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Finance, Startups, and Driving Innovation with Dr. Estelle Brack

Dr. Estelle Brack, dGen Fellow in France, lends her insight on finance, startups, and what she is looking forward to.

Akash

Sinha

September 3, 2020

Dr. Brack's expertise will be featured in our coming report, "CBDCs: Global Ramifications of a Major Digital Currency", set to publish the second week of September.

Dr. Estelle Brack, Founder & Chairman of  KiraliT, is at the forefront of digitisation in the financial sector. She recently joined dGen as the Fellow of France. In this capacity, she will serve as an expert advisor on our research, and help us develop the most interesting areas of research.

We reached out to get a few more insights into what she’s working on, the areas she is most focused on, and what she is looking forward to in finance and the startup ecosystems here in Europe.

Hello, Estelle, thanks for taking this time for us. You have a very impressive CV behind you. Could you briefly walk through your experience for us?

Hello! I am an economist and a banker, passionate about financial inclusion, innovation, and education, working in the field for 20 years. I am trying to connect people to develop new solutions responding to concrete needs all around the world.

I first intended to be a professor at university, but life drove me to the banking sector instead - dealing with projects in payments and international relations. Last year, I decided to drive my own business, to better choose the projects and people I work with, and to embrace the whole world.

What is your main focus right now? What are you currently interested in?

'Digital currencies are an emerging topic I am passionate about, as it mixes fundamentals of money theory, technology, and usage issues'.

I am enthusiastic about having the chance to witness the beginning of this.


That’s definitely a hot topic, and one that we’ve been thinking about, too, with our second CBDC report set to launch next week. But, we know that you’ve recently started a new company that focuses a bit on this, KiraliT. Could you tell us about KiraliT?

KiraliT helps companies have a broader view of the ecosystem they are working in and build accurate business development perspectives for scaling up. We are an advisory firm, providing consulting strategy, economic research, and training for banking and financial services.

KiraliT brings together global views on highly innovative projects, like digital currencies, with a strong emphasis on deeply ethical projects for greater financial inclusion and education.  

That’s great, and something that needs a heavy focus as currencies rapidly evolve. How would you describe the European tech ecosystem? What are the strengths, and what areas do you think need some work?

Europe is passionate about tech, and  there are so many initiatives to support and promote startups! I remember my first study twenty years ago (for the Japanese MITI) about venture capital in Europe, there was nothing! The landscape is totally different now.

Weakness could emerge from a rationalization someday: many investments in many startups, not all will succeed and be profitable….


Going forward, what achievements are you hoping to see in the European tech ecosystem?

I wish the ecosystem will continue to grow and be a great place for startups and entrepreneurs to develop their ideas. Funding remains key, as well as good ideas to be transformed into successful startups. 

Investors, regulators and supervisors also remain key for promoting this ecosystem, and in particular to build European competitors to US and Chinese GAFAM/BATX/NATU - the tech giants, all based in the US or China. In particular, I see especially Cloud infrastructure and data protection to remain key for sovereignty in Europe.

'We should be able to give young European experts the opportunities to stay in Europe, instead of going to the US and promoting the Google model for example'.


We’re thrilled to have more of your insights and guidance in our research, but what drew you to dGen? What do you expect from our Fellowship Programme?

I discovered dGen through your studies and reports and really appreciated their academic quality - smart. I am looking to be challenged and useful as a contributor. To learn and give back.

 

The world has definitely changed - thanks to the web and since the last financial crisis - from a vertical structure to a decentralized horizontal one.

'I expect dGen to challenge my ideas and brainstorm with people from other horizons, but who are passionate like me!'

 

Thank you so much, Estelle! We are thrilled to have your expertise and to work with you going forward. Like you said, our goal is to bring together different backgrounds to drive forward the best possible solutions! We look forward to working with you more.

Akash has a background in digital marketing and works on UX and UI design. His passion is technological development, and he is currently exploring where emerging technologies will take society.