At Fintech District we aim at generating value for the Italian fintech ecosystem by spurring collaboration among its members. We strongly believe that only by leveraging the overall ecosystem competiveness each member can eventually succeed. During the first few months of the Fintech District we worked hard to build up the community that is now made of 46 fintech companies (and counting…) and a growing number of stakeholders (like incumbents, VC, …). More than that, on top of recurring networking events, we have organized and hosted workshop on fintech-related topics (from ICOs to RegTech) as well as private demo day for match-making Corporates and Fintechs.
So, what’s next?
We are working on an ambitious pipeline of initiatives for the upcoming months down the path of knowledge sharing, open innovation, international visibility and capital attraction.
Today we are happy to share with you a preview of the first one of these initiatives.
We are about to launch the beta version of the Fintech District’s mentorship program (hey, believe it or not but we are a startup too). The program wants to create connections between professional, willing to share their knowledge and strengthening their skills by working on innovation topics, and Fintech startups/scaleups facing challenges down the road to success.
We take knowledge sharing very seriously since we safeguard both the Fintechs and the professionals time. We are pooling high-level professionals (the mentorship team) with deep vertical expertise on various topics that can deliver quality advices (e.g. Corporate Law, Corporate Finance, Regulatory policies, Human Resources, Strategy, Enterprise Architecture, …) and we ensure that support request will be addressed to the most relevant expertise.
Do you want to know more about the program? Are you interested in joining the mentorship team and what’s “in it for me” by being a mentor? Do you have comments/suggestions in order to make the mentorship program more relevant? Do you already have “pain points” you would like to address to the mentors?
Please write us at email@example.com or come and talk to us at L12 in Copernico Isola for S32; we will be more than happy to hear from you on this or any other matter that can be impactful on the ecosystem.
Keep following us in order to stay updated on the next steps.
The Fintech District
Stefania Antonio Mico Marco
Supernovae Labs is testing its model abroad, starting from the Middle East and from Switzerland, and is going to activate its own innovation hub, “an observatory on innovation produced by banks and by corporations”. Carlo Giugovaz is the CEO of this service company specialized in leveraging the innovation brought by startups to transform the corporate business models and to capture the best investment opportunities in the initial phases. Giugovaz defines Supernovae Labs as “a boutique specialized in banking innovation with the ambition to become one of the engines of the renewal of the sector, thanks to our team and to a network of business technology and innovation professionals”.
Its team is currently made up of 12 experts divided into 5 areas (retail, corporate, wealth management, HR and Legal) and SupernovaeLabs can also rely on 15 partnerships with associations, university incubators and specialists in the field of innovation and on a portfolio of over 50 companies between digital and fintech startups. Already in touch with almost two thirds of Italian banks, Giugovaz plans to conclude almost all contacts within the first six months of 2018. “With some banks we are already in advanced negotiations to implement these projects”, he explains, by adding that “we are expanding our offer to other markets too, starting from the Middle East and from Switzerland to test our model abroad. Soon we will activate our innovation hub: an observatory on innovation produced by banks and also by corporates”.
Supernovae Labs currently cover three markets: the fintech, the banking and the investor, offering fintech realities the possibility to create a specific value proposition for the banking sector and to be offered to banks in order to increase commercial development and to raise capital. For banks, SuperNovae Labs is like an observatory regarding the world of innovation, both in banks and in fintech ecosystem. It also offers banks specialized services to create or implement innovation and, at the same time, it provides investors services like opportunity seeking, fintech portfolio management and the possibility of making industrial partnerships.
According to Giugovaz, Fintech District “is an ideal place for those whose core business, like us, is banks and fintech companies. It is certainly a place that is giving international visibility to Milan and to Italy in the fintech context and in general”. Next steps of this fintech community based in the financial heart of Milan? The first one could be to invest in increasing the level of interaction between the fintech companies themselves, “which means trying to create opportunities for mutual contamination”. The second step could be to increase the involvement of the institutional players, “not only banks but also all the other institutions such as insurance companies, corporates and institutional players that are on the market”.
As a Fintech “ante litteram”, MutuiOnLine on 27 of February, during a visit to Fintech District, met five startups of our community. This was an “open and social way” to “keep our entrepreneurial spirit and our innovation streams alive” as Alessandro Fracassi, CEO and co-founder of the company, explained after the meeting which has taken place in our headquarter located in Copernico for Isola S32. In this interview the CEO of MutuiOnLine tells about the experience and the perspectives and opportunities opened up by this meeting.
How did you find the format of the meeting you attended, organized by Fintech District?
Twenty years ago MutuiOnline was a venture backed startup, who set sail to disrupt the market of credit origination in Italy, by introducing technology in the way mortgages and loans are distributed and in the processes to underwrite them. For all purposes, we were a Fintech “ante litteram”. We need to keep understanding and leveraging the way that technology can transform the way we do business. Exposing our top management to companies that are small but on the leading edge, is key to keep our entrepreneurial spirit and our innovation streams alive. The open and “social” way in which we did this at the Fintech District can be very effective.
In becoming better informed about our startups, what have you found most impressive in their activities and in their way of working?
We were looking for companies using AI and/or blockchains as their innovation engine, and our meeting was right on target. I was impressed not only by the innovation drive but also by the high level of ambition of most of the companies we met.
Would be interested in taking part in any more meetings like this, regularly organized by Fintech District?
As I said, this kind of meetings can be a key “seeding” element of our innovation stream and corporate venture activities. Obviously it cannot be the only element.
From your point of view, what might be in the future the role of Fintech District in the Italian fintech ecosystem?
Successful innovation is not a steady flow. It will always experience moments of acceleration around “catalyst ideas” or “catalyst companies” which will consolidate around them human and financial resources. Other ideas and companies will be left behind or consolidated into the successful stream. It a positive and natural way in which ecosystems evolve. Fintech District can facilitate this process at a local level and give our ecosystem a level of scale that allows its integration in a wider European system.
Winner of the AIFIn award, the Golden Circle award, “as a company that makes evolution, change and innovation its focus”, Walliance is ready to present its platform in a new version, in two languages, on the 2nd of May in London within the “Future: PropTech”, a European event dedicated specifically to the digital development of real estate.
Founded on 18 July 2016 and officially launched on 12 September 2017, Walliance joined Fintech District in November. “Being part of this community for us means being inside a structure that gives us the possibility to create new partnerships in an area where networking is very important – claims Giacomo Bertoldi, Founder and CEO of Walliance – Within the Milan ecosystem, this surely allows us to grow faster thanks to the companies we deal with, every day in Fintech District”.
Walliance is the first Italian equity crowdfunding platform entirely dedicated to real estate that allows anyone who wants to invest in this sector starting from very small amount of money, from EU 500, “and investors can select from time to time the real estate project that they consider the most valid one”.
This platform, created and managed by a nine-member team with an average age of 38, is open to real estate projects all over the world. “We have recently launched a real estate project in the United States, in Manhattan – explains Bertoldi – During these months, we are focusing on quickly become international”. On the 2nd of May, Walliance will present its platform in two languages, in London, within the “Future: PropTech”, a European event dedicated specifically to the digital development of real estate, “the place to be” to explore global market opportunities.
Waiting for May, last week Bertoldi and his team received the AIFIn award, the Golden Circle award, “we had the chance to be selected among the winning fintech companies, it is certainly very important recognition for us because it is dedicated to all those companies that make evolution, change and innovation their focus”.