Fortnightly FinTech Fuse – Action Packed Fintech Community!
This has certainly been another action packed few weeks with the fintech community as the financial innovation continues at pace across Scotland.
What makes meeting with the amazing fintech community of firms so exciting is the diversity of action orientated entrepreneurs across the country.
This was very much the case on Wednesday evening with our community FinTech Scotland Fusion evening in Edinburgh.
Action Packed Entrepreneurs
Once again it was a wonderful buzzing atmosphere of fintech talk, all magnificently overseen by our very good friend and seasoned entrepreneur Aleks Tomczyk.
Big thank you to Kirsty Irvine and Ewan Fleming of Johnston Carmichael for their great hosting of the evening and being such fabulous supporters of the fintech community.
It was a more formal format but just as action packed for the two Fintech Practitioners meetings we held in Glasgow and Edinburgh in the last fortnight.
A great range of conversations on key topics from funding to commercialisation to people development with a spectrum firms from across the fintech community.
Some really key actions from these meetings for FinTech Scotland which we will follow through with the FinTech Network Integrator team at Vivolution and Scottish Enterprise.
Thank you to our strategic partners Anneli at Dentsu Aegis and Yvonne at Pinsent Mason for hosting these valuable meetings with the fintech community.
Prior to this, we had the opportunity to share some of the fintech developments with Government Minister Kate Forbes at Scottish Parliament, who takes a keen interest in the fintech innovation.
The meeting gave us the opportunity to mark the fact that the Scottish fintech community is now over one hundred innovative firms in Scotland.
Later that week I really enjoyed catching up with James Gumble to hear about the terrific innovation development by the Xpand Access team, playing a huge role in demonstrating the value of innovation and collaboration.
Another wonderful example of this is from the team at Soar who have recently won the Scottish Edge award, big congratulations to entrepreneurial Andrew Duncan and colleagues.
Similarly, with my catch up on Tuesday with the terrific Rab Campbell of Wallet Services as we plotted how to extend the entrepreneurial action across a range of collaboration initiatives. Thanks for the much need almond biscuit Rab!!
Action Packed Collaboration
The action packed collaboration was very much alive with the fintech community and a diverse range of participants at the European Innovation and Technology event at University of Edinburgh this week.
Brilliant action sessions as always from exciting entrepreneurs Loral from Sustainably and Phil Gillespie.
This was alongside hearing from the engaging Kate of Sainsbury Bank, David from Lloyds Bank and Anurag of Baillie Gifford on their approach to fintech collaboration.
Also joined by Damien from University of Edinburgh to share insights on the crucial role of academia as part of team Scotland in developing fintech.
Great to work with our European colleagues Fergie Miller in delivering the event to a full house and super enthusiastic audience.
This European collaboration also came alive when we hosted a fintech day with fifty executives from the large French bank, Banque Populaire a week or so ago expertly organised by Mickael.
Many thanks also to Mark Curran of CYBG for joining us as well to share the fast moving open banking developments with our French friends.
Earlier this week, we were delighted to work with Kevin and the SDI team and Erin Ellis and the World Congress Team in hosting a trade mission of seven fintech firms from Toronto.
Wonderful to hear from the exciting Canadian entrepreneurs and their interest in working in Scotland and becoming part of our vibrant community
It was great to bring them together with some of the Scottish community such as entrepreneurs Bryan Eldridge of Qwallets and Nick Jones of Blockstar at an engaging session with Simon and the IBM team.
This was followed by a super reception at Bute House, home of the First Minister, hosted by Minister Jamie Hepburn.
Global collaboration opportunities are stretching far and wide. It was brilliant to meet up with the inspiring Radoslaw Szmit and Kamil Kwecka of CShark Ventures to discuss the mutual opportunities in Scotland building on their great expertise from Europe.
Thank you also to Kent Mackenzie for inviting me to share the fintech collaboration opportunities with the Deloitte Global Digital Council members recently, great to have the engagement and support.
The global interest in Scotland is certainly growing and it was great to meet with Martin Rueda from fast expanding London fintech firm Iwoca recently and share how the Scottish community is developing.
