With ten pitches of fintech startups and the signature of a “Memorandum of Understanding”, on May 17th, B-Hive and the Fintech District have shortened the distances between Belgium and Italy, officially starting a series of joint activities, aimed at the joint development of both fintech ecosystems.
With this event, which was also attended by Frank Carruet, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, and Chiara Ratzenberger, representative of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic, the Fintech District confirms its dual role of national reference point for those working in the sector and main access point for all the international stakeholders interested in getting in touch with the Italian fintech ecosystem.
In Bhive, the Fintech District has found the same “synergistic vision”: the two hubs share the idea that the development of individual ecosystems goes through international collaboration and the construction of bridges between countries that aim to put themselves on the map as a smart gateway to Europe and to the world.
B-Hive, fintech hub of reference in the BeNeLux market, supports startups in its ecosystem by giving them access to knowledge, network, market, funding and government. Its three key principles are: meeting, discovering and connecting. In this perspective B-Hive organizes monthly Fin & Tonic events, local matchmaking sessions and a series of European roadshows “to give our start-ups plenty of opportunities for matchmaking, networking and visibility via our events and channels” as the CEO of B-Hive Wim De Waele explains.
The meeting last week, hosted by the Fintech District at Copernico Isola for S32, was the first Italian stage of the B-Hive European Roadshow as well as the official beginning of a durable and constant collaboration between the two hubs.
THE STARTUPS PITCHES
The 10 fintechs presenting themselves to important companies active in the payments sector of their respective markets, have been selected by both hubs for their potential to create synergies and business opportunities in the same sector. The members of the Fintech District community involved were Conio, Domec, Growishpay, Hype, Satispay and Slimpay, listening to them and the “Belgian colleagues” – Digiteal, Intellect, GuardSquare and ZMS-k – there were some Italian companies consolidated and active in the sector like Banca Mediolanum, Sella, Widiba, Cerved.
THE SIGNATURE OF MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
The objective of the two hubs in signing this document is to work on collaborative initiatives and further promote the FinTech industry across Europe for the benefit of the whole industry.
This is a single signature that is worth at least a dozen different ways to collaborate, all “win-win”. Here are the main ones, explained by the CEO of B-Hive Wim De Waele.
- Mutual exchange of information on regional info and statistics, innovation trends in financial services activities and products.
- Mutual exchange of information on legislation and regulation pertaining to innovation in financial services in the respective jurisdictions.
- Mutual exchange of information and media support on important events and accelerator programs taking place in the respective jurisdictions.
- Mutual communication and marketing support by adding logos on own website, social media sharing, press communication and any relevant collaboration.
- Assistance in organizing seminars and conferences on selected issues enhancing the development of the innovation of the financial services of each other’s region.
- Assistance in welcoming fintech delegations and start-ups from each jurisdiction.
- Facilitating contacts only for the fintechs from the respective jurisdictions with fintech community, start-up support institutions, established financial institutions, regulators, universities and research institutions in each jurisdiction.
- Potential joint innovation projects on the application of novel financial technologies.
- Cooperation in the area of training and talent management.
- Cooperation in the area of communication and marketing. Mutual promotion about specific events and Fintech news on media channels.
THE B-HIVE REPORT
B-Hive produces a report for each city visited in its Roadshow telling “lights and shadows” of the ecosystem with which it has established a collaborative relationship. Regarding Milan, B-Hive highlights that “the presence of the stock exchange and startups are essential characteristics that turn this city into an attractive place for a huge FinTech community”.
According to this Belgian Fintech hub, the three factors that make Milan attractive for fintechs are: the stock exchange, talented workforce and a vibrant startup ecosystem. In its report, available at this link, B-Hive tells that “in order to gain a place on the international financial scene, Milan implements a ‘niche strategy’ addressed at private equity, asset management and fintech”.
Thanks also to the presence of some of the best universities in the world, such as Bocconi University and Politecnico, and its ambition to become one of the smartest cities in Europe, Milan is considered “the most attractive city in Italy for launching a startup, it is the heart of the startup scene in Italy”.