In 2015 arvato Financial Solutions became one of the founding partners of the Startupbootcamp FinTech accelerator. It has been great to see how this London-based program works with fintech start-ups, giving them access to world-class industry expertise during an intensive mentoring and investment period.
We also recently took part in two exciting “hackathons,” working with fresh new talent on the next wave of innovation in fintech. For anyone not in the know, a hackathon is an event where people from different backgrounds come together to develop new business models and innovative IT applications, all in a race against the clock.
At the heart of our mentoring commitments are two values that I believe are vital for success: partnership and collaboration. We love the chance see new creative and flexible ways of thinking, as well as customer opportunities and innovative products.
I’m excited to share some of the outcomes from these hackathons, where I see the real value they offer to everyone involved (not to mention a fun weekend for all).
Ready, steady, hack!
The first event, Start Hack, was held in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and is Europe’s biggest student-organised innovation event, with more than 300 student hackers from around the world. There was a real buzz about the place. As an event partner, we put forward a challenge to contestants that was based around omni-channel return processes, and asked for the proposed solutions to be integrated into the relevant set of our payment methods.
Over the course of the Start Hack weekend, we shared insights and inspired students to come up with new business ideas. The overall results were outstanding and many of the student services were market-viable for the near future.
Cracking fintech into a sharing economy
Next up was the London hackathon where the theme was “How to Crack the FinTech Industry into a Sharing Economy.” This occurred alongside two thrilling events at the Startupbootcamp FinTech accelerator. Overall, around 100 hackers spent 48 hours coding for the partners’ challenges.
If you’re a start-up thinking of accelerating your business globally, in the one of the best programs out there, check out Startupbootcamp and apply via http://www.startupbootcamp.org/accelerator/fintech-london.html
So where are we now?
With all this excitement going on, you shouldn’t miss the UK FinTech Trends Report 2015-16 produced with Startupbootcamp and PwC.
The results outline four distinct trends in fintech today:
- General investment into fintech is exploding, providing start-ups with new funds and growing new unicorns (companies with a valuation of € 1 billion and more).
- Payment innovation is plateauing and the share of new start-ups dealing with payment specifically is decreasing.
- Blockchain is not there yet. While some players have acknowledged the benefits of the technology, only a few have successfully implemented it.
- Corporates and fintechs are struggling to join forces due to rather incompatible clash of cultures.
For more information please feel free to download the full report here.
So apart from the ability to go full-hacker and last 42 hours without sleep, what have we learned from our involvement so far? The value we find in these events undoubtedly includes successful brand marketing and recruitment but also extends to pure inspiration from highly talented people. On the back of all this success, I can say I’m certainly looking forward to the next events.
– Lennart Swoboda
Corporate Development, arvato Financial Solutions Germany
Lennart Swoboda, since 2013 Consultant at Corporate Development dealing with aFS strategy, M&A and Innovation.
Became Fintech evangelist in 2014 and the contact person for our Fintech Partnerships Startupbootcamp and Mastercard StartPath.
Furthermore he believes that blockchain is a tool rather than value proposition and financial democratization will dominate the 21st century FinTech scene.