“...it’s really exciting to help build a firm that invests in, and proactively supports, the next generation of successful fintech founders.”
“When I was a kid, I wanted to be a paleontologist, specifically focused on dinosaurs…“Jurassic Park” made a big impression on me.
And now I work on new things, rather than old things…but in financial services, a lot of new things have to “play nice” with old things, like the complexity of the payments industry. The combination of legacy systems and entrenched behavior has created a web of ways for people to pay for basic goods and services. It will be interesting to see how payments evolve—or are completely reconstructed—over time.
What’s surprising about the industry is how many founders in the fintech space don’t actually come from the world of financial services. There’s a lot that they need to get up to speed on very quickly in order to succeed or in some cases, to even start building a good product. We’ve built a program to help make that happen.
To help our team and program accomplish its goals, I’ve tried to be a “Jack of all trades.” At FVS, I spend my time across a broad range of activities, everything from fundraising to program coordination, due diligence, and pre-screens. It’s pretty amazing to see so many different aspects of our firm from where I sit. Our startup application process is really fascinating—I have learned a lot about fintech by looking at so many companies.
Interestingly, our team is decentralized and highly specialized. We benefit from a high level of trust and respect for each other. It’s not at all like more traditional financial roles. However, it’s really exciting to help build a firm that invests in, and proactively supports, the next generation of successful fintech founders.”
—Theo Katsoulis is an Associate at Financial Venture Studio. Prior to joining the Studio, Theo spent three years as an Investment Associate at the Gordon E. and Betty I. Moore Foundation, where he underwrote investments in funds across Private Equity and Venture Capital. He began his career at JP Morgan Asset Management, where he worked as a CFO Analyst to support the Institutional sales channels across Defined Contribution, Endowments & Foundations, and Global Insurance. Theo earned his undergraduate degree from Villanova University, where he studied Finance and Psychology. He is also a CFA charterholder. Outside of work, Theo enjoys playing bass guitar, eating Greek food, and following professional basketball.