Welcome to the 41st CONKERS’ CORNER recorded on 21st December 2016. In this interview I have the pleasure of speaking with Jan Skoyles @Skoylesy, a unique force in the Fintech, Blockchain sector and Gold commodity space. Jan is also a highly regarded consultant, blogger and serial entrepreneur. Jan is also the founder and a partner at Barlings Consulting in Dubai, as well as a Research Executive at Goldcore.
Jan grew up in the Midlands in what she describes as a “typical middle class upbringing”. She explained that she was very lucky and her parents encouraged her to be anything she wanted to be, “whether that was a fairy godmother or an astronaut”. After successfully completing school, Jan went onto study for an Economics Degree at Aston University in Birmingham. Jan became very disenfranchised with her studies which she was undertaking during the time of the financial crisis. She felt that things did not add up with regards to views what of President Magabe did in Zimbabwe and that of what Ben Bernanke was doing with regards quantitative easing (QE).
Whilst on her final year placement with BP, Jan became very ill and had to extend studies across a further two years. It was during this difficult time that she was introduced to Ned Naylor-Leyland, a well known figure in the world of gold and silver investing. As Jan was still undecided as to what topic to cover for her dissertation, Ned suggested she write her dissertation on “the return of gold and silver to the monetary system”.
Jan did just that and graduated from Aston University in 2011 with a Degree in International Business and Economics. She describes her dissertation “as her golden ticket” as it grabbed the attention of a few gold companies. Straight from University, Jan joined the gold investment platform start-up: The Real Asset Co (TRAC), as a co-founder. Jan covered several roles including that of CEO during her tenure at TRAC. Whilst in her role as CEO, the TRAC team did a funding round and implemented a basic blockchain. TRAC were essentially one of the first to get involved in the blockchain space.
This discussion provides a useful insight into the journey that Jan has taken, which so far has encompassed Fintech, Bitcoin, Blockchain and Gold. The topics we discussed include:
Fintech is many different things;
Fintech start-up opportunities;
Dubai/Middle East Fintech Bitcoin/Blockchain innovation;
First love being Gold;
Working with The Real Asset Co, Coinsilium, Goldcore, Barlings Consulting;
Where Jan holds her investments;
Start-up valuations, the difference between RABBITS and UNICORNS;
Our changing relationship with Banks/Financial organisations.
Listen now to gain insights into how Jan Skoyles, traverses the Fintech, Bitcoin, Blockchain and Gold space. Learn why Jan states that one of her wisest investments is seizing opportunities and why one of her favourite quotes is “Never turn down an invitation to a cocktail party”.
Learn from the lessons in her successful, insightful business/entreprenuerial and investing journey.