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How the ICBA ThinkTECH changed the trajectory of our business

By Zach Duke

March 2, 2023

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I am the classic visionary entrepreneur, clearly seeing the future of what can be, focusing on it, and creating a vision to implement. Since I am so focused on the future, transparently, I must be intentional about taking time to look back and reflect. One way I do that is by deliberately reviewing what we have accomplished and the impactful items that helped along the way. When Scott McIlrath and I started this journey in 2018, we knew we had a massive opportunity to help the banking community streamline and simplify the complicated and labor-intensive processes of overseeing and providing governance to information security and cybersecurity. We knew the challenges, I had been working with community banks on cybersecurity and IT management for over 20 years, and Scott was at a 300 MIL community bank that grew crazy fast to 1.8 BIL.

As a startup, we started by jumping in and helping a handful of customers manage their information security and cybersecurity; as we jumped in, we started working on a platform that would automate manual tasks and simplify overly complex processes, like performing user access reviews on banking applications.

One of the most pivotal moments in our journey was when we joined the ICBA ThinkTECH in 2021.   With our experience in banking, one of the challenges that both Scott and I have is our bias. We knew the challenges, but it was limited.When we joined the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator in 2021, it allowed our team to get confirmation of the challenges in mass and depth combined. We had over 125 bank meetings, that is, bank, not banker, in 90 days. Each of these meetings had leaders in community banking dedicate ~30 min to spend with our team. As I look back, each of these meetings was invaluable to where we are today; they helped us validate the challenges in community banking, prioritize our roadmap, and enhance the communication of our value.

To be successful, you must clearly understand the customer’s problems and challenges, have a solution (that addresses those challenges and problems) and be able to communicate how you help succinctly.There is nowhere else in the industry where you can have the frequency and quality of meetings in a condensed format like ICBA ThinkTECH.

If you want to learn more about ICBA ThinkTECH programming while at ICBA LIVE, check out the session where I will be on the panel as we discuss what makes a successful partnership during the “Popping the Hood on Fintech Partnerships” with my other ThinkTECH peers Nathan Baumeister from Zsuite, and Nicky Senyard from Fintel Connect, and led by the ICBA’s Charles Potts.

Lastly, if you were part of the ICBA ThinkTECH program, please stop by our booth at #935 on Main Street. I would love to give you a Thank You in person and catch you up on all the significant innovations we have made at Finosec to simplify information security and cybersecurity governance.

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