What you need to do to make it work and accelerate your business growth.

Reality check: A start-up of any type can be daunting, challenging, exciting, and fulfilling. You will face no shortage of hurdles but breaking into Fintech can be especially hard. Here are some of the things I learnt and wish someone told me:

Use APIs

While identifying the best API for the job may take some time, it can save months, if not years, in development time. As an entrepreneur, there’s an appeal about building something incredible from the ground up, but there’s no point in reinventing the wheel. My advice: Make sure you can handle what’s on your plate already before trying to do too much, too soon.

Get to know co-Fintech-ers

The finance sector in South Africa is complex and loaded with African nuances. Before you improve your Fintech design, understand the lay of the land. Despite its recent growth, Fintech remains a small, tight-knit community with a handful of big players. So get to know your peers, and look to gain advice from those who have been around a while, they can help you find leads and make valuable introductions.

Stay flexible

Don’t be afraid of moving in a different direction, particularly if a unique opportunity presents itself and if your initial idea doesn’t take off. Your goal as a startup Fintech firm is to find the right solution at the right time, so stay nimble and innovative, and you will be rewarded.

Find an anchor

Whether you’re building an app or creating a policy management tool, finding an anchor client is invaluable when determining market fit. The finance world is known to lack innovation, and tech is proving to be a competitive edge for many firms. So find that one client who welcomes the chance to test, provide feedback, and ultimately use your new Fintech tool. Try LinkedIn for warm introductions and get involved in local meetups which attract early adopters and tech-savvy professionals.

Financial services is a well-established industry, so it’s helpful to know the key players and access their gatekeepers. This is what makes Fintech accelerators valuable – they pair emerging entrepreneurs with mentors, support and resources to grow, network and learn.