Applied Fintech Project – Final Event and last update

Blog written by Elisabetta Trasatti, Vice President at UoG FinTech Society

Last Friday night, an entertaining final event at the Glasgow University Union concluded the first Applied FinTech Project (AFTP), organised by the UoG FinTech Society.

Almost one hundred people, including students, professionals and academics, attended the event. With two keynote speakers, a buffet dinner, and the UofG Jazz band playing throughout the evening, the project could not come to an end in a more successful way. In the words of one of the AFTP mentors,

“the event was very well organised: great location, very good and fitting music, and a great jury.”

In case you are hearing about the Applied FinTech Project for the first time, here is a quick run through the ideas and aims of the project.
The AFTP has been designed as an experiential learning opportunity for students, who got the chance to work in teams on a hands-on FinTech case over the course of four weeks.

The project was launched in September with an Information Session at the University and immediately gained the attention of students from different degree subjects and years of study. When reviewing applications, the UoG FinTech Society board was immediately impressed by their quality. Applicants ranged from Computer Science to Engineering, to Economics, Philosophy, Business and Psychology students, and all showed great interest in FinTech, as well as a strong desire to develop their team working and communication skills.

The 25 selected participants, both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students, were divided into 5 teams and given a case provided by the startup Orca Money regarding its expansion strategy in the EU. The teams also got the chance to participate in a workshop organised specifically for them by Deloitte and were assigned a mentor to guide them throughout the project. The mentors, working at Previse, Castlight Financial, Deloitte and Morgan Stanley, both communicated with the teams via email and met with them in person, in order to talk through the challenges the students were facing in their research and give them useful advice.

Last Friday, the teams’ presentations clearly showed all the hard work and dedication that each one of them had put into the project. Not only they presented their findings, but also produced a detailed written report which the judges could read through to get a better understanding of their solutions. As with the mentors, the UoG FinTech Society could not be prouder of having such a great board of judges, of both academics and professionals, participating in the final event.

Another tremendous feature of the evening was the chance for attendees to hear two inspiring keynote speakers. Stephen Ingledew, CEO at FinTech Scotland and Keith O’Donnell, Technology Innovation Lead at Morgan Stanley, provided insights into the Scottish FinTech ecosystem, the current and future trends in FinTech and the ways in which large companies like Morgan Stanley are encouraging innovation in this sector.

The project participants all seemed to enjoy the event and provided positive feedback also regarding the case, their respective mentor and the overall experience they got from participating in the AFTP. As one of the participants stated,

it doesn't happen every day to have people say ‘Hey, I worked on an EU expansion strategy for startup X during my second year of university!’ (Imagine saying this in an interview!).”

As it has proved to be such an enriching experience for the students involved, the UoG

FinTech Society hopes to see the Applied Fintech Project become an established society tradition for the years to come. Reaching and involving even more students in the project is one of the society’s main aims, for which the students’ feedback is shaping up to represent a very effective marketing tool:

“How to absorb business knowledge, make new friends and communicate with industry experts in one month? Join the AFTP!”.