Discussion & Happy Hour: Lessons From Building Fintech Businesses

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Guideline Headquarters

3050 S Delaware Street #202

San Mateo, California 94403

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It’s no secret that starting a business is challenging. Having an innovative idea is just the first step on a long journey of establishing a business. Every entrepreneur knows that turning that idea into a sustainable business requires careful planning and thought. This is especially true for those who choose to tackle starting a business in the financial technology industry. The amount of buzz around the term “fintech” might suggest it’s a ripe industry for those looking for a quick buck, but those who have experience in the space know how large of a misconception that is.

From combatting archaic regulations and having to build infrastructure from scratch to competition from massive, established players and building trust among customers, fintech’s list of potential obstacles is much longer than most industries. It’s especially challenging if the idea you’re pursuing is technical in nature. But are there steps an entrepreneur can take early on to make it less challenging in the long run?

On July 26, join us for an intimate panel discussion where Guideline Co-founder and CEO, Kevin Busque and Plaid Co-founder and CEO, Zach Perret, will share their journeys building technical fintech startups, in conversation with Founder and Managing Director of Felicis Ventures and Five-time Midas List Honoree, Aydin Senkut.

Topics covered will include:

  • How are the earliest stages of building a fintech startup different from other industries? What are the advantages and challenges?

  • What role do competitors play? How do you balance competing with large, established institutions with copycat startups chasing your tail?

  • How do you approach security? Once the obstacle of getting customers to trust you with their information is overcome, how do you make sure it’s safe?

  • In simple terms, what makes a business technical when founding it? Is it only when a business is software-focused?

  • What’s the investor perspective when evaluating a fintech investment? How do things like regulation make it harder to give an investment the green light?

  • How does early hiring prioritization - marketing, operations, engineering, design, data science - differ for fintech startups?

  • How does the view of the role data science plays early on in a business change depending on the type of business? What about design?

  • Looking back at the history of your fintech startup, what do you wish you did differently?


  • 5:00-6:00 pm: Drinks and Food served

  • 6:00-6:30 pm: Panel Discussion

  • 6:30-7:00 pm: Networking

About Kevin Busque:

Kevin is founder and CEO of Guideline, an all-inclusive 401(k) plan for growing businesses that’s easy for employers to set up and even easier for employees to enroll and save. Under Kevin's leadership, Forbes Magazine named Guideline to its annual list of the 50 most promising financial technology startups in 2018. Kevin founded Guideline after seven years at TaskRabbit, the online and mobile labor marketplace that he co-founded, which was acquired by IKEA. Kevin has been featured in the Inc., the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and is a contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine. The son of an Army intelligence Sargent, he grew up in several cities across North America and Europe, but considers himself a New Englander. He now lives in San Mateo with his wife, Leah, and two children.

About Zach Perret:

Zach is CEO and co-founder of Plaid, the technology company modernizing banking infrastructure to connect consumers, their bank accounts, and third-party applications for the secure exchange of data. After learning firsthand how difficult it was to build a secure personal finance application, Zach and his co-founder, William Hockey, started Plaid in 2012 with the goal of creating a toolkit that encourages an inclusive and competitive ecosystem that drives innovation while protecting consumers’ financial data. Today, thousands of companies use Plaid's suite of APIs and data analytics products to build applications that enable millions of consumers and businesses to lead healthier financial lives. Prior to starting Plaid, Zach was a consultant for Bain. He graduated with degrees in Physics and Chemistry from Duke University, where he also wrote software for laser system controllers.

About Aydin Senkut:

Aydin Senkut is the Founder and Managing Director of Felicis Ventures. An original “super-angel” turned multi-stage investor, he has been named to the Forbes Midas List for the past five years (2014-2018) and was also named to the New York Times Top 20 Venture Capitalists list for the past three years (2016-2018). Aydin is well-known as an early backer of a number of iconic companies including Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), Rovio (HEL:ROVIO), Adyen (AMS: ADYEN), Diffbot, Greenhouse, Credit Karma, and Vicarious. Over 60 Felicis companies such as Brightroll, Climate Corp, Cruise, Dropcam, Twitch, Meraki, and Ring have been acquired by industry leaders such as Google, Amazon, Cisco, Apple, Microsoft, General Motors, AT&T, Disney, Yahoo, and eBay. His recent focus areas include consumerization of enterprise, next gen financial services, AI, machine learning, mental health, and longevity.


What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

You must provide your own transportation, but if you are driving in, there is a lot across the street from the building located on S Delaware Street and E 31st Ave. The entrance is on S Delaware Street and will have signage and balloons. There is also limited free parking directly in front of the building.

CalTrains - Hillsdale Station: The Guideline office is conveniently located next to the CalTrains - Hillsdale station. It is a 2 minute walk to Guideline HQ.

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Guideline Headquarters

3050 S Delaware Street #202

San Mateo, California 94403

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