This was also the discussion with Avere Hill of Singapore fintech firm Cynopsis as well as Andrus Alber, the founder of Bankish from Estonia, both of whom we look forward to seeing in Scotland very soon
Similarly, when meeting up with Consul General Andrew Jackson from the UAE Embassy this week to discuss the potential international trade opportunities for Scottish firms building on the success of firms such as Qpal and IceFlo in this region
Thank you to Hamira Khan and Grace Glass for setting up.
The global opportunity was one of the key themes for the event at Scottish Parliament earlier this week on the plans for the exciting new Scottish Stock Exchange
Always inspiring to hear from Tomas Carruthers who is leading the initiative and also meet up with team making Project Heather come alive such as Edwin Hamilton, Michelle Thomson and Martha Walsh.
The event was also valuable in catching up with some key friends from across the broader ecosystem in Scotland including David Clarke of SIFI and Frazer Lang of SABE as well as media guru Terry Murden of Daily Business
Action Packed People Events
Events with action packed people has certainly been a major theme this last fortnight.
For example, thank you to Nicola Anderson who expertly took the platform recently for FinTech Scotland at the recent SFE event on cyber security
Another example was the impressive Digital Scotland conference in Glasgow a few weeks ago and it was a privilege to be invited to participate on the stage with so many brilliant speakers.
I really enjoyed our afternoon session with the awesome Cat Leaver of Brand Scotland and fabulous Melinda Matthews of CodeClan along with the wise heads of Gerry McCusker and Donald McLaughlin.
Thank you to expert leadership chairing by Alisdair Gunn and super engagement by Hamish Miller, Will Peakin and the super Future Scot team
This carried on to the weekend when I was asked to contribute to the Executive Women Leadership Programme at University of Edinburgh with the fabulous Maeve Gillies and Jacqui Gale on Saturday.
Thank you to the wonderful Judy Wagner and Susan Murphy for the opportunity to join many great leaders such as Sam Bedford, Clare Carswell and Ailsa Sutherland amongst many others.
On the subject of people inspiration, it was terrific to meet up with the brilliant Dr Susie Mitchel and Laura Bell who are leading on the CanDo Innovation Summit plans for Glasgow later this year.
We are delighted to be involved with the Future of FinTech session which will showcase a number of people from across Scotland leading on financial innovation.
This is something I shared with the brilliant chair of FinTech Scotland, David Fergusson this week as we talked about the plans for the coming months and longer. I always value the insight feedback from these sessions with David.
Last week I had the pleasure of sharing the progress of the fintech innovation being driven by a diversity of people in Scotland with Executive Chair Ian Campbell and Bob Martin of Innovate UK.
The engagement with senior figures from across financial services is so important to FinTech Scotland taking forward its plans and it was excellent as always to have a catch up with Philip Grant and of Lloyds and Colin Halpin of HSBC this week.
Action Packed Innovation
On Wednesday I very much enjoyed meeting up with the brilliant Kristen Bennie to hear about the action pack innovation with fintech community across RBS.
We are delighted we will be working more closely with Kristen and the team on this in connecting with the innovative activity across Scotland and wider.
Another example of driving this action packed innovation is the plans with Sopra Steria and University of Edinburgh to develop a new fintech accelerator programme.
Very much value the great ongoing strategic support of Craig Wilson and Rob McElry from Sopra Steria on this
This last couple of weeks has seen a number of strategic meetings with organisations looking to support and engage with the breadth of fintech innovation across Scotland.
For example, we very much enjoyed the conversation with Alex Foster, Michael Woodman, Daniel Thomas at BT on the mutual innovation opportunities.
Thank you, Craig Muirhead, for arranging and we are looking forward to progressing your relationship with the fintech community
Similarly, great to catch up this week with Kevin Spence and Gary Fegan to consider potential strategic innovation actions we can work on together with Fujitsu.
Action Packed Running
Action packed running has also been a theme over this last couple of weeks after the Edinburgh marathon.
This has included a challenging trail race in Denny near Falkirk on a Thursday evening as well as a fabulous 10km race at Kirkintilloch on a perfect summer evening this week.
Both of which have helped me up my pace along with my fastest Parkrun race of the year last Saturday!!
All of which I am hoping will produce a faster marathon time in July when this race comes along in a few weeks time.
In the meantime, it is the Glasgow 10km race on Sunday through the glorious city which is always so special and a father’s days treat for me! People certainly do make Glasgow. Until Next time!