Cisco Start-up Hub talks to… Mutaz Qubbaj, CEO and Co-Founder of Squirrel
You told us that you wanted to hear more from successful tech start-ups and with the launch of the Cisco Start-up Hub we’re addressing that need. As part of this, we’ve been talking to a group of entrepreneurs about their every-day challenges and top tips for success.
In the first of this series of interviews, we catch up with Mutaz Qubbaj, co-founder of Squirrel.
In 2013 Mutaz quit a 13-year career in investment banking to become a start-up CEO. He got together with his co-founder, Emanuel Andjelic, to create Squirrel, a company with a mission to provide people with more control over their finances and empower them to achieve their financial goals through managing their money directly from their pay.
In his own words, Mutaz says, “We came up with the idea for Squirrel in direct response to what was happening in the payday loan market. But when we spoke to consumers we realised they weren’t looking for an alternative to credit – they were looking for a way to take control of their financial lives. That’s what Squirrel’s all about: bringing comfort to people’s finances in a very compelling way.”
Here, Mutaz gives his top pieces of advice and views on the start-up scene.
One of Mutaz’ top tips is to do your market research properly. “Go to your users,” he says. “They have all the answers. You’re going to have to build a product around them; just ask them what they’re looking for, and remember that an assumption is worthless unless it’s tested.”
Let us know what you think. What are your top tips for starting out and making an impact?
You can find out more about Squirrel on the company’s website – squirrel.me – and follow the team on Twitter at @asksquirrel. Mutaz will also be a regular contributor to the Start-up Hub, so look out for future contributions from him and his team.