Neal is founder and director of Key Money Concepts, an online-based financial literacy course designed for young Australians. In 2015, inspired by Khan Academy, Neal embarked on a two-year journey to build a library of rich video content that presents often complex financial concepts in layman’s terms. Whether it be PAYG, superannuation investment options, car insurance, or budgeting – it will likely be covered on the KMC platform. High-school teachers have already started using the course to teach and enrich subjects like Commerce and maths.
Recently and to get more exposure to retail banking Neal has started working at Suncorp assisting clients in reaching various financial goals. Prior to establishing the start-up, he was a relationship manager with Financial Express (FE), a global vendor of financial information surrounding managed investment products. His education background includes a Bachelor of Commerce from UNSW and a Diploma of Financial Planning from Kaplan Professional.
Can you tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
The idea for Key Money Concepts came from seeing huge financial knowledge gaps in friends and colleagues. A wake-up call came when a friend commented that superannuation was a bank account! This led to his deeper exploration of financial literacy as an area of learning. Papers released by the Federal Government and various large banks all contained concerning results for 18-24 year olds on a national scale. This was important evidence for supporting the founding of Key Money Concepts. My ultimate vision is to have created a resource that is highly trusted nation-wide and used as an essential foundation for financial decision making. An attractive element of such a business venture was the low level of capital required to get started. So far myself and partners have been self-funded.
Could you explain your business model to us?
We currently operate a subscription model, whereby subscribers pay a fee to access our content. We are also talking to businesses who require enterprise solutions. Because we have a traditional online and a social media presence we are trying to leverage that through advertising to form another income channel.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next year?
Right now we are working with our colleagues at the Sydney fintech hub Stone and Chalk to finesse our business model and our offering, and generate more reach for our brand. We are also approaching schools and social enterprises to see if we can help them out in teaching financial literacy. I am absolutely excited about new opportunities next year. These include continuing the conversation with the ASIC and strengthening our relationships with fintech startups!
How do you make ideas happen?
Making ideas happen in Key Money Concepts is like a band writing a new song. Someone will come with the lyrics, someone will come with the hook and someone will fit it all together! Our small team spends a lot of time bouncing ideas off one another and then we decide who has the skillset to make it happen.
What role have mentors played in your business life?
I have always had mentors and I think they are so important. My father who works in financial services is a great mentor, friends made through professional networks have become great mentors, and at Stone and Chalk we have been put in contact with some very knowledgeable mentors who have given us good business advice.
Can you recommend 3 websites to our readers?
www.duckduckgo.com is a new way to think about information. Google has become so important to our lives so this privacy-focussed alternative search engine takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s very useful and doesn’t track you.
www.keymoneyconcepts.com.au of course! Find out what part of your financial knowledge is lacking or pass us on to somebody you know who is starting their first job or thinking about investing in shares or other products and wants to know where to start!
www.ft.com is the best journalism around. We have so many competing sources of news but this longstanding English paper (the Financial Times) is our favourite.
Do you have opportunities for people to get involved with your idea?
Yes definitely! If you would like to work in edutech or fintech we’d love to hear from you. Our business is growing and we are always looking for input on our backend and on designing games and apps. On another level, if you think there is a business or organisation which wants to educate and empower people, we would like to work with them to improve society.
Can you tell us what your favourite bar or café is?
Near where we work I’m a regular at Marlowe’s Way is a cafe and bar, which does fantastic coffee, breakfasts, lunches and drinks. It’s such a cool atmosphere, I highly recommend it.