FinTech Scotland does the talking in the Big Apple and beyond.
Fortnightly FinTech Fuse â€“ Talking Fintech
Fintech is very much the â€˜talk of the townâ€™ at the moment across all quarters of the financial services sector and beyond.
One of the great things about this fintech talk is that it is so ubiquitous with such a broad range of topics and themes being discussed within the conversation.
The variety and diversity certainly make the conversation fascinating as does the way in which people from many different backgrounds have an active interest in talking about fintech.
This is presenting me with enormous opportunity as I shape the strategic plans for FinTech Scotland in the coming weeks.
New York Talk
The opportunity to hear thoughts and feedback from members of the New York financial services community last week about Scotlandâ€™s fintech progress was a great example of this.
Hosting the roundtable session with Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown to talk through our fintech aspirations and how this could be developed on a global stage was hugely valuable.
The discussions certainly reinforced the importance of existing and new relationships for Scotland in the USA which will be very critical as we develop our global fintech footprint.
The New York trip also provided the opportunity to catch up with a number of people to talk through the plans for Fintech Scotland and see what we could learn from one of the most vibrant fintech centres in the world.
I particularly valued the opportunity to catch up with Greg Schoenberg, the founder of Financial Revolutionist, the leading global thought leadership voice of fintech. The talk with Greg was both terrifically insightful as well as illuminating and will undoubtedly help me shape the plans for Fintech Scotland. Thanks Greg.
The visit to New York coincided with preparation for the Visit Scotland Scotland is Now global campaign led by the brilliant Charlie Smith.
It was a privilege to be at the preview for the launch in downtown Manhattan and meet up with so many people enthused about Scotlandâ€™s story and potential.
Bringing fintech into this story about Scotland being a wonderful place to live, play, invest and work will be a key piece part of our work in the coming months.
I learned a great deal while in New York in talking with colleagues from Scottish Development International and I am looking forward to progressing the fintech opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic with Michelle, Raymond and Shannon in the coming year.
It is great to see that James Varga from The ID Co will be part of the delegation visiting the USA as part of New York fintech week to continue the dialogue and many thanks to Maria Deam and the team at the British Consul for helping spread the talk on Scotlandâ€™s fintech opportunities.
The international talk does not always have to be several thousand miles away of course, and I am delighted I will have the opportunity to join David Clarke for a Scottish-Irish Finance Initiative event in June to talk through the fintech collaboration opportunities on both sides of the Irish Sea.
One of the many great aspects about fintech in Scotland is the talk is very much countrywide.
For example, Iâ€™m really pleased we have the Where is Fife Leading Fintech Next? event in May at the Glenrothes Enterprise Hub where I will be joined by Ian Cunningham of Lending Crowd.
Thank you to Iain Shirlaw in arranging this talk to consider Fifeâ€™s longstanding record of developing world leading technology for financial services, especially in payments and security and how this can support the next stage of our fintech ambitions.
Before then, I have the opportunity to share Scotlandâ€™s fintech credentials with the entrepreneurial community in London along with the brilliant team from Previse and Kristen Bennie from RBS when the talk will be mixed with some sampling of Scotlandâ€™s finest gin!
Thereâ€™s also going to be plenty of talk back home in Scotland in the coming weeks and I am very much looking forward to seeing the team at the University of Strathclyde next Wednesday to discuss how we share their great work with more audiences.
A great example of this is the Auditing a Digital Future event on 30th April at the Strathclyde Business School led by the inspiring Daniel Broby where the talk will be covering the range of topics from blockchain to cryptocurrencies.
This all demonstrates that Scotland does have a number of fintech topics that we can talk and, in fact, shout about.
So, Iâ€™m very excited about the inaugural meeting of the Open Banking Centre of Excellence next week being set up by the forward-thinking Ross Laurie along with the driving force behind global open banking Gavin Littlejohn
With Spring arriving, it must be the season for these specific themed fintech events to take place as they seem to be hitting my diary thick and fast!
For example, very much looking forward to joining the talk at the University of Edinburgh Business School event entitled downBitcoin and Blockchain - what goes up must come down event in a couple of weeks.
Then soon after is the event on artificial intelligence organized expertly by Heather Corcoran where my talk with Kirsty Mackenzie of iMultiply, Melinda Matthews of CodeClan and Colin Hewitt of Float is all about the future of human and technology interaction!
And on this human theme, there is another great talk Iâ€™ll be joining in May also at the University of Edinburgh Business School on Social Finance and FinTech and joining a great line up of expert speakers such as Arman Eshragi who will share his thoughts of behaviourial finance and fintech.
In amongst all these talks, I will be continuing to fill my diary with the many people interested in engaging with the fintech ecosystem in Scotland.
I really value the timely meetings with people such as Mark Rodger and Andrew McGhee of Vivolution in considering how we help fintech enterprises to scale up after their initial success
My apologies if we have not had chance to meet yet, Shery is working hard to coordinate and plan my diary so I can get to meet and talk with everyone over the coming months.
The few days in New York gave me the opportunity to meet up with an inspiring friend Paul Skinner and our talk went beyond fintech on to our other mutual passion, that of running.
Of course, being in New York we could â€˜run the talkâ€™ during the few days with a couple of great sunrise running sessions around Central Park, saluting the Fred Lebow statue each time as we passed.
The highlight though was the Saturday morning and an eight-mile run out to Flushing Meadows for a 10km race where I came in third in the over 50 age group, earning a bronze medal for Scotland!
Letâ€™s hope the snow now stays away and I can get back to some races closer to home as the running season starts to hot up along with the exciting fintech talk in Scotland.
Until next time.