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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hastings

Startup to Scaleup: From Founding Teams to International Scaling in Fintech, with Martin Threakall

Starting and scaling your tech business in the current market environment can be complicated, but having the right leaders to advise and guide you can make scaling up less challenging. In this episode, I am delighted to be joined by Martin Threakall, an experienced CEO, COO, investor, board advisor, and founder. I have had the pleasure of working with Martin several times, and I am excited to share his insights regarding scaling tech businesses and startups.

You will hear critical scaling topics such as:

  • When is the right time to hire a COO?

  • When is the right time to expand overseas?

  • How to build trust in a fast-scaling environment?

  • Top tips for founders when scaling their business.

Episode Outline and Highlights

[01:41] Martin's career and background.

[05:52] When should you get a COO?

[11:33] Actions that Martin took when scaling businesses.

[14:00] How to give meaningful feedback to your team.

[18:15] What advice would Martin give to founders who wish to scale their companies quickly?

[24:06] Exploring the international markets - Martin reveals his key learnings.

[29:29] At what point in a company's journey should you build a talent acquisition function?

[34:40] What are the common failures or challenge points for scaling companies that Martin has observed?

[38:00] How to build trust in a fast-scaling environment.

[44:30] Addressing the growing burn-out issue within the tech sector.

[47:30] Working as an advisor on board discussions – What works in the boardroom?

[55:50] Fintech growth opportunities in the upcoming years.

[58:30] What would be the most impactful piece of advice that Martin received?

What Founders Need to Know to Quickly Scale Their Business

Being a member of a founding team, a board advisor, and an angel investor in multiple businesses, Martin is in a great position to provide insights on how founders and business owners can scale their businesses successfully. Talking us through what he believes is critical, he emphasized the importance of talking to people and getting. Martin also mentioned the value of understanding your business's financial framing and business plan. Lastly, he also laid out the value of just giving it a go - never let small things hold you back. As an entrepreneur, your mindset is that you can overcome anything and you 'can run through walls' - give it a go; the worst thing that can happen is that you learn.

Exploring and Growing in the International Market

Another challenge for business owners when scaling is exploring markets outside their local territories. Martin has also experienced this and has several tips to consider if you plan to scale globally.

  • Think very carefully about the country that you select to expand into.

  • Be clear on what you want and need to achieve.

  • Consider the values of your current team going out to the new market regarding relationship building.

  • Recognize that different locations can have different cultures and expectations.

Martin elaborated on these factors and how he dealt with and adapted to make the most of their expansion, which can be an essential learning reference for many business leaders.

The Value of Building Trust and Providing Timely Feedback

Martin and I also tackled the value of building trust in a fast-growth environment. For him, it is really straightforward: taking the human approach. We are all people, and starting from a place where we want to do our best and approach other people as fellow human beings. Relationship building is putting the groundwork, genuinely caring, and getting to know them instead of going straight to business.

We also talked about why feedback is genuinely essential when rapidly growing your business. We both acknowledged the value of coaching and self-awareness. Martin shared how he also coaches and gives feedback to his team, which is critical in trust and relationship building.

About Martin Threakall

Martin is a delivery-focused executive leader with extensive experience in startup and scaleup businesses, including starting and growing a business from scratch as a co-founder.

His particular experience and expertise are within Financial Services and Technology, specifically in the Payments and Open Banking domain. He is also an Angel investor in multiple businesses, with a particular interest in sports/health business and those with an environmental or social focus. Outside of work, Martin enjoys spending time with family and is a keen distance runner.

● Martin on LinkedIn

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Connect with Rebecca

Rebecca is the Founder and Director of The Lucent Group. She has extensive talent acquisition and executive search experience supporting digital and technology businesses through complex changes and fast-paced scaleup periods. She works with businesses advising on C-level, technical and commercial appointments, workforce planning, strategic talent management, recruitment processes, and associated technology and employer brand development. She has led and built successful teams, led numerous C-level, VP, Director, and Head-of searches, and designed and implemented outsourced recruitment solutions. In 2019 she helped a FinTech client secure a place in LinkedIn's Top 25 Startups in the UK. Rebecca is a member of the REC (MREC), a qualified career coach, Certified Interviewer (CI), and has professional qualifications in FinTech, HR, Leadership, Digital Marketing, Diversity, Unconscious Bias, and Talent Management.

● Rebecca on LinkedIn

● The Lucent Group Ltd website -

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