The participants at FinTech Academy are listening attentively as Steve Allocca, President at LendingClub, tells about LendingClub and how they have revolutionized the online lending market by creating an online marketplace that connects borrowers with investors. At Innovation Center Denmark we launched our newest initiative FinTech Academy March 1st this year in collaboration with Copenhagen FinTech, and that was the reason for finding ourselves in the great company of Steve Allocca on a clear September day at the LendingClub office in San Francisco.
FinTech Academy at LendingClub, September 2017.
This blog is the first in a series of three. In this first blog we tune into the importance and motivations behind establishing a FinTech Academy in Silicon Valley. In the following two blogs we will focus on the exclusive Academy program, the networking opportunities, the participants and their experiences from being part of FinTech Academy, and lastly, we will focus on a key insight from this years academy.
The financial sector is being disrupted like never before, and the challengers are so many that they can now be divided into waves of appearance. Among the first wave of Financial Technology (FinTech) challengers you find LendingClub who have been facilitating loans worth of more than $28 billion since year 2007 with a vision to help people take control of their debt, grow their small businesses, and invest for the future.
FinTech Academy in Silicon Valley
FinTech Academy is designed as a transformative learning experience for Danish entrepreneurs and executives within the FinTech sphere to obtain deep insight, knowledge and inspiration from the fast-paced FinTech scene in both Denmark and Silicon Valley.
With an overarching focus on learning we kick-started the academy with a series of WEBINARS throughout the Spring featuring FinTech and technology experts from Silicon Valley with the aim of prepping the participants on the technologies and trends currently defining the FinTech scene in Silicon Valley. From September 18th-22nd 2017 the first batch of front-running innovators from Danish startups and established financial institutions joined us for a customized program in Silicon Valley. From the startup side we had the pleasure of collaborating with Roger.ai, RegView and iaib while the incumbents included Spar Nord Bank, BEC, Bankdata and Kammeradvokaten.
Spar Nord Bank established themselves at the Innovation Center earlier this year as part of their innovation strategy. Friday October 6th Spar Nord Bank was acknowledged as Denmark's most innovative bank at Copenhagen FinTech's Innovation Day .
Synergies through entrepreneurial mindsets and corporate know-how
The program in Silicon Valley consisted of meetings with Silicon Valley FinTechs and institutions like LendingClub, Orange Innovation Lab and ApplePay, hands-on workshops and internal discussions on topics such as artificial intelligence (AI), Design Thinking, Bots & Messaging Platforms.
Hands-on workshop at FinTech Academy with Beerud Sheth, CEO and Co-Founder of GupShup.IO.
From the beginning the tone was open and engaging, and discussions were driven by the participants, their curiosity, and their genuine wish to share and learn. And an important point is the fact that some of the participants represented competing companies - in our opinion resulting in even more qualified discussions and outcomes.
You can find a recap of the week in Silicon Valley in THIS blog by Varan Pathmanathan from RegView.
Why explore FinTech in Silicon Valley?
"Local" technology incumbents like Facebook and Apple are utilizing their distribution platforms to offer a still expanding portfolio of financial services, and with $742 millions invested in FinTech companies in California in Q2 2017 (CB Insights) Silicon Valley is an obvious place to explore, investigate and experiment with technologies, business models and new ways of designing financial services.
See you next year?
Following the great success of launching FinTech Academy in 2017 we will be hosting the second round of FinTech Academy in September 2018. Are you interested in looking into the future of Money with other qualified peers from the finance industry in Denmark? Fill in your information HERE, and let's connect to discuss the opportunities.