On the evening of the 21st of March, over 120 FinTech investors and start-ups gathered at the F10 Accelerator lab in Zurich to celebrate the start of a three day long Fact-finding mission to Switzerland with delegates from the Netherlands. The goal of the evening was to present some of the most promising start-ups from the Dutch & Swiss FinTech ecosystem and to strengthen the networks of both professionals and entrepreneurs working within the financial technology community.
F10 is one of these vibrant places you will have to experience yourself. It is a lively lab where promising start-ups from the world of FinTech get to strengthen their proposition and get ready to conquer the market. Therefore, it was the perfect place to kick-off the three-day programme.
Before the official part of the evening started, we had the privilege to join Andreas Iten – one of the founders of F10- for a chat. He explained why F10 has known such tremendous success and how they were able to create the FinTech momentum. He believes that part of the success is due to the existing gap in the value chain. When asking about why so many corporates seem interested in accelerators such as F10, Andreas stated “It is not only about start-ups but just as much about learning for corporates. Our team connects the corporates with the start-ups and bridges the two worlds, paces and cultures ”. Thus stating that corporates strengthen their ideation processes by collaborating with start-ups and also learn to adapt the agility strategies they sometimes lack.
Holland FinTech speaker – Don Ginsel– had the privilege of moderating the evening and spoke passionately about the world of FinTech. Emphasizing the power of networking in order to find the right talent and to keep up with trends in the market. Don also teased participants by asking all of the Dutch start-ups to pitch their business in just one minute. Making sure that all participants left with questions that wouldn’t be answered until Thursday evening when all start-ups are pitching the rest of their stories.
During the Fireside chat, Emma Pearce of Money 20/20 Europe talked about the value of bringing the biggest leaders, brightest minds and strongest disruptors together to shape the future. She believes that collaboration is key to unlocking the potential of the market “the future of money can’t be made in silo’s”. Emma also stated (as do we) that the best networking happens at night in a more relaxed and informal environment as she sees are blurring of lines between social, work and consumerism.
Maybe the most interesting part of the evening was the success story of Sandipan Chakraborty, founder of Sonect and part of the first alumni of F10. His company is said to be the Uber of payment, making cash available everywhere you go and possibly even eliminating the need for ATM’s in the near future. His talk about how he came up with the underlying idea and vision on the market had everyone on the tip of their chairs.
The evening concluded with a panel discussion between Sandipan Chakraborty, Nils Jung, Raphael van Reekum and Dejan Juric about the Future of Payments. It was refreshing to see that bitcoins and cryptocurrencies didn’t dominate the discussion, although they were mentioned. Most panel members underlined that blockchain is a hype and that companies investing shouldn’t just jump the wagon but pause to prove their theories and focus on problem-solving first. Also mentioned was the upcoming GDPR and as Sandipan stated “the need for control, I think depends on culture”. The rest of the panel seemed to concur. Nils Jung “ when the customer truly has control, then and only then things might change”.
In the end, an energetic group of investors and entrepreneurs finally had the chance to enjoy each others company during the Apéro. Many stayed long after closing, a sign that they felt that they had the opportunity to make meaningful connections and that they enjoyed meeting like-minded professionals.
To be continued today
This evening is part of a three-day fact-finding mission with Dutch Delegates, accompanied by their Special Envoy, the Dutch Prince Constantijn van Oranje. The entire programme is organised and hosted by Kickstart Accelerator, Start-up Delta, Holland FinTech and the Dutch Business Round Table Switzerland.