Fintech Week London welcomed Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to the stage on Tuesday as she hailed the US city for its ‘core strength’ of fintech.
“We come to environments like this both to educate folks about the tech ecosystem in Chicago but also to listen and to be educated,” explained Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a fireside chat with Fintech Week London CEO Raf de Kimpe.
“We want to learn from entrepreneurs all across the globe, about what you’re doing, what your challenges are and hopefully we can bring back some of those nuggets that we are always gleaning to help us build a better ecosystem in Chicago. So really those two big purposes to be educated and to educate.”
2021 was a record-breaking year for fintech in Chicago. In 2022 so far, five Chicago fintech firms has exits valued at least $730million, 16 Chicago-based fintechs raised $479million in venture capital and 10 local fintech raised $53million in seed funding.
Mayor Lightfoot said: “Fintech is really one of our core strengths. We have one of the most diverse fintech ecosystems anywhere in the planet and fintech is leading our recovery with no shortage of opportunities and no shortage of investors.”
“What makes Chicago unique in terms of fintech is really what makes Chicago unique in terms of investment. We’ve got the most diverse economy in the United States and every metric that you can think of we are leading. So that creates an environment in which an industry like fintech can thrive.”
The Mayor also confirmed which London football team she would be most likely to support…
“Well, to my American ears when I hear football, I think of 22 guys on the field and just beating the crap out of each other. I don’t get to see a lot of UK or European football but I’ve got a great friend who lives here in London, who is unabashedly an Arsenal fan. So I’m going to have to say I’ve going all the way with Arsenal!”