Fintech Week is back and bigger than ever. Fintech Week 2015 brought together innovative startups operating in the financial technology space with established multinationals, investors, the government and media; opening up exciting networking opportunities that ultimately lead to collaboration and innovation across the financial sector.
This is why I started out down the fintech path – I could see that there was a huge amount of buzz, money was being invested, but what was dearly lacking was the right kind of forum for open discussion. Our aim was to create an environment where experts, novices, start-ups, VCs and everyone in between could feel comfortable and benefit from attending. We felt that an informal, but professional, environment for learning, connecting and sharing ideas was required to facilitate solid relationships that lead to the development of disruptive technology to ultimately create positive change.
Fast forward to now and London’s fintech scene is thriving. 2015 was all about fintech itself, but since then it has grown and now we can see a raft of subsectors cropping out of fintech, from regtech (regulatory) to wealthtech to protech. London is storming
ahead as the world’s financial capital, paving the way for intelligent entrepreneurs to solve the incredibly specific problems that can affect businesses operating in a variety of sectors.
However, like any business operating in a competitive world, threats lie ahead. We can see increasing competition from Asia and the US. Total investment figures, provided last year by Ian Dowson of William Garrity Associates, showed us that the UK was second only to its big brother, the US, an amazing achievement for a small island. This year, however, the gap has widened, perhaps due to larger markets like the US and China seeing what was happening in the London. It is more important than ever that investors don’t lose focus on what the UK has to offer. The UK has the best regulatory environment as one of the most progressive regulators in the world. The FCA will be on hand to discuss their role in the progression of the Regtech sector. Blockchain was one of the most prominent aspects of last year and there’s no sign of stopping so to start as we mean to go on we’re kicking off on the 15th July with a Blockchain Hackathon. We’ve teamed up with UCL and the Open Bank Project to explore how Blockchain can improve banking. The hackathon is taking place at Google Campus. Three days of coding will result in a cash prize winner and big pub session. This isn’t just for software developers – everyone is welcome to attend and this diversity of people from a variety of industries encompasses the very ethos that makes Fintech Week what it is, instilling an energy that builds over the course of the week, attracting individuals working for Unicorns right up to those who might buy them.
My decision this year was to host the event in one location – The Grange Hotel in Tower Bridge, which will help accommodate the greater number of speakers and sponsors, many of whom have made the trip from all over the world to make Fintech Week 2016 the global event that UK fintech deserves.
We’re excited to have sponsorship support of Lloyds Banking Group, Pinsent Masons, Western Union, Linklaters and many others. We hope to see you there.
By Luis Carranza, founder of London Fintech Week & Blockchain Conference