Nostrum on FinTech Events
The UK is fast becoming the destination of choice for FinTech organisations to host their events but with invitations arriving on a daily basis, often with a hefty entry fee, how do you decide which are worth the investment? Invest wisely and the networking quality alone is worth the cost. Nostrum is an experienced attendee and presenter. Having had both front row seats and back stage access to many of the top conferences we’ve commented on some of those we’ve found useful, interesting or beneficial for any number of reasons.
If you’re looking to make an impact, then start with the Finovate family. It’s the only conference series concentrating exclusively on showcasing the best and ground-breaking new financial and banking technologies. Finovate Europe champions innovative new financial tech through an on-stage demo focused format. The annual London-based event focuses on the very best of what the FinTech industry has to offer, and has a reputation for quality. But be warned, the demo sessions are tough, presenters are required to adhere to a strict 7-minute time restriction in which to impress an audience of around 1500 FinTech professionals. This year 72 companies representing 22 countries showcased their latest concepts, so it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd and be memorable. This is a great format to get a feel for what products are coming to market (with some already there) as many demos are of technology that’s consumer ready. Stand out themes this year included RegTech, Behavioural Analytics, Investments and almost all centred around simplifying the user experience. 2017 is firmly in Nostrum’s calendar.
If you’re looking for something a little smaller and more concentrated, MarketForce events bring industries together through over forty strategic conferences throughout the year. Their long-standing relationships with key banking and FinTech figures and well-researched agendas ensure the most up to date and relevant issues are discussed. They offer a more forward-focused style agenda than some other conferences with a mix of presentations and panel discussions and recent included The Future of Retail Banking.
Looking outside of the city walls the Northern Powerhouse is hosting an increasing number of important FinTech events, the upcoming Leeds Digital Festival; FinTech North being one of many. Originating from the digital community of Leeds, Leeds City Council, and TechNorth (the Government’s initiative to promote and support digital entrepreneurship), the festival will take place in April and offers keynote presentations from recognised digital, FinTech, and financial services experts as well as panel sessions for new start-ups supporting the next generation of innovators.
Europe and Beyond
Further afield on March 29th FinDEVr New York launches its East Coast conference in Manhattan. The two-day agenda blends fast-paced content with high-quality networking. Born out of the Finovate group, it’s primarily a conference focused on the technologists in FinTech, forging the future of financial, banking & payments technology. A unique event that will showcase the latest tools, platforms, APIs, and case studies from cutting-edge technology companies, for developers creating the future of FinTech via a unique dual-track, 15-minute presentation format. Innovators demonstrate their latest case studies, innovation or tutorial via whatever high-impact methodology they prefer; think TED-style formats with a technology focus.
The Money 20/20 brand organises the largest of its FinTech events globally where Fintech geeks, hackers, entrepreneurs and investors are all welcome to connect and collaborate. With Money 20/20 Europe fast approaching in April, the Copenhagen venue will host over 3000 attendees and more than 400 speakers focusing on Payments, Financial Services and Retail ecosystems within Europe and around the world, ranging from start-ups looking for funding, through to established scale businesses launching new products and services.
Last October Nostrum attended Money 20/20 Last Vegas to be greeted by the hackathon to beat all others. In common with most similar events, the Money20/20 hackathon was run over 24 hours and, given the competitive nature, strict rules were applied, specifically that teams were unable to bring any pre-built work with them – it all has to be built on site from scratch. The effort that goes into these events is huge, with the teams taking power naps where they need to, though more often just powering through the night.
The rewards are good too. The teams were expected to code using sponsors’ (such as MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and First Data) technology and in return the winners would get cash prizes ranging from $5k to $20k per team and assorted goodies such as drones, Apple Watches and helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon. Most importantly for the teams, the winner gets the chance to pitch for significant funding to launch their proposition; and where better to do that than Money 20/20? Ultimately it’s important to pitch yourself at the appropriate level. If you’re a small start-up then flying half-way across the world may not be your first move but research agendas and attendees well to get the most from your involvement. This is just a small selection of events available which Nostrum has attended, for a more in-depth view head to our blog.
By Richard Carter, Chief Executive of Nostrum Group.
The article was first published on The Fintech Times.