My partner started fintech ventures after being a major shareholder/board member in a community bank and realizing the need to invest in technologies that could help serve gaps that incumbent financial institutions may not be able to serve, due to regulations, cost-structure, etc.
Passion and experience for problem being solved and origin story for founding company. Also, research done on competitors' and incumbents' products. Very relevant for fintech and insurtech which are highly regulated industries
We track our interactions with founders and try to speak/interact with them at least once a week.
Have strong assessment of competition (both incumbents and upstarts). Even at pre-revenue/seed-stage , be able to articulate what you think your unit economics of your product will be and why.
I like to be proven wrong, like to listen to other perspectives, have my assumptions/opinions tested by others. I like founders that have conviction in what they are doing, but are open to examining other ways of solving problems than they are currently doing and listen. After all, many successful companies were created from business model pivots.
It is arguably world capital of both financial services and insurance industries. As a result, we see many founders that leave larger organizations to start their own companies to address certain painpoints they experienced while working at incumbents.