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FinTech Female Fridays: Devika Tampi, Senior Manager, Innovation Ecosystem, Fidelity Investments

Can you talk about your career path and what led you to pivot from Program Director at Empire Startups to Senior Manager at Innovation Ecosystem at Fidelity?

After starting my career as a lawyer in Australia, I went back to college to study social impact. This led to roles in Australia and the UK in the corporate responsibility space. I made the leap into FinTech when I moved to the US. As Program Director at Empire Startups, I worked across the New York and San Francisco FinTech eco-systems, connecting the dots for FinTech founders, financial institutions and investors. The move to Fidelity was an opportunity build on this experience. Sitting in the Corporate Business Development team, our role is to bring the outside in, and help the organization identify strategic partnership and investment opportunities with FinTechs to help accelerate business priorities.

You have been in the FinTech space for a few years; what are new trends in the space and what trends do you forecast to see in the next 6-12 months?

From unbundling to re-bundling, we're seeing a trend of FinTechs expanding their product suites to create a one-stop-shop for consumers, historically a banking play. AI will continue to drive personalization forward, and in the wealth management space, FinTechs will continue to open up new asset classes, democratizing investing.

What has been the biggest challenge in your career thus far and how have you overcome it?

I think making the decision to leave the legal field. At the time, I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do next, but knew that while I continued to work at the firm, I was never going to figure it out. I left without a new job lined up, and worked in a bar for 6 months at night to pay rent while doing multiple internships during the day to experience different kinds of jobs. And it paid off! It was a challenging time, but looking back, I trusted my gut, hustled and leaned on my support network. Which I’ve done many times since.

What is one piece of advice for women looking to enter the FinTech space?

Build a community. Activate your networks, go to events, ask for introductions - get out there and talk to people in the industry. Whether it’s someone who has recently made the move themselves or someone who has a wealth of experience in the industry, you can often learn more from one conversation than hours of research. And do not be afraid to let people know what you're looking for. There's a generosity of spirit in New York that I haven't seen anywhere else!

How do you balance work life and personal life?

I’ve found it’s important to make time for yourself. New York can be hectic and it’s easy to burn the candle at both ends. To make sure I have time to unwind and recharge, I keep my Monday nights free – I can go to a yoga class if I want, or just veg on the couch but whatever it is, I try not to let FOMO get in the way!

Reach out to Devika on LinkedIn.

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