The Jumpstarters transforming the world of Fintech

7 Minute Read

We catch up with the Jumpstart Alums working together to grow Verto, a fintech startup on a mission to simplify cross-border payments.

We always love it when a startup sees something special in our candidates and makes a hire. But, we love it even MORE when they return to the Jumpstart programme again and again, building out a community of Jumpstart Alums within their startup team. 

That’s certainly the case for Verto, who has welcomed not one, but seven Jumpstart alums to their team over the past couple of years! And we decided to catch up with a few Jumpstarters currently working there to hear how it’s all been going. 

Verto is a fintech (finance-tech) startup, on a mission to simplify cross-border B2B payments in emerging markets, especially in Africa. Their ideal candidates are people who are driven, ambitious, and are comfortable with ambiguity and challenging the status quo.

Thanks for catching up with us Arthur, Joshua, Cyrus and Nina! Could you start by telling us a little about your background before Jumpstart, and what you’re up to now?

Arthur Hodgkinson: “Before Jumpstart, I was studying Political Economy at university. I joined Jumpstart’s 12th Generalist cohort, and since October 2022 I’ve been working in Customer Success at Verto”

Arthur also started his own sneaker crease preventer e-commerce business aged 19, a great example of the type of proactivity we look for in a Jumpstart candidate! And Arthur isn’t the only entrepreneur on the Verto team – Joshua Berkeley-Agyepong also founded a financial modelling business while still at university.

Joshua Berkeley-Agyepong: “I joined Jumpstart back in May 2022 – it piqued my interest during my LinkedIn job search. I’m now Founder’s Associate at Verto, working in the Growth side of the business”

Cyrus Akhtar: “Before Jumpstart, I studied Business with Finance at university, and had a bit of experience in the property sector. Jumpstart introduced me to Verto in July 2022, and I was really interested in the way they made cross border payments smoother, especially for businesses with complex needs and flows of funds.”

Nina Mirtaheri: “I worked in a Growth role at another startup before Jumpstart, and in the data team at a large online retailer. I joined Verto a year ago (May 2022) as a Founders Associate and I’m now Strategy Operations Manager. Jumpstart helped me find a new job without trawling through LinkedIn, and I couldn’t recommend it more!”

Nina is one of our more experienced candidates to go through the programme – and is actually now a career mentor to some members of the Jumpstart community!

At Jumpstart, we aim to accelerate careers by helping you find your perfect startup match, and beyond. Our mentorship programme is one of the ways we support our Alums professional development, matching them with more experienced people working in the startup sector. 

Great! Some of you went through the Jumpstart programme a little while ago now, but we were wondering, are there any memories that stick out? 

Arthur: The highlight for me was definitely seeing so many startups pitch their roles in such a short period of time.It was a great opportunity to get a deep insight into the startup scene; seeing the industry trends, what’s getting funding, and how company cultures can differ.”

Joshua: “It was such a great opportunity to get thrown into the startup world, gaining insights from different industries and learning about what it takes to be successful within a startup.”

Cyrus: “Listening to all of the different founders present, it brought a lot of clarity in terms of the sorts of companies and roles I was interested in. My advice for any Jumpstarters would be to not hold anything back when asking questions (but be polite of course) – you really get out what you put in. And make sure you attend all of the spotlights, as you may be surprised by which startups you end up wanting to go for.

Another highlight for me would be the community socials – the cohort drinks on the first week of the programme were fantastic, and I loved meeting all of the other Jumpstarters.”

We run community socials throughout the year to help Jumpstart Alums meet other people working in startups, above is a picture from our 2022 summer party 🎉

Nina: Jumpstart opened my eyes to industries and companies that I wasn’t initially considering as my next step. Each startup on the programme was inspiring and had a strong growth trajectory, meaning I didn’t struggle to find somewhere that matched my values and the type of business I saw myself in. 

Being able to hear first-hand from people in the business about their company’s mission and culture gave me a better understanding of how each business operated and who I’d be working with, all before even interviewing.”

And how have you found working at Verto? What’s the culture like?

AH: I’d say the culture is relaxed, but hardworking and dedicated! You’re able to be yourself, and not be afraid to be honest. Everyone is always working very hard, which is infectious!

CA: It’s a really positive place to be, I go into the office more often than not as it’s just a great vibe working and interacting with the other ‘vertonians’.

NM: “Verto definitely values curiosity, and is incredibly open. It welcomes everyone to question how we operate, to deepen our personal understandings as well as change how the business works.”

Sounds like a great place to work! Any highlights of your time at the company, or particularly exciting projects you’ve worked on?

AH: My favourite project has probably been interviewing users and doing user testing to find out customers’ pain points, and condensing this into improvement points for the product team. I really like being able to get perspectives on our customers’ problems first-hand and see how we can solve them in real-time, plus getting exposure to all aspects of the cross-border payments industry.”

JBA: “Coming into this role, I was looking for something where I could make an impact straight away. Verto has aligned with this perfectly – I have worked and had an impact on many projects through enabling data-driven decision making and analysis, allowing us to put our best foot forward for company-wide goals.”

CA: “One of the best things about working here is definitely the creative freedom. I’m able to try out a lot of ideas and solve problems myself, and get taken seriously”

NM: “I love the autonomy and impact you can have – it’s pretty standard here to be able to independently notice an opportunity, capitalise on it, and see the real business impact of the change. These are the sort of projects I really enjoy getting involved in”

Amazing! And looking back on your startup journey, do you have any reflections on the sector as a whole? 

AH: I can see why people say startups aren’t for everyone (you have to work hard, and have a lot of responsibility). But based on my experience at Verto, they’re definitely for me!”

CA: Based on the exposure and freedom I’ve had in this role, I’d say I’m a lot more interested in startups and early stage companies since working at Verto.”

NM: “Coming from previously working in a more corporate environment, the impact I’m having has been the biggest change. It’s definitely something that isn’t always possible in larger businesses where there’s often a lot of bureaucracy!”

Thanks so much for your insights! It’s been super interesting hearing more about your experiences at Verto, and in the startup ecosystem as a whole.

Why join a company, when you can join a mission? Joining a role through Jumpstart means you have the opportunity to have real responsibility and impact from the get-go. 

If you’re keen to accelerate your career in a startup – APPLY HERE for our next generalist or commercial cohort 🚀

Or, if you fancy following in Verto’s footsteps and building out a team full of brilliant Jumpstarters, book a call with us today HERE to learn more about our programme. 

Matching top talent with top startups.