Written by James Swope
Interested in shaping the future of fintech? It takes a whole community to effect change. “Finnotec is on a mission to rally the community, influence change and enable New Zealand to be a centre for fintech excellence.” The values that are upheld by the people behind the Finnotec conference; passion, curiosity, community and a love for tech and finance, are in a similar vein to that of the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator. Hence why Brett Holland, Head of Acceleration at Creative HQ, and James Swope, KFA Programme Manager, felt it was important they were a part of the community and conversations that took place on November 3rd, in Auckland.
Each year, Finnotec brings together some of the leading minds in the financial technology sector, both from New Zealand and overseas, to discuss, design and shape the future of fintech.
And the second Finnotec conference did just that, the room was filled with exceptional speakers, great examples of current fintech technologies and high calibre attendees. Additional to that the energy was high! Everyone who came along to the event was super engaged, interested in collaborating with one another, willing to learn and keen to participate in advancing the future of fintech. It was awesome to see just how many sectors were present.
Investor, Peter Dingle (in the photo above, credit Callaghan Innovation), who’s been based in Hong Kong for the past 15 years, highlighted early in the day the importance of each part of an ecosystem being present and working together. Peter’s analogy laid out the four elements necessary for any ecosystem to be successful and tied the fintech players that he believes relate to each. This consisted of the foundational rocks, consumers, producers and decomposers.
These are the Regulators on which every other player builds and needs to work with for survival;
At the top of the food chain we have the corporates and Venture Capital firms;
The shakers, the doers – startups, accelerators, consultants – anyone with a growth mindset who is creating life and fostering talent;
The ones cleaning up, this is where the liquidators, mergers and debt collectors come in.
After identifying each, he asked the room to raise their hand in relation to his analogy. It was surprising how balanced the reaction was, it seemed everyone necessary for the conversation was in the room, willing to grow New Zealand’s FinTech sector together.
Mirroring the diverse range of attendees, speakers represented the fintech network domestic and abroad: We heard from Poppy Haynes (MBIE) and Rob Everett (CEO of the Financial Markets Authority, or FMA) – representing regulation and policy – they spoke about their willingness to participate with the producers and consumers, to benefit everyone.
Speaking on behalf of the corporates and VC’s were Peter Dingle, Mike O’Donnell (CEO of Kiwibank) and many more. Kiwibank and investors alike have been supportive of programmes such as the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator, and they advocated for the upcoming programme (applications still open!) and similar programmes.
Alexia Hilbertidou (founder of GirlBoss NZ), Kendall Flutey (CEO of Banqer) and Brooke Anderson (CEO of Sharesies) presented on behalf of the shakers and doers in the industry. All three are working to raise awareness about financial confidence and literacy. In agreement with Dingle’s statement, they spoke about how important it is to have conversations to get both corporate and regulatory support.
Binu Paul, a FinTech entrepreneur, sums Finnotec 2017 up with this thought; “what unifies us is our passion and curiosity, coupled with our love of technology, finance and community. Finnotec aims to bring together thought leaders and entrepreneurs from New Zealand and globally to enable ideation, collaboration and execution,”
Finnotec 2017 was filled with so many valuable conversations and thought-leaders. Enabling ideation collaboration and execution puts New Zealand in an exciting position to be a world leader in the fintech sector.
Do you want to be part of New Zealand’s fintech movement? Applications for Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2.0 are open, apply now.