Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

The start-up I should have started

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

I often feel bad for not having started a FinTech start-up myself. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it or had the ideas, it’s more to do with that I like to talk and write rather than do anything. Those who can’t, teach!

Nevertheless, it’s not like I haven’t started businesses – the Financial Services Club and Nordic Future Innovation being case in point – or been involved in start-ups – I was there at the start of Moven, Meniga and 11FS – but it’s more to do with the challenges of getting a start-up started. Those who have done it know what I mean. The constant funding rounds and seeking support, whilst trying to hire and grow talent whilst, throughout it all, developing your idea.

In other words, I'm just too lazy to deal with the challenges of starting a start-up. But then ask yourself: why haven't you started one? Most people don't start a start-up because it is not the easiest choice. Not all start-ups succeed. For every unicorn we talk about today, there are a few hundred dead mules behind it. 9 out of 10 start-ups fail and, in failing, probably take the life savings of the founder(s) with them. You only have to watch Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank to see what I mean.

Why am I talking about this today?

Well, there’s a new company with backing from Jay-Z that I spotted. The Jay-Z link was the bit that caught my attention but, when I looked deeper, it’s a start-up that has just closed a seed investment round of $2.5 million to build a company focused upon creating a fast track to credit scoring for teenagers.

Perch Credit CEO Michael Broughton and CTO Ayush Jain co-founded the company to help young adults quickly build good credit scores by tapping into non-traditional data points. Recurring payments like rent and Spotify, Netflix and Hulu subscriptions common among young adults are used as credit history to improve user scores.


September 2009.

Twelve years ago.

Here’s my SIBOS Innotribe losing pitch for a new start-up business:

People don't trust each other. Banks don't like risk. Could banks use crowds to analyse risks through social media and networks? If they could, then could the bank community create a 'trust score' that adds multi-dimensional analysis of corporates and individuals by aggregating all the financial and social data out there into something that makes sense?

Ah well, it was an idea.

But then, lots of people have good ideas. An idea that is not implemented is just that, an idea. It’s about as useful as shaving foam for a Wookie.

So, I never did start up my start-up. I’m not complaining however, as I’m involved with many start-ups around the world and admire their founders’ spirit, vision, ability and enthusiasm. Their dedication to making it happen is beyond reproach and, for all the critique we make of the Robinhood’s or Monzo’s of this world, the bottom-line is that any start-up that breaks through and become a thing should be applauded. Well, apart from Facebook that is …

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

Fintech expert Chris Skinner: countries need digital transformation to remain competitive

Digital Transformation Programme

Learn directly from from one of the most influential people in technology, gain insights from the world's most innovative companies, and build a global network.

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on FinTech 2022

Chris Skinner
Commentator, CEO of The Finanser and best-selling author at The Finanser

Thinkers360 Thought Leader

Contact Me

Best Financial Services Blogger

Chris’s latest book

Chris Skinner’s ‘Digital For Good’ Book Launch Event – CFTE

Global Awards

Chris Skinner - Financial Markets Advisor of the Year - The Finanser - UK 2023

Best CEO of the Year UK 2022

Best Digital Finance Provider of the Year UK 2022

Best Financial Markets Adviser of the Year UK 2022

Portal to the Knowledge Base of the Financial Services Club UK 2022

Financial Markets Advisor of the Year UK 2022

Corporate America Today Annual Awards

Best Financial Markets Adviser of the Year UK 2022

Portal to the Knowledge Base of the Financial Services Club UK 2022

Financial Markets Advisor of the Year UK 2022

Nominee of MAD33 2021

Kids creating the future bank | TEDxAthens

Join me on Linkedin

Follow Me on Twitter!

UK’s most influential person in technology

Captain Cake and the Candy Crew

Captain Cake Winner of a Golden Mom’s Choice Award


TheNextWeb – #tnw

Learn more about Chris

About Chris Skinner

Presentation at ZBP, September 2020, Warsaw, Poland

Alex at the Financial Services

Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser

What is the future?

Learn more