Author Archives: Nicole Junkermann

FinTech Alliance: The Investment Landscape Post-Covid

Following the pandemic, digitisation has accelerated rapidly, and industries have seen changes in just a few months that might otherwise have taken years. The FinTech sector is no different, and the FinTech Alliance held an insightful panel this month on ‘The Investment Landscape Post-Covid’. The panel discussed the areas of focus within FinTech, including the trends they expect over the coming year.

Chaired by FinTech Alliance’s Olivia Minnock, the panel consisted of: Sanchit Dhote, Outward VC; Sia Houchangnia, Seedcamp; James Dickerson, Motive Partners and Michael Sim, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures. As an investor in several successful FinTech businesses, their insights for founders looking for early-stage investment were invaluable.  

I am an investor in the one-click payments infrastructure Bolt – the digitisation of payments has grown massively following the pandemic. Fintech will continue to develop, and the panel discussed that they were looking to invest in more complex trade finance business to business products. Crypto was also an area highlighted by the panel as an area ripe for innovation and investment. I have particular interest in this sector, as I am an investor in Blockchain.com, the world’s most popular way to buy, hold, and use Crypto. Blockchain.com is an exciting organisation, and has the potential to extend beyond cryptocurrency, offering the opportunity to store non-financial data in the future.  

As an investor myself, I would like to echo the closing advice given by the panel to FinTech founders. In the age of video meetings, the human element remains important and I encourage founders to work to build connections over video calls. Adaptable founders are important for investors, when approaching challenges from COVID-19 and beyond. It is a period of dynamic change for the FinTech and I am looking forward to seeing the new innovations and developments within the industry.

The Economics of Cultured Meats

Jim Mellon, experienced food-tech investor and entrepreneur, has made the prediction that cultured meat will eventually be more affordable than both factory farmed and plant-based meats. This could become a reality within the next five years, according to Mellon. As an investor in the food-tech industry myself, a statement like this is incredibly interesting. Cultured… Continue Reading

The Covid-19 Pandemic, Consumer Habits, and Plant-Based Meats

I recently attended a fascinating talk from Fiona Lavelle (Queen’s University Belfast) titled “From the pandemic to the pan: A cross-continental overview of changes in consumers cooking and food practices during COVID-19”. She spoke about her research which gives a cross continental overview of changes in consumers cooking and food practices during covid-19. Pre pandemic… Continue Reading

Women Entrepreneurs in AgriTech

There’s no question that technology is revolutionising farming. Agriculture is now infinitely smarter thanks to the many ‘Agripreneurs’ whose companies offer sensors, robotics, 3D printing, cloud-based computing, and artificial intelligence. Drones and connected machines are more affordable, giving rise to smart devices for farming suppliers and service providers, allowing the exchange of vast amounts of… Continue Reading

Catalysing Finance for Young Food Entrepreneurs: Independent Dialogue

As part of the United Nations Food Summit 2021, Bettina Marta Prato, Senior Coordinator of SAFIN, chaired a discussion on how to catalyse finance for young food entrepreneurs.  SAFIN, the Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network, is comprised of 48 institutions across agricultural finance, who share a commitment to accelerating access to finance for… Continue Reading

Innovation and Global Food Systems — UN Food Systems Summit

I recently attended the UN Food Systems Summit ‘Lever of Change Innovation Public Forum’. The forum asked key experts how innovation could be strengthened to improve global food systems, both in the face of the growing climate crisis and in the response to the fragilities of our food systems as emphasised by the Covid-19 pandemic.… Continue Reading

Nicole Junkermann and Real Madrid: the Future of Broadcasting Services in Sport

The rise of technology has transformed the way we are consuming all forms of media, and the sports industry is no exception. A report from Drake Star Partners forecast that the global sports technology sector will reach $31.1billion by 2024. However, in these unprecedented times, the restrictive lockdown measures in place across the world have… Continue Reading

The Halo Effect in Food Selection

I recently attended the Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) Conference 2020, which included several thought-provoking and varied presentations.   Heidi Zamzow from the London school of economics and political science gave an incredibly engaging presentation on a psychological effect known as the ‘halo’ effect. She opened her talk with “do you think David Attenborough pays his taxes on… Continue Reading

LEAP Conference 2020: Is lab-grown meat the future?

At the recent Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) Conference with the University of Oxford, I was very interested to hear about the benefits of lab-grown or cultured meat in a talk by Professor Burkhard Schafer. I also found Professor Schafer’s discussion of some of the issues in bringing cultured meat products to the market highly illuminating.  Lab-grown meat can… Continue Reading