What can wake you up at 4 am on Tuesday? Right, flight to Norway! How to write the most boring article on amazing Visuality blog? Right, send Susanna to Oslo to learn more about finance and tell her to recite it. Ok, I am kidding – that was fun! But still it is hard to tell you a fascinating story…
So … on 7th of June I packed my business cards and set out to meet awesome people at Oslo FinTech Week. I came back to Warsaw with the impression that I have just witnessed the beginning of revolution in this sector.
What is so special about FinTech in Oslo?
Norway has one of the highest levels of digitization. It is almost absolutely cashless (I haven’t personally faced any situation in 3 days when I needed banknotes). Their society is identified as the one of the most open toward new technology. Despite all of this positive aspects, In Norway only 4 fintech investments appeared in the pas two years .
Why so little?
According to Index Ventures, countries where the banking system is well-designed and trustful are less desirous to use newly established unreliable solutions like those that startups introduce. The systems that have been developed for decades are those with the highest entry level. ‘‘The truth is that the average consumer is far more likely to put his cash into a major bank than a months-old startup — even if both are overseen by the same regulator”, - says Jan Hammer, former representative of Capital Markets and FinTech evangelist. But in Norway it is changing… Banks, realizing their incapability to fully satisfy the market demand for new solutions, are looking for cooperation with startups rather than competing with them.
This is an interesting topic for further research, which soon will be presented by Visuality business team.
What is FinTech week all about?
I participated in several events during two FinTech Week days: Open Banking Day was dedicated to presentation of Mr. David Gyori, CEO, Banking Report & Co-author of The FinTech Bookand banks panel among Danske Bank, DNB, Nordea, SpareBank 1. Discussion were all around nature of fintech startups, their activity in UK and perspectives for development in Norway.
Startup Day started with introduction from Jostein Svendsen, Founder & CEO, FMB Holding proceed by presentations conducted by Auka (mCash) and Fronteer Solutions and final panel discussion among banks representatives. The day finished at MESH with StartUp Greed with pitches presented by FinTech startups.
What conclusions have I made?
FinTech is one of the most promising industries for startups. And those who are about to enter it in Scandinavian region can rely on strong support from banking sector.
FinTech week in Oslo is the great place to network with banks representatives and learn about their vision and strategy.
If you want to cooperate with startups in a region, go to Startup Greed Oslo meeting – this will be a right place with the best pitches I have heard so far.
Norwegians are great in personal relations (Thanks, Hussnain, for a great dinner :)), but may seem inaccessible in business terms. Want to work there/with them – wake up at 4 a.m., pack your business cards and simply go there!