Signals Expert Interviews

Transforming into Fintech Engineering Startup Studio & Innovation Lab: Interview with INSART CEO

INSART is known as a reliable engineering partner for leading companies in the Fintech industry. Recently, INSART underwent quite a transformation: it became a Fintech Engineering Startup Studio & Innovation Lab. Find out from the company’s CEO and Founder, Vasyl Soloshchuk, what’s behind this new identity and what new value Fintech leaders can expect from INSART’s seasoned team of experts.

— Vasyl, what has changed for the company, and what should new and existing clients expect?

— Essentially, we revisited and expanded our value proposition. INSART started to work more closely with investors and build a deal flow for them. Previously, we’ve done several introductions between founders and investors, but more ad hoc. Right now, we’re doing it more systematically. For example, we’ve already done two Fintech Startup Demo Days this year, where five to six seed and pre-seed startups pitched to at least 20-25 investors. I was pleased to receive so much positive feedback from the event participants.

We select startups based on strict criteria. So, the startup’s founder must have solid client-facing experience in the financial services industry, and the CTO must be a strong technology leader with experience building software solutions from scratch or reengineering them. They must also have a very clear and well-defined go-to-market strategy and financial projections that will show their logic about the unit economy and their business model. Of course, it’s critical that they have at least one founder, advisor, or some of the investors with exit experience who can actually run the business or advise how to do it.

We’re also building the innovation lab, expanding our engineering capabilities. The lab aims to test various ideas for startups, so we’re talking about some disruptive innovations. But it’s also about improving innovation that has been there in established companies. This way, we have enhanced the value proposition for our existing clients and new ones as well. 

— Was this big change your idea? Is it a way to adapt to the changing market?

— Yes, at INSART, we continuously improve our business model and client value proposition. A simple solution development model we once had was a “red ocean.” Moving through the team augmentation stage to fixed-price solution development for clients, we’ve gradually transformed INSART into a Fintech consulting company with a Fintech engineering approach and comprehensive assistance in raising capital. As we’ve started to enhance existing relationships with investors, develop new ones, and establish an amplified team of experts, I think we have a unique value proposition for early-stage startups and established fintechs. 

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Vasyl Soloshchuk with James Robert Lay, the author of Banking on Change, at Finovate Spring 2024

— What are INSART’s achievements regarding its value proposition for startups so far?

— During the last few years, we have developed several software solutions that help early-stage Fintech startups scale their businesses from the very early stage to established innovators. Founders often have a revolutionary idea, understand the market, and have put together their strategic plan and go-to-market strategy, but they need help designing and building an MVP and kicking off their product. So this is our most popular value proposition, and this is where we have the most experience. 

— What's unique about INSART's approach?

— When saying “startup studio,” it resembles the venture studio model. However, we provide software development services, helping companies turn their ideas into real tech that drives results and accelerate their product roadmap while also connecting founders with investors. Moreover, our team of strategic business advisors can also help startups prepare for investment. You know, if it’s a new founder, they most likely have never done this before, and they need advice on how to pack their idea and work into an investment-ready proposal. 

— Talking about changes, what about your leadership style? Did you have to adapt it to support the company's transformation?

— As for the leadership style, in my case, it’s all about proactively identifying how we can be helpful to our clients at every stage of our partnership and making sure the team does just that, now in line with our new identity and value proposition. We guide our clients from the very inception of their product and developing the MVP to launching this MVP, executing the go-to-market strategy, and scaling their product. 

— On the team level, was there any restructuring to align it with the changes? Were there any challenges in this respect that you had to address?

— Yes, we relaunched our Business Development team and used our long-term connections to establish an Investment Advisory team. Also, we expanded our pool of seasoned tech experts by establishing a Solution Engineering and Innovation team. It comprises highly experienced solution architects and business consultants who know how to lead enterprise-level products in various financial domains: banking, wealth management, insurance, nonprofits, etc. They have hands-on experience building software solutions and establishing their own companies or running businesses on the C-level. So, this team can brainstorm ideas and suggest innovative yet cost-efficient approaches driving real returns and investment.

— Vasyl, what steps are you and the leadership team taking to position INSART as a trusted partner in the broader Fintech ecosystem?

— The major idea is to build more partnerships with venture capital funds, which we focus on. INSART is also open to cooperation with all types of angel investors: family offices, high-net-worth individuals, or even former founders with actual experience building companies. We have already established more than a dozen connections with VCs and have over 100 individual investors on our network. INSART also joined Dnipro VC, based in Silicon Valley and started by Nick Belogorskiy, as a limited partner intending to invest in AI, cybersecurity, and Fintech companies.

— Looking forward, how has your long-term vision of the company changed?

— I want INSART to be the leader in Fintech engineering. We want to be the go-to partners, the one-stop-shop for founders who want to build a new Fintech startup or test any “crazy” ideas, and for companies that are stuck with innovation and want a fresh and seamless start.


About Vasyl 

Vasyl Soloshchuk is the CEO and Founder of INSART Fintech Engineering Startup Studio & Innovation Lab, a tech investor, and a podcast host. With over 20+ years in software development and almost the same time in C-level positions, Vasyl is passionate about developing his tech startup investment portfolio, mentoring tech entrepreneurs with domain expertise who are (re-)starting their companies. 

Vasyl helped dozens of Fintech startups and companies define and execute their software development strategies. He saved over $30 million in direct software engineering costs for INSART’s clients.


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