Steve Dunn has spent more than 20 years in institutional banking and capital markets, experience he says drove the idea for his new venture, designed to help big companies accelerate technological innovations to develop their business.

Mr Dunn, who previously headed Macquarie Bank’s wealth management platforms and it’s mobile and web initiatives, said there was a gap in the market to help large corporations rapidly develop ideas to support clients.

“Having run large technical teams, the challenge has always been trying to build new products and services quickly.”

“But often, being a large bank, you are risk-averse and you don’t get access to new technologies until they are more mainstream,” he said.

Mr Dunn described his concept as a “new-generation consulting firm”.

The company, BlueChilli X — a subsidiary of start-up investor and accelerator BlueChilli — will be launched at a digital financial services conference today.

The BlueChilli X chief executive said times had changed and where companies once owned a brand and took it to consumers, technology had flipped that order and consumers now chose which brands they wanted to interact with, and when and how.

“You have an environment where the end users want something now and the rate of technical solutions is very rapid, the challenge that big corporations face is they can’t move fast enough,” he said.

“When I went to Macquarie three years ago, part of my role there was in digital and I met BlueChilli and I liked their process. I realised that on its own the BlueChilli process is great but, when bringing in the corporation, it just got bogged down because it had to interact with all the other corporate processes.”

Mr Dunn worked with BlueChilli founder and chief executive Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin to design a business that took BlueChilli’s process and created a corporate wrap around it. “There are incubators and accelerators but nothing is set up to assist corporations as an outside entity,” Mr Dunn said.

He said the concept worked by assisting large businesses to develop a new technological product or service.

Where a company would have had to spend up to two years attempting to develop a new product, Mr Dunn said his company could accelerate an idea for that business in about four months. “Then we go out with a corporation and test their market, validate it, and if it has legs the corporate invests in it further,” he added.

Mr Dunn has worked in portfolio management and on trading desks, and has an economic and financial background. His new business is being backed by senior executives from various investment banks. He said leading figures in the corporate world also saw his idea as the future and were willing to get involved.

Source: The Australia / Sarah-Jane Tasker


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