Today, banks are working toward keeping their customers from the time they open their first account in college to an eventual retirement. To carry customers through their banking journey, banks now offer FinTech services for each stage of a customer’s experience. Zaler noted that customers today use an average of three to five FinTech products, so banks want to make sure their FinTech app stays on their customers’ phones.
FinTech around the world
FinTech is now a global industry, with major hubs in Silicon Valley, New York, London, Singapore, Israel, Dublin and Scandinavia. Regulations imposed on FinTech companies are what shape each country’s approach to FinTech throughout the globe. While Europe has more regulations that prevent FinTech companies from partnering with banks, the regulatory policies in China focus on making it easier for FinTech products to come to market, which causes major fraud issues and mistrust of these products in potential customers. With 30 percent of FinTech companies now under investigation in China, companies need to convince people they’re trustworthy before they can even begin to directly market their products.
Zaler also went on to discuss the benefits of large financial institutions relying on startups for services. He noted that there are three ways to think about how financial institutions can get FinTech services:
Buying them from another provider
Partnering with another company
Building their own
While many companies do opt to build their own or partner with other companies, often startups are cheap and have already developed the technology the large financial institution is looking for, making it more cost effective to just buy the technology.
The following blog post was written by Timothy Bosco, Senior Vice President of Investor Services at Brown Brothers Harriman. Tim will be hosting a webinar on this topic on Thursday, July 28 at 2 p.m. EDT (rsvp here).
Today, some of the most successful financial service providers are seeking lessons about risk taking from an unlikely source – early stage startup companies.
Whether it’s through the venture investment community or directly with leading fintechs, more and more established companies are looking to model startup behaviors despite the fact that these emerging companies actually fail more than 90% of the time.1
Learn more about the newest GPS master’s degree
It is easy to assume this growing trend must be because the fast-paced, innovative startup culture inspires established companies to take bigger chances in search of bigger rewards. The real reason for this new fascination, however, is often just the opposite. It might actually be the way startups deal with uncertainty and efficiently mitigate their risk of failure that is driving the real interest.
Clearly, the “eat-or-be-eaten” environment in which most startups operate has a way of forcing efficiency and creativity. When something is not working to plan, only those with the willingness and the ingenuity to shift fast enough have a chance of making it.
It’s that dexterity large organizations envy most. In fact, there probably isn’t a corporate innovation team out there that hasn’t, at some point, incorporated the “fail fast” mantra into their lexicon.
Large companies also recognize that many of the same factors that threaten a startup’s success can impact their own product strategies to the same degree – technology can evolve overnight, customer preferences are fickle, funding is always limited, and new competition can spring up from anywhere at any time.
The difference for startups, though, is that they have the most to lose by ignoring signals to fail fast. In most cases, it is their survival instincts that draw out the entrepreneurial resiliency needed to bootstrap success even if that means setting aside their original ambitions.
Pinterest is one of many great examples of a startup that was forced to abandon its initial plan only to architect an even bigger opportunity. In 2009, the founders of Pinterest initially attempted to launch the very first mobile-enabled shopping application called Tote. Despite strong customer demand, retailer support, and adequate seed funding, the idea never took off because of the relative immaturity of mobile payment technologies. Instead of doubling down and waiting for payment technologies catch up, Tote switched gears and relaunched a much simpler application that kick started a new visual social network phenomenon. It turns out that Pinterest is among the most likely IPO candidates in 2016 with an anticipated $11 billion valuation.2
While large companies can’t necessarily manufacture the competitive environments that shape actual startup behaviors, there is still a lot they can learn from successful entrepreneurs about staying lean, focused, and in control of new product innovation. The following table outlines a few key success factors commonly found among startups that reinvented themselves early in their lifecycles.
Adopting Successful Startup Strategies
Within the corporate context, these startup strategies also suggest an ideal investment profile for mitigating risk. The minimum and maximum ranges depicted below illustrate the relative levels of investment in terms of both time and money throughout the product development cycle.
Creating the Right New Product Investment Profile
It clearly takes both practical decision making and an unconditional commitment to make it big as a startup. The people who run them are responsible for every detail, every success, and every failure. It is that entrepreneurial perspective that guides startups to fail fast. For that reason, established companies must understand the importance of empowering their product teams to own their decisions about how to incorporate failure before it gets expensive or even worse… before it becomes destructive.
1 Forbes, 90% of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need to Know About the 10%, January 2015.
2 Nasdaq, Is Pinterest a Top IPO Candidate for 2016?, December 2015.
This blog post was originally published on Brown Brothers Harriman’s Insights blog on May 6, 2016. RSVP to Tim’s webinar, What Can Established Companies Really Learn from FinTech Startups,here.
Matthew Rosenquist joined Intel Corp in 1996 and benefits from over 20 years in the field of security. Mr. Rosenquist specializes in security strategy, measuring value, and developing cost effective capabilities and organizations which deliver the optimal level of security. Currently, a cyber-security strategist for the Intel Security Group, he helped in the formation of this industry leading organization which brings together security across hardware, firmware, software and services.
