Building a House on Shifting Sands

We were recently mapping out the FinTech Innovation Ecosystem in Canada for clients and we realized that we were building a house on shifting sand: there was no ultimate entry point for all the players – VC’s, startups, accelerators, incumbents, hubs, communities, associations…you get the idea. Not only that, but players were coming and going, and what one group considered a “hub” or a “community”, other groups called an RIC, or “Regional Innovation Center”. Terms were imprecise, or the group labeling the player was not taking into account the player’s complete offering. The ecosystem is in flux, amorphous and resists being slotted into tidy classifications.  

With this as the backdrop, we would like to offer a few observations from a recent workshop with 50 FinTech players in Canada. The workshop participants were asked to make suggestions on how to make the FinTech ecosystem in Canada work better. A wide range of viewpoints are represented (Banks, Startups, VC’s, Accelerators, Regulators) and the resulting feedback is, not surprisingly, diverse. You can link to the full feedback document here. Our favourite recommendation from the workshop that did not make it into the document was that board members of incumbents should be “refreshed” from time-to-time in order to make sure innovation remained a key objective of the organization. Talk about disruption…

We know a level of uncertainty is to be expected in this period of great change and opportunity. Disruption is a certainty with all the FinTech startups out there focusing their significant talents on being the next Uber. We believe the only way forward is through collaborative innovation.  Disruption does not have to hurt incumbents if they bring startups along. What we are focusing on is getting you the tools you need to make the best possible strategic choices for moving forward with your agenda. That is what our consultation services can do for you – put our years of working within, and partnering with incumbents to your best possible use.

Let’s talk! Contact Sue for innovation advice and consulting help. 


Sue Britton

FinTech Growth Syndicate, 628 Fleet Street, Unit 1006, Toronto, ON, M5V 1A8