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Terrie Smith and Colin Tanner have achieved what many small companies only dream of – DigiSEq has been selected from 700+ applicants to receive one of the coveted few spots on the prestigious Barclays Techstars Accelerator programme. Terrie, DigiSEq’s CEO, has offered to be a window into the heart of the Accelerator, sharing the highs and lows of her accelerator journey over the next 14 weeks.
DigiSEq was launched in June 2014 and has been an Payments Association Rising Star since June 2015. The Payments Association Rising Stars are a select few Payments Association member companies, who can access extra services such as specialist mentoring, increased publicity, office and event space, help with pitching and fundraising and introductions to relevant investors.
DigiSEq provides technology which can give any wearable or portable device a payments solution. The technology can integrate payments into everyday products – anything from festival bands to car keys, fitness products to jewellery, offering consumers more choice in what wearable they use according to mood, fashion and practicality.
DigiSEq may be a new company but there is expertise behind it. Terrie and Colin were behind solutions like Apple Pay and programming for major payments corporations like MasterCard. Their expertise in all things wearable combined with knowing how to talk to the big players has proved invaluable in their journey onto the Accelerator, as the application doesn’t just sit on paper.
The easiest part was the initial online submission. This was followed by further rounds, as other applicants fell to the wayside. Barclays Techstars Accelerator required two videos – one about the product, the other about the team. And finally, after approval of their product idea, Terrie went in front of the senior management of Barclays and was faced with what she describes as ‘a barrage of questions’. The biggest question for Terrie was, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’
The Barclays Techstars Accelerator is so highly regarded that it would be stupid to pass up on. But Terrie almost considered turning it down. The benefits are obvious, but there is always a downside. The programme is 14 weeks of dedication; building the company profile and its image, as well as delivering a Proof of Concept and taking the business further – faster. This time commitment is huge, especially for a young company and there is a danger of putting all your eggs in one basket.
Barclays Accelerator could see that DigiSEq fitted well with the programme and introduced Terrie to some of the alumni to help convince her. Terrie was won over and feels confident that this journey will help her develop the business as well as the product but also change perceptions around wearable technology.
Look out for Terrie’s report from week 1 on the Barclays Techstars Accelerator.