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TEAM PROFILES

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Steve Lemon

Entrepreneur in Residence (FinTech)

 

  • When I had my first job as a trainee financial advisor at a building society, I snuck a look at my area manager's payslip to get a sense of where ambition and hard work could take me. One look told me that the life of a salary man wasn't for me. Six weeks later I'd taken a job at a city brokerage and I was hooked on working in a fast-paced environment. It was there I met the team I would go on to join my first startup as the sixth employee.
  • I've always been intrigued by the startup or very early stage environment. There’s a unique atmosphere, energy and excitement that stems from the potential to create something special. My first experience was at HIFX, where I ran the retail business with five global operations reporting to me. Ultimately, the business was sold to Euronet for £150m (five years too early for the great FinTech pricing boom). Then, after a brief stint running a headhunting business, I co-founded Currencycloud. This was before fintech was ‘FinTech’: we called it ‘new finance’.
  • VCs need Entrepreneurs in Residence to truly understand the founders they invest in. Every journey is unique, exciting, terrifying, exhilarating and lonely: One minute the silence can be deafening, the next a crowded room fights for your attention. CEOs often feel they have no one to turn to for help or advice. The early days of Currencycloud were like this until I found the support network that came with our investor community. Help, guidance, coaching, mentoring and a support network made a huge difference in accelerating new initiatives and avoiding pitfalls. Having someone who's 'been there, done that' or can connect you to someone with more specific experience is essential.
  • I’m excited to work with Volution, not least because it’s a myth that the first funding round is the hardest. You might run out of runway after Series A, before you prove the model or get product-market fit, which you need for cautious Series B investors. Volution does something unique by supporting companies in that tricky gap, when they need it the most.