How you pitch a story to the news media can make or break whether or not journalists pick up the story. Maximize your success by understanding the news cycle, the newsroom, the different types and styles of writers, and how to tailor your outreach to best meet the needs of those writers. Understand how a bit of research up front can greatly increase the efficiency and efficacy of your outreach efforts; why aligning strategic communications and public relations with overall business goals is critical to success; and how to evaluate and interact with the media to tell the story you want to tell.
Christine Dunn is an award-winning media strategist who has received global recognition for her multimedia campaigns. In 2014, she formed ArcPoint Strategic Communications to offer media advisory and education services to senior executives. She honed her skills at Bloomberg News, working as a reported, editor and senior manager, in Bureau Chief of Boston, the company’s second-largest market in North American. Christine also serves on the Executive Committee of Tufts University’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership Program Advisory Board.
Thursday, February 26, 2015, 12-1pm EST Webinar via Adobe Connect
According to Bloomberg, 80% of Startups fail within 18 months. However, this should NOT be a deterrent to aspiring entrepreneurs. 29% of Second, Third and up to 10th time Startup Entrepreneurs achieve success and longevity. Paradoxically, their success rate increased with their number of past failures.
Elizabeth Mwanga, a Successful Serial Entrepreneur, will teach aspiring and current Start-up Entrepreneurs how to practically fund their Startups via non-traditional means, with a main focus on ‘Prompt Profititability’ and a zero debt ratio, through no-risk funding methods, including United States government grants, as well as United States government contracts, coupled with other savvy tips to keep Startup Entrepreneurs free and clear of debt as well as a focus on immediate profitability. References
Elizabeth Mwanga is an accomplished entrepreneur who has sold two profitable media companies and has pivoted her new endeavors to include technology companies in the fields of disruptive closed source solutions for businesses and government agencies, including cyber-security, biometrics, embedded systems in real time, robotics, sensor design, etc. Additionally, Miss Mwanga is a diabetes advocate; as a Type 1.5 diabetic, her diagnosis in 2007 inspired her to take back control of her health. Over 19 months, she lost 105 lbs. (down from 210 lbs.) and in 2014, established HCode (SAM Registered) – a boutique startup firm focused on mhealth technologies for people with chronic health conditions, specialized in sensors and nanotechnology. In September 2014, Miss Mwanga won the INNOCENTIVE “Identifying Best-in-Class Support Services for Patients with Diabetes” Ideation Challenge.
Miss Mwanga has been featured in Ebony, Woman’s Day, Redbook, MORE, and Diabetes Health Monitor Magazine (cover story). Additionally, she’s been a guest on the Dr. Oz Show, a commentator on KSA2-TV Saudi Arabia, and in various online publications such as The Huffington Post and Everyday Health.
How to Register:
To register for this event, please complete this brief form by February 25th, 2015, providing your name & email address: Register Here
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*Note that space is limited to the first 100 registrants.
As team leaders, we evaluate our team members and expect them to do the job up to our standards. Sometimes our standards are out of sync with their ability or training. After all, these individuals have not traveled in the same shoes as we have and may not have the skills or cognitive preparation to achieve what we expect. Therefore coaching becomes an integral part of helping teams grow to the next level.
In my experience, the most effective leaders shine when they are helping others day in and day out. This is where coaching enters the picture. Those team leaders who are really performing up to their capability (in a leadership capacity) are consistently coaching their colleagues (and not trying to micro-manage their activities). Individuals don’t appreciate being managed. But, they are more open to coaching if the coach immediately establishes his or her desire to help the individual meet their established goals.
The first and most important coaching skill is to be in the moment, not distracted by six different things on your mind. Coaching is about respect for each other. There is no more predictable way to show lack of respect as not being “present” or “engaged” during a conversation. I once had a boss whose eyes would become “fish eyes” during our conversations. Do you think I was being heard? Do you think I respected him?
Secondly, a good coach (team leader) will seek to understand by asking open-ended, empowering questions. It is very difficult to understand what is going on in someone else’s head if we ask simple yes/no questions. Questions need to be open-ended so we fully understand the complexity of an individual’s state of mind.
A third critical skill is the need for the coach to suspend judgment and remain reflective and objective. Being contemplative shows that you understand the thoughts or feelings in the conversation. These first three skills will help develop understanding, balance, and respect—all very important ingredients in a successful coaching relationship.
The fourth critical skill is affirming the conversation. This action brings into focus the individual’s desire to move ahead, whether it’s an improvement in performance or learning new skills and growing as a professional or human being. These skills, when practiced and used daily, will help you become the most effective leader imaginable.
Help your team grow. Be a coach not a just a team leader or boss.
Education does not look the same as it did ten – or even five – years ago. Rapid technological innovation combined with evolving economy has made online learning much more prevalent. In many ways, the internet has democratized education, making it possible to learn anywhere, anytime and at a much more affordable price point.
