A start-up bank in Bali?

I still can’t quite believe how I ended up this idea. Read on if you are game!

Today I woke at 4am to jump on my scooter and head to the airport for a day trip to Singapore on Air Asia Flight QZ 502. After the 50 minute drive and paying 10p to park my scooter (all day) which, added to the 25p I spent on petrol, meant a £14.65 saving on a taxi fare, the flight took off.

I closed my eyes and dreamed up an idea called Startup Club with various off-shoots called Startup Stories and Startup Talent Exchange. This was inspired from a Skype message from London entrepreneur Dan Abrahams but, that story will have to wait for another day.

In the meantime (between landing in Singapore and this post) I had lunch with Rob Findlay of Next Bank. I’d told him yesterday that I wanted to show him a concept for community banking in Asia. We got down to a tasty seafood soup at Marina Bay Financial (or Canary Wharf Asia – whichever you prefer).

Soon though, ‘banking’, as a subject, took over and when combined with the fact Markus Gnirck was about to join us on Startupbootcamp FinTech’s second day in Asia, my day was about to be disrupted (sorry to use the D word Dan).

The outcome of it all is not quite what I had been looking for at present for my Tribewanted Bali project. But, there are no surprises here as I’ve learned that when trying stuff it’s not possible to avoid things that emerge, because it’s instinct rather than logic that creates attraction.

Rob read my hard/paper copy (yes, they still exist) of the community bank idea and he seemed to like it before the chat soon turned to the question of “What if we were to start all over again?”, ‘from scratch’, ‘blank canvas’, ‘clean slate’.

Simply put the idea is to start a bank at at Hubud (Bali) with the aim of getting selected for Startupbootcamp FinTech’s inaugural South East Asia programme in Singapore in May.

There will be a load of work to do but me and Rob are pretty pumped about giving it a go. With Next Bank’s support (cheers Rob), I can really see this happening if we can get a team of dreamers together.

So, the rough plan is this …

I will lead a group that are keen to start a new bank and we’ll be based in Bali. If you have to be convinced of the benefits of building a business in Bali, this one is probably not for you.

For those like Chris Pilsworth (a good lad I worked with at Investec in London) that are keen, I reckon we could knock out the first effort in a week or two and you could tag a holiday on at either end.

Numbers for this are unlimited and virtual attendees are welcome too (in the office that is – rice-field walks for thinking/imagining possibilities may be a bit harder!)

Timing wise, I am thinking February after the Unconference (which you are also welcome to attend!).

We’ll need a mix of people of different backgrounds as as long as you like the idea, that’s good enough for me.

To sign up: either follow this blog or twit me on @insanemclean

Cheers, Andy

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