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Fuelling the future of FinTech

By Sven Bossu, Head of Sibos

Sven BossuEach year, Sibos visits a different host city around the world and connects new entrants and startups with established industry players and influencers. This year Sibos is being held in Canada. And I can’t think of a more compelling location. 

The 2016 FinTech in Canada report is a great piece of joint research by the Digital Finance Institute and law firm McCarthy Tetrault. It provides a fascinating overview of the country’s pulsating financial technology sector, from robo-advisers to crowdfunders, from RegTech to online marketplace lending.

As the report asserts, "the opportunity for Canada as a FinTech leader is vast.” It’s geographically well-positioned for business with both Asia and Europe, as well as the United States. This makes it easier for growing companies to build out their networks. 

Vancouver and Toronto both have inspiring startup scenes with qualities that, I believe, complement each other very nicely. Vancouver has a strong technology base with over 9,000 tech companies, and as the city is small and close-knit, the firms have a true community spirit and work well together. 

Toronto, meanwhile, is ranked as the fourth leading global FinTech centre of the future, according to last month’s survey by the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) and the Z/Yen Group. Respondents to the survey also clearly felt that technology startups are leading the way in terms of innovation in services and products.

So Canada’s startup scene is expanding and evolving, with a growing number of visionary venture capital funds looking to invest. With Sibos 2017 on the horizon, there’s bright times ahead. I can’t wait to welcome many of those involved to the MTCC.

Last year, Sibos was held in Geneva and we worked with the local economic minister, Pierre Maudet, who saw the event as a special opportunity to bring the banking, research and innovation communities together to collaborate and drive positive change in Switzerland’s financial services industry. 

Mr. Maudet was a great friend to Sibos, and brought some of his country’s leading bankers to the Swiss Lounge on the exhibition floor. He introduced the local FinTech community to some of the world’s industry experts, who were happy to share their knowledge with those eager to learn. 

Swiss Lounge 2016

Seeing this type of collaboration first-hand feeds my enthusiasm, and there will be plenty of such initiatives in Toronto. We’re currently working on the finer details with the local FinTech organisations, and will be introducing some fresh new networking features to this year’s event.

Getting a feel for the local scene and watching innovators mix with big-name global influencers is an educational experience that has no comparison. After Sibos 2016 we surveyed exhibitors and delegates about their experience in Geneva. Attendees told us that some of their main motivations were networking, staying up to date on industry trends, learning from peers and sharing best practices. 

Well we’ve listened closely to this. Registration for Sibos 2017 opens next month – I hope you can be there as we take the next steps forward together.