Fintech Ireland, 1 min pitch, what is it?
Fintech Ireland was formally established in August 2014 (and existed earlier as an informal group). Fintech Ireland was founded by Peter Oakes, a former senior executive (Director) at the Central Bank of Ireland and now a non-executive director and advisor to fintech companies in Ireland , UK and Denmark. The idea behind Fintech Ireland is to help put Ireland on the global fintech map. A core foundation of its establishment was, and remains, to help local fintech firms understand and navigate the regulatory requirements in Ireland and for those entrepreneurs looking to expand overseas, to help them with international introductions. We connect fintech firms with those looking to invest in them, we introduce them to mentors and potential business partners too. Work continues to evolve however Fintech Ireland remains a free service. We don’t charge for events nor do we have a subscription membership base but we are highly effective. In essence we are a fintech community enabler and supporter. We can host informative events because of the generosity and goodwill of our sponsors who share the fintech community ethos. Fintech Ireland’s website is visited 10,000 times a month, has 2,700 plus followers on twitter, 630 LinkedIN Group members and a total connected universe of 5,000 plus professionals. In addition to Peter, the team comprises of collaborators including Dave Anderson, Peter O’Halloran and Alex Lee. Right now Dave is busy with our next fintech event with Copenhagen Fintech on Tuesday 6th December.
— Dave ?? Anderson (@supergingerdave) December 4, 2016
What are the goals for it?
Our goal is to continue our work to ensure that Ireland becomes and remains a global fintech hub. Ireland has a fantastic entrepreneurial community. We are an all of Ireland Island group. Building upon the great success of the our recent Belfast and Dublin events and contributions at international events, we are looking at hosting more around Ireland – North, South, East and West. We are looking forward to more involvement with Ministers, Government Departments, Regulators and Industry to ensure that the right balance of regulation, consumer protection and entrepreneur incentivisation exists in Ireland so that innovation will continue to flourish. No person can be an island unto themselves. For that reason we travel (at our own expense) to Europe, Asia, the US and other global centres to develop closer international fintech ties with Ireland.
— FinTech Ireland (@FinTechIreland) December 1, 2016
How was 2016? What are the plans for 2017?
2016 was a great year. It was a marked step up from 2015, which in that year saw us play a very active and leading role in helping improve and transform the efficiency and effectiveness of the fintech authorisation regime in Ireland. In 2016 we really pushed out the fintech boat in terms of raising the profile of Fintech Ireland and executing in terms of events. We assisted a number of fintech firms connect, expanded our news page section (which is available to the fintech community to publish informative articles – not advertisements), we ran two offsite sessions for the C-Suite of international banks which had their off-site meetings in Ireland. We also arranged for Irish fintech firms to be showcased in front of these banking giants. This really helps further opportunities for collaboration between financial incumbents and fintech. This year we attended a number of meetings in Europe and met with MEPs, European Commission officials, two stock exchanges and half a dozen fintech hubs/innovation centres for broad ranging discussions. We ran and spoke at more than 20 events in Europe, including hosting the Money2020 Europe lead-in event in Dublin ahead of our main April event and Peter moderated the fintech panel at Money2020 Europe. And although 2016 is coming to a close, we are delighted to be involved with Irish Tech News (through Simon Cocking’s hard work) and The Fintech 50 to help with the Fintech20 Ireland
Looking forward to 2017 we, while acknowledging the negative consequences of a hard Brexit on Ireland, are mobilising a group of talented people to promote Ireland as the international home of both regulated and unregulated fintech. As we say above, we are supported by volunteers and sponsors, so it’s important that the community appreciates that we need their help to support the community. Being independent means being able to call out and address blockages in the fintech regime to ensure the right thing is done. There will be more events in 2017. The challenge is fitting them all in the one year!
We are being approached by a number of bodies, both industry and large financial companies to get involved with their offerings. 2017 will be very interesting. However what is important is that the fintech community remains at the heart of what Fintech Ireland does.
Why should people come to event this week? Who is it aimed at?
We have been blown away with the level of interest in the Fintech Ireland + Fintech Copenhagen event and all the events we have held and contributed to this year. Each event we ran had a waiting list and even though sometimes it went down to the wire, we secured sponsors for each event. The event with Fintech Copenhagen on Tuesday 6th December is oversubscribed, so we think the value proposition is pretty clear. If you wish to learn more about the fintech ecosystem in Europe, you will learn more by attending the event.
How can people find out more?
Log onto www.fintechireland.com, follow us on twitter at @fintechireland and join the Fintech Ireland LinkedIN Group forum. But the best way to stay in direct contact is by joining our mailing list at http://www.fintechireland.com/get-involved.html.