Fintech is currently enjoying huge popularity in the Europe, specifically London. This is because it’s a home to numerous companies in teh financial services industry and also harbors European and global headquarters for many banks. These institutions have developed many talented people – especially skilled and wealthy developers – to have an interest in investing in the city. London became a hub of Fintech after the financial crisis that happened in 2007, which saw many layoffs in the sector.
According to the co-founder of Kantox, Phillipe Gelis, London has favorable rules that govern the financing and banking sector, which is one of the reasons, he believes, that led to the city being a great destination for startups from all over Europe. In a recent interview, Gelis even went ahead to give an example of the Barcelona-based Kantox, a company that has placed its headquarters in London, though majority of its staff is in Barcelona. He continued to explain that the reason for this is because the regulations in Spain don’t favor Fintech companies, compared to those of London.
Fintech startups are getting the opportunity to expand to North America. “Next Big Idea Contest” is looking to offer three early-stage Fintech startups an opportunity to attend a sponsored working visit to the Canadian city of Toronto for three weeks.
The contest, which is aimed at providing three winning businesses a three-week business incubation program along with accommodation, is focused on helping new Fintech firms get a share of the financial services industry in North America. The program will be held at DMZ or Digital Media Zone, a top-ranked incubator based in Canada.
While at DMZ, the start-up will have a rare chance to receive a customized package of business development mentoring and advice. Meetings will also be held to enable them to network well with partner companies and investors. That’s not all: the winners will also enjoy a tour to explore Toronto, which is a city said to be among the top start-up eco-systems globally. According to latest reports, it’s responsible for over 1 billion dollars in research and development on an annual basis.
According to Aaron Rosland, the councilor for high commission of Canada, the purpose of bringing the three most innovative Fintech companies in UK will offer them a great opportunity to expand their business and target North America Market. “The ‘Next Big Idea Contest’ wants to bring three of the UK’s most innovative Fintech companies to Toronto for the opportunity to expand their business to the North American market. It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity,” he said.
The executive Director at DMZ, Valerie Fox also aired her voice and claimed that Toronto is a top destination for startup ecosystems around the globe, in addition to being the second largest financial sector in North America. “In partnership with the Ontario International Marketing Centre (UK), we are strongly committed to supporting the growth of innovative, seed-stage companies in the financial technology sector,” she said.
The application for the startups is still on. Those who wish to get this rare chance to participate in the ‘Next Big Idea Contest’ have until November 30th to forward their applications. Those who will be selected will be enrolled in the program at DMZ. Here, the winners will be guided on how to refine their products, as well as build a market strategy for consumers and clients based in North America.
However, is North America ready to take on and support the financial services industry and the numerous Fintech startups that are disruptive the technology world?
1. Megan Dunsby, “‘Next Big Idea Contest’ offers UK Fintech start-ups chance to target North America”, Startups, October 24, 2014, http://startups.co.uk/next-big-idea-contest-offers-uk-Fintech-start-ups-chance-to-target-north-america/
2. Sean Shead, “UK Fintech firms offered free stint in Canadian business incubator”, Tech World, October 24, 2014, http://news.techworld.com/sme/3582468/uk-Fintech-firms-offered-free-stint-in-canadian-business-incubator/
3. “Why Europe and London is a Force in the the World of Fintech Startups”, Startup Explore, http://startupxplore.com/blog/Fintech-startups-europe/