Fintech’s latest and greatest at FinovateEurope 2018
FinovateEurope 2018, a showcase of new and innovative fintech solutions, is coming up in London on 6-9th March.
FinTech Futures caught up with Finovate’s VP, Greg Palmer, in advance of the show to get a preview of what we can expect from the first major fintech event of 2018.
Read excerpts from the interview below, and stay tuned for our post-event coverage following the event!
A lot of our readers have attended Finovate before, but for those who haven’t been, what makes Finovate unique compared to other fintech conferences?
Finovate was founded with a demo-first format, where we give fintech innovators just seven minutes on stage to do live demos of their latest technology. No slides or canned video are allowed, we make presenters show the actual products they’ve been working on.
The firm time limit also forces presenters to streamline their messages, and makes it possible to see a huge amount of innovations in a very efficient format. It’s a little bit scary for our presenters, but audiences love it. We’ve been called the “speed dating of fintech”, and I have to admit, the nickname has some truth to it.
You’ve added a few days to it this time around, is that right?
Yes, that’s right. We’ve been doing these shows for more than ten years now, and over that time we’ve made a lot of connections with some really bright people in the industry, and we wanted to give them an opportunity to share their expertise as well.
So while the first two days will have the traditional demo-only format, we’ve added two more days of panels, keynotes, and deeper dives so that people can gain insights that go beyond the demos themselves, and into some of the higher-level themes driving fintech innovation.
We tried it out in New York in September, but it’s still very new for us, which is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking, a dynamic I’m sure a lot of the innovators we put up on stage can appreciate.
Are there any experts who will be speaking this year that you’re particularly excited about?
Oh yeah, there are a few pretty big names in there that I’m really excited to see! Claire Calmejane, the director of innovation at Lloyds Banking Group, is someone who’s been coming to FinovateEurope for years now in a variety of different roles, and it’s going to be great for her to get to share some of her expertise up there on stage.
Roberto Mancone, the global head of disruptive technologies from Deutsche Bank, is going to be talking about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in financial services, and that’s another one I think a lot of people are going to be pretty interested in.
And as weird as it’s going to be for me to sit in the audience instead of being up on stage all day, Ruth Wandhofer, the global head of regulatory & market strategy from Citi, is going to be a great chairwoman.
Honestly, though, there are too many to list! I’m pretty sure this is where I ask you to include a link in our agenda page, right?
Let’s get back to the demos. Are there any major themes that you’re noticing in the demoing class of FinovateEurope this year?
AI is permeating pretty much every aspect of fintech now, but I’m not sure you could call that a “theme”.
PSD2 is obviously still something that’s on a lot of people’s mind, so a lot of companies are working on making that process easier and looking for opportunities there.
And we always see people playing in the payments, lending, and UX spaces.
Investment and security both continue to be areas that a lot of people are working in as well.
And then, of course, there’s the most famous category right now, which is clearly blockchain and cryptocurrency.
We were wondering if you were going to mention blockchain and crypto. What are you seeing from innovators there?
Well, the core technology has been around for a little while now, but I think a lot of people have had a hard time engaging with it, because of the association with cryptocurrencies, which are volatile and risky.
The technology is actually the complete opposite of that, so I’ve always felt it was a little unfair for the two to be lumped together. I think there was also a problem of the technology being so new that people hadn’t had enough time to really figure out how to use it. That’s changing now, and this year we’ve got a good number of companies who are doing things like using it to build tech platforms along the lines of Amazon Workspaces, manage supply chains, or invest in new companies through ICOs.
And don’t worry, people are still working hard to make sure you can by whatever cryptocurrency you want and spend them more easily.
Any final thoughts you’d leave our readers?
I suppose the last thing I should throw out there is the open bar at the end of each day. Come have a drink with the most influential people in European fintech on us!
FinTech Futures/Banking Technology is a media partner of FinovateEurope, and we encourage you to stop by our booth if you’re able to make it.