This interview is part of a series with fellows of the Finance Innovation Lab Fellowship programme, 2016. The 2017 programme, focused on financial health, is now open for applications.
– What is the purpose of cathartic.co?
We use anonymity to help people talk about problems, typically these cover issues like mental health, addiction and abuse. Once a story is shared we can present a list of charities relevant to that persons particular story.
It’s our aim to expand on this and start offering self help etc. The technology we have developed has applications within the financial industry, it can be used as a tool to help eradicate fraud, corruption, bullying etc.
My plan is to provide these services to the financial industry and use the revenue generated to fund the social enterprise.
– How did you come up with the idea?
One day I had the idea, ‘wouldn’t it be amazing if anyone could say anything!’ Then I decided anonymity was the key and started building an anonymous system from the ground up, this created an interesting challenge as most of the internet is built around collecting user information for advertising revenue etc.
– How did the Fellowship help you grow?
It made me realise the enormity of what I was trying to tackle and the importance of getting the foundation right, not just for my business but for myself.
– What, in your opinion/ experience, are the biggest financial challenges people face?
It’s a rigged game, luckily times are changing. It’s obvious the alternative finance movement is growing and gaining momentum. I am also concerned with the displacement of work that will happen from Artificial Intelligence, I hope that people seize the opportunity, set-up their own businesses and do what they love.
– Do you think we can change the system?
Change is inevitable, it’s happening now. In my opinion enterprise is trying to stop it but it’s still happening, change is the only constant in life. Crypto currencies such as bitcoin are a perfect example. Eight years ago only a handful of people were discussing the potential of what crypto currencies can do, now most people have heard of Bitcoin. They may not fully understand what it is and how it works, but they have heard of it, it’s only a small step to start using it.
I think the real problem is the system can’t keep up with the rate of change, therefore it’s fighting it, it’s an impossible fight to win.