2020 Most Disruptive MBA Startups: DinDin, Northwestern University (Kellogg)


MBA Program: Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management

Industry: FinTech

Founding Student Name(s): Brunna Beccaro, Co-founder and CFO

Brief Description of Solution: DinDin is reshaping the financial services industry in Brazil by providing essential financial services to underbanked SMEs. Brazil has more than 48 million small and mid-sized businesses, out of which, 99% have limited access to essential financial services. DinDin is solving this challenging situation by providing basic financial solutions and leveraging its unique position as the first Fintech as a service in the local market – through a complete set of APIs and a white-label wallet.

DinDin is also providing access to financial services to the unbanked businesses through its core banking solutions, including its proprietary app and web-based internet banking. Some of these financial solutions enable its clients to manage payroll through DinDin’s app and Visa prepaid credit cards, where employees can make digital transactions to other accounts in the financial system. In addition, entrepreneurs and small businesses can use DinDin’s solutions to manage daily cash flow, receive payments, and manage invoicing/bill processing.

DinDin’s underlying ambition is to foster a cashless and smart financial ecosystem in Brazil.

Funding Dollars: DinDin has received USD $30,000 from various pitch competitions through Northwestern University, Kellogg, and Wharton. We have also raised USD $190,000 in equity through an equity crowdfunding platform.

What led you to launch this venture? When we first started DinDin in Brazil, our idea was to launch a Venmo like app for individuals. But we learned that Brazilians needed more that ‘just’ Venmo. There are more than 110M underbanked people in Brazil. I personally struggled to open a bank account and make basic transactions, such as paying our bills and receiving payments from our customers. Brazilians are spending more than $8 billion in banking fees. As the status quo is greedy and inefficient, there is a huge aversion to traditional banking, I believed we could change this scenario for new businesses.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with venture? So far, our biggest accomplishments have been associated with winning very well-known MBA startup competitions, including Kellogg’s own Venture Challenge. This gives students an opportunity to pitch their startup idea and gain valuable feedback from members of the startup and Kellogg School community and Wharton’s Latin American Start-up Competition.

DinDin also placed 2nd in Northwestern’s Venture Cat Competition, an event showcasing prominent student startups, that culminates with a pitch competition to an esteemed panel of judges.

These opportunities have provided DinDin with funding crucial to our growth and scaling, as well as visibility and connections with diverse entrepreneurial communities, including investors, entrepreneurs, and partners.

How has your MBA program helped you further this startup venture? As a member of the Zell Fellows Program, I received insightful mentorship, funding, and resources to help me grow DinDin over the past two years. On a trip to Mexico City with other entrepreneurs from Kellogg’s Zell Fellows program, my mentors coordinated a unique opportunity for me to connect with several early-stage VCs that I’ve been able to maintain relationships with to this day.

Moreover, courses from the Kellogg Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI) – such as Launching and Leading Start-ups, Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital, Selling Yourself and Your Ideas, and Building Innovation, Teams and Culture – have equipped me with the right toolkit to be an entrepreneur, regardless of my current venture.

Finally, pitch competitions such as VentureCat and the Kellogg Venture Challenge not only gave me funding, but also visibility and experience pitching to investors.

What founder or entrepreneur inspired you to start your own entrepreneurial journey? How did he or she prove motivational to you?

This might sound like a cliché, but I was first inspired to become an entrepreneur in 2011 after reading The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a book about how Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook. Afterward, I co-founded a social network with my cousin — which we ultimately abandoned because of other professional opportunities. I learned from this initial startup experience (and from Mark Zuckerberg’s story) that in order to be successful in entrepreneurship, it’s necessary to be both eager and passionate about a proposed product or service, and it must solve a real problem lacking a solution.

Which MBA class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? Professor Joe Dwyer’s Building Innovation, Teams and Culture course taught me entrepreneurship basics, such as how to structure legally your venture or how to prepare a cap table. Most importantly, it taught me the importance of having a diverse team, and especially, the importance of having co-founders with aligned principles and values despite diverse backgrounds.

What professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why? Professor David Schonthal, who was my Zell Fellows lead and mentor, Along with the entire Zell Fellows mentorship team, Schonthal constantly challenged my way of thinking and helped me become a better prepared entrepreneur, not only for DinDin but for any future entrepreneurial ventures.

How did the pandemic impact your startup plans? In Brazil, the pandemic fostered the importance of online services, including financial solutions, as people couldn’t go to bank branches in person, or even receive check payments physically. For us, this increased the pace at which customers adapted our solution. One of these customers, who was piloting our payroll payment solution before COVID hit, ended up rolling out DinDin to almost 3,000 of its underbanked employees.

What is your long-term goal with your startup? Moving forward, we want to bank as many underbanked individuals in Brazil as possible by reaching them through their payees – underbanked businesses doing payroll processing.



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