Fintech North is an initiative that brings together businesses working across the Fintech sector through regular events across the ‘Northern Powerhouse’. We were invited to take part in their most recent FinTech North Newcastle Conference that was hosted by Sage UK at their Global Head Office in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Events like this are an excellent way to showcase innovation and create connections and collaborations in support of FinTech startups and scale-ups. The biggest takeaway for us was just the sheer number and wide variety of businesses that are truly innovating across the northern region within financial services.
‘Fintech is booming’ in the North East was the message of the day but it was very quickly obvious that all businesses present were already operating on a national if not global level; such is the potential reach of FinTech regardless of location.
A warm welcome from Julian Wells of Fintech North and Michael Office from Sage led into a morning of keynotes covering subjects including lending, diversity, innovation and open banking. It was fascinating to hear from Mark Mullen of Atom Bank about setting up a Fintech business in the North (they’re based in Durham). As part of his talk he highlighted the challenges facing young people who are inadvertently being used to facilitate money laundering and how #FinTech (like Caspian) can help to identify and prevent such financial crime.
The first panel of the day discussed the development of a Northern Fintech ecosystem and included the expected debates around talent pool, quality of life and digital sector collaboration. However some of the most interesting insights during this session and the rest of the day related to the attitudes of those involved in the sector. Fintech businesses can be based anywhere providing they have access to key success factors such as data, customers and talent. Every business during the day demonstrated an attitude that was focused on solving their customers challenges for the better whilst providing a truly differentiated service. With this kind of mentality, the possibilities can be huge irrespective of where a business is based.
The afternoon session included funding advice from a panel of investment experts followed by two showcase sessions that were hosted by ‘Superconnector’ and founder of Newcastle Startup Week, Paul Lancaster. The sessions provided the opportunity to hear directly from a selection of businesses who are truly leading in their respective FinTech sectors. We grabbed our own moment in the spotlight with an overview of our new Transaction Investigator solution (part of the Caspian Financial Investigation Platform (FIP)). We’re building something world leading at Caspian so it’s great to get along to events like this to be inspired by other FinTech success stories and share our progress.
Thanks again to the FinTech North Team for inviting us and organising. Likewise thanks to Sage for hosting and providing such an inspiring venue.