By unlocking greater access to education, online learning has exploded. There is a massive demand for the convenience of web-based learning, and especially for high-quality programs that can match the rich experience of classroom learning.
The result is a tremendous expansion in the field of instructional design and technology, or the creation of dynamic learning content for online delivery. Organizations desire skilled professionals able to translate classroom curriculum into an engaging, instructive online education. They need instructional designers who understand how users interact with these online portals and how to optimize their learning experience.
But developing digital courses requires a dynamic skill set, not easily acquired from any single educational program or work experience.
Interested in innovating the next frontier of education? Here are six reasons you should pursue a career in instructional design.
The popularity of online learning has skyrocketed in recent years. The convenience of the web makes it possible for working professionals to advance their careers or update their skill set without having to put their job on hold.
“As public and private interest and money flow into this space, the need for highly trained professionals versed in the art and science of instructional design has almost certainly never been higher,” said Jason Gorman, a member of the professional advisory board for Brandeis’ master of science in online instructional design.
The total job postings for employees with instructional design skills and graduate degrees has increased by 63 percent between 2010 to 2013, according to Brandeis’ Advisory Board, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects above average growth as high as twenty percent for instructional design jobs between 2010 and 2020.
Opportunity for the pros: over 36,000 jobs will be created in just the next four years, according to the Bureau.
One of the most appealing aspects of instructional design is it is a dynamic field in which professionals are able to wear multiple hats in their quest to deliver cutting-edge educational experiences. Instructional design is about so much more than building cookie-cutter programs. It’s about understanding how we learn, harnessing technology to improve learning, and creating engaging and effective content to support educational objectives.
Instructional design is a multistage process that calls for a diverse of set of skills. Designers analyze past learning outcomes, and leverage that knowledge to design and develop enhanced instructional programs. They also partner with industry experts or professors to design the curriculum and produce content. They must even act as project managers to oversee how content, instructional tools, and technology integrate to create a dynamic learning environment.
Brandeis’ M.S. in Online Instructional Design & Technology equips students with an extensive and impressive skill set preparing them to meet the diverse demands of instructional design. Glance below to see a preview of promised program outcomes:
Apply evidence-based learning science and online pedagogical principles to the design, development, facilitation, and assessment of online courses and programs.
Design dynamic, adaptive, and interactive online multimedia-based instructional content and courseware.
Evaluate and integrate instructional technologies, platforms, and collaborative tools for use in diverse instructional settings and applications.
Demonstrate creativity and innovation in the application of instructional design principles and technologies to respond to instructional challenges and emerging trends.
Collaboration & Creativity
Far from a mundane profession, instructional design involves considerable collaboration and creativity. Instructional designers partner with industry professionals or academic professors who are experts on topics to to create optimal eLearning experiences. Together, they brainstorm ways to improve upon past programs, add interactive elements, and other measures to make the educational experience more engaging and effective. They also partner in content creation and management to ensure the best possible learning materials are integrated in the curriculum. The wealth of opportunities to get creative and collaborate with others makes instructional design exciting field.
Bridging Theory & Practice
Instructional designers exercise both sides of their brain to translate theory into practice. They must possess the soft skills needed to nurture a sophisticated understanding of how people learn. There is a theoretical science behind learning that should guide and inform the creation of online educational programs. Educational models like ADDIE and other pedagogical principles must form the blueprint of online course design.
But professionals must step beyond theory and apply these principles to build a product. They must master the practice of utilizing technology to develop courseware solve challenges.
The opportunity to put theory into action and see the tangible results is a stimulating and satisfying part of an instructional design career.
Opportunity Across Industries
While educational institutions represent a large portion of the instructional design field, it is far from the only industry implementing web-based educational programs.
“Instructional design has become a crucial skill set for both educational institutions and training and development organizations across a variety of industries and sectors,” said Brian Salerno, who chairs Brandeis’ new master’s program.
Numerous organizations need educational, training, and professional development resources to maintain a productive workforce. Online materials are a cost-effective way to address onboarding, internal training, and various other instructional needs in private, governmental, and nonprofit industries.
From higher education to giant corporations, opportunities are wide open for instructional designers.
Be on the Cutting-Edge
Instructional designers are on the forefront of technological evolutions. Because they often operate in the trenches of development, they have early access to cutting-edge new tools and softwares as they strive to build innovative, forward-thinking web experiences. Brandeis’ new master’s program will train students to effectively implement tools and technologies to build industry-leading courseware. Once in the field, however, this knowledge will only expand as more sophisticated technology emerges in the future.
Brandeis University’s Division of Graduate Professional Studies
Brandeis’ game-changing M.S. in Online Instructional Design & Technology prepares students to be on the forefront of the next frontier in education and training. Not only will they develop a crucial skill set coveted by many organization, but be able to do so on their schedule in small, interactive online courses.