FD Marketplace. Interview with Value4you

Value4you is one of the firms we have selected for our FD marketplace to support the community. It offers training in traditional and innovative finance issues for founders, entrepreneurs, managers and administrators and provides CFO services to companies to fuel growth. Fabio Scognamiglio tells us more about his point of view on the world of startups and what he can offer fintech through Value4you.

What are the strengths of the Italian fintech ecosystem and what are the ones to work on from your point of view?

The strengths of the Italian fintech ecosystem are exactly the same strengths as those of the Italian economic fabric, i.e. the entrepreneurial intuition, a “street sense” that is absolutely uncommon outside our borders and the flexibility we have in conducting business. However, weaknesses are also characteristic of the Italian ecosystem, two of these in particular being: the lack of ability to make synergy and the difficulty in thinking in terms of strategic planning in the medium and long term. For this reason, an initiative like Fintech District can foster the growth of innovative startups, sharing different skills and experiences and making them available to the community. Value4you puts itself forward as a partner of financial skills, through the Academy division, which provides training courses on finance issues, both ordinary and extraordinary, and the Advisory division, which brings a fractional CFO to an innovative startup.

What are the main critical issues facing innovative startups today and how can you support them?

Innovative startups are born around an idea, a project, a prototype, and therefore in most cases with a strong engineering or commercial expertise and often even both. Less frequent is the case where in startups, and even more so in innovative ones, there is a financial competence. This is the contribution that we, at Value4you, can make: we are a team of dozens of professionals, including CFOs and professors, able to integrate the missing financial management skills in two ways. Namely through training involving the main AFC issues (management control, financial planning, relationship with banks and other financial stakeholders, optimization of working capital, all economic and financial aspects of a deal, including the drafting of a business plan, evaluation of a company, etc.), including coaching, shadowing and personalized paths or through the introduction in the management team of a fractional CFO, who supports founders/CEOs together with a manager with many years of experience. Both are coming from SMEs and startups but also from complex and multinationational contexts. With a part-time engagement they follow all the financial aspects and become enablers of the growth of the startup itself. In this way the company avails itself of an experienced professional, who would probably cost too much to hire, with the flexibility to model his engagement and involvement in the initiative; in this way a fixed cost is made variable and the impact on the budget is considerably reduced.

How are the priorities changing with the covid19 emergency and how should the next few months be addressed as a startup from your point of view?

Covid19 has forced us all to change paradigms. Businesses that have failed to adapt quickly risk closure, due to lack of turnover or cash, but businesses that have been able to adapt quickly must also be on their guard. Those who have resources, or are using those of a public nature, must assess their sustainability in the medium term, especially if they are debt resources. How much more cash do I have to pay for fixed costs? How can I reduce them? Can I access the liquidity instruments of the PCDM? More importantly, can I afford them? In order to adequately answer these questions, especially at this moment in history, it is becoming increasingly important for startups to introduce specific financial expertise to the team.

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