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Optimizing Team Dynamics in AI and Fintech: Communication Challenges and Celebrating Achievements

In this episode of The Lucent Perspective, Rachel Curtis, the CEO of Inicio, shares her insights on AI, FinTech startups, and the challenges of leading a fast-growing business and raising investment. She discusses her journey from the corporate world to entrepreneurship and how it was a more accidental path for her. 


Episode Highlights: 

[00:02:01] Conversational AI in banking. 

[00:04:21] Corporate expertise in fintech. 

[00:07:35] Mental health and financial struggles. 

[00:12:31] Raising investment as a female founder. 

[00:15:08] The value of accelerators. 

[00:19:08] Scaling with strategic partnerships. 

[00:22:41] Building a strong board. 

[00:26:48] Ethical considerations in development. 

[00:30:04] AI in fintech safety. 

[00:34:08] AI transforming financial services. 

[00:37:20] The psychology behind AI. 


Revolutionizing Financial Assistance 

Rachel, during her work in affordability processes, identified a significant barrier where people in debt fear judgment, hindering them from seeking assistance. To address this, Inicio developed Budgie, a conversational AI-powered virtual agent that guides users through affordability assessments without judgment. By leveraging data from credit agencies and open banking, Budgie streamlines the process, resulting in a 30-35% increase in customer engagement. 

Budgie's impact is twofold: it offers customers a non-judgmental experience, easing fears and improving approachability, while organizations benefit from enhanced efficiency and ethical collection practices. Rachel emphasizes the importance of aligning purpose with commercial success in leadership. Her journey from traditional banking to fintech underscores how passion and industry expertise can drive success, emphasizing the potential for individuals to make a lasting impact in any field when driven by passion and expertise. 



About Rachel Curtis 

Rachel Curtis is an experienced financial services leader with over 20 years in banking. She was a founding executive at Cambridge & Counties Bank, leading marketing, savings, customers and operations. Achieved 98% customer satisfaction within 13 months of launch. Currently CEO of Inicio AI and Non-Executive Director at Loughborough Building Society, chairing Remuneration Committee. 


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