Fintech Insider from an insider: my top 11 moments

 Laura Watkins photo
Laura Watkins Senior Producer
6min read

I joined the 11:FS media team back in June 2017 - a mere 96 podcast episodes into Fintech Insider’s 500 episode journey.

It’s been incredible working on this show and being a part of its growth over the last three and a half years. From its humble beginnings, FI has evolved into something we could never have predicted, and I’m SO proud of it. We’ve grown our audience both internationally and at home thanks to our community of loyal listeners (you know who you are 🙏).

While picking my favourite episode ever was too hard a task, (it’s like picking between your children) I wanted to share a handful of my favourite moments from over the years...

1. Episode 1

Where it all began! In June 2017 - the week following the infamous Brexit vote - our podcast hosts David Brear, Jason Bates, Simon Taylor and Chris Skinner came together to discuss the impact the referendum could have on financial services.

Little did we know then that we’d still be arguing about Brexit in 2021 😬

2. After Dark(s)

In September 2018, we had a eureka moment. We thought, why not host the podcast live in front of an audience of our listeners? So we filled a WeWork space with our friends, family, colleagues and community, plied them with pizza and beer (they happily accepted) and recorded the news show while they watched. And Fintech Insider: After Dark was born!

We’ve since done 15 After Darks, including:

👻 One in Halloween fancy dress

💻 Two fully digitally (thanks to covid)

🇺🇲 Three in the US

And let’s not forget these memorable After Dark moments:

3. will.i.am

Fintech and hip-hop probably shouldn’t mix, but they do.

The two collided when will.i.am was announced as a strategic advisor to the board of Atom Bank in 2017, and he’s graced us with his presence on the show not once but twice! He shared some very future-proof insights about the future of banking as well as some personal insights around overcoming unconscious bias of AI - great to inject some celebrity status into the show 🤩

4. Vitalik Buterin

Founder and creator of Ethereum - one of the largest cryptocurrencies - Vitalik Buterin joined us on Fintech Insider and Blockchain Insider back in 2018. He kindly gave us an education on what a proof of concept really is and shared his views on the future of blockchain and DLT.

5. The OP Labs beach party podcast, Helsinki

Yep, you read that right.

The amazing OP Labs booked us to do a live podcast at their Slush after party - a beach party, in Finland, in December...

It was -5 degrees outside, but luckily we were inside the National Volleyball centre which had been transformed into a beach for the evening. We held centre stage for an hour of awesome fintech conversations with some amazing thought leaders, while wearing shorts and sipping frozen daiquiris from coconuts.

One of the more surreal podcast moments to say the least 😂

6. 11:YEARS premiere panel

We decided to go all out for the premiere of our documentary, 11:YEARS - The Rise of UK Fintech.

The film was screened at The Barbican in front of a live audience (which felt pretty glamorous in itself). And after the film wrapped up, we recorded a podcast featuring a star studded panel of some of the biggest names in the industry. David was joined by Ashok Vaswani, Anne Boden, Eric Van Der Kleij and Nick Ogden, who gave their predictions for the next 11 years of fintech.

7. Monzo vs. BBC Watchdog

In October 2019, the BBC”s Watchdog programme ran an “expose” on Monzo, digging into their AML practices and attacking them for what they thought was malpractice.

At the time, no Monzo spokespeople had their say and then-CEO Tom Blomfield was undergoing an operation and couldn’t comment. So we decided to address the balance, and invited Tom onto the podcast to tell us his side of the story. He had the chance to clap back at the accusations and speak more broadly about banks’ responsibility towards financial crime - what a show 💪

8. Arlan Hamilton

Sam Maule sat down to speak to this inspirational lady in Spring last year.

From improbable beginnings (she was homeless and used to sleep on the floor of San Francisco International Airport) to becoming the first non-celebrity black woman to be featured on the cover of Fast Company, we hung on Arlan Hamilton’s every word as she explained her unconventional journey through Silicon Valley.

Arlan Hamilton is making waves in the venture capital space by investing in companies led by underrepresented founders. Less than 10% of all venture capital deals go to women, people of colour, and LGBT founders and Arlan has made it her mission to change that.

9. Covid-19 and its impact on the underbanked in the US

This was a powerhouse of an episode.

Covid-19 dominated a lot of our content in 2020, but this episode really stood out. Sam Maule was joined by special guests Abbey Wemimo - Co-Founder of Esusu, John Hope Bryant - CEO and Chairman of Operation Hope and Thea Garon - Senior Director of Financial Health Network.

They discussed everything from the social implications of unequal access to finance and credit, to the future of the underbanked in a world turned on its head. Recorded shortly after the death of George Floyd and BLM protests around the world, this was an emotionally charged episode that got to the very heart of financial inequality in the US and how organisations like John’s, Abbey’s and Thea’s are turning the tide.

10. 4 years and counting

Our news show has gone from strength to strength since its inception, covering the latest headlines of the industry and poking fun at them when they deserve it. We’re lucky to be joined by guests who are often at the very heart of the stories we’re covering, bringing authority and a true insider’s perspective to the conversation.

And as fintech evolves, so have we. Remember when we talked about that little thing called bitcoin, and that brand-new bank called Monzo?! Now, it’s all about the biggest tech giants jumping on the banking bandwagon.

Fintech has grown so quickly, there’s almost always too much for us to cover every week, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! Have a browse of our latest episodes.

11. 500 episodes, 1 community ❤️

We would never have reached this 500 episode milestone without our amazing community, who are just as passionate (if not more so!) about the fintech industry as we are.

As David said “it's easy to forget when you're mindlessly talking into microphones that millions of people have tuned into this stuff…”

So I’d like to give a massive shout out and thanks to everyone who listens, watches and engages with us. To everyone who’s featured on the show, attended an After Dark, or recommended the podcast to a fellow fintech fan - we couldn’t have got this far without you!

If there’s anything you want to learn about in our future shows, or any guests you’d like us to feature, hit us up at podcasts@11fs.com or follow us on Twitter 🙌

 Laura Watkins
About the author

Laura Watkins

As the Senior Producer in the 11:FS Media team, Laura produces the Fintech Insider podcast, manages the team behind our sister properties and creates our awesome live events and video content.

We are 11:FS

We believe digital financial services are 1% finished. We’re building the next 99%.

What we do

11:FS builds next-generation propositions for challengers in the financial services industry: existing firms looking to innovate, start-ups looking to scale, and everyone in between.