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The power of Open Innovation

Publication date: 2024-03-01Reading time: 5 minutes
Hands coming together towards a central light

The Open Innovation concept has been around for almost 20 years. It was 2003 when Henry Chesbrough defined it as “a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as they look to advance their technology”¹, underscoring an alternative way to innovating compared to the internally oriented and centralised approach usually adopted by large businesses until the 1990s and early 2000s.

Fast forward to today, the Open Innovation concept has not only revolutionised the way in which firms use “external ideas to advance their technology”, but it has also widened its own boundaries, primarily due to digitalisation, globalisation and the emergence of new business models like platforms and ecosystems. In fact, businesses can focus on Open Innovation in many ways: from forging new collaborations to organising contests and competitions; from setting up internal Venture Capital units to invest in other firms to creating joint ventures; from integrating external solutions via APIs to developing new business models with trusted partners.

With Open Innovation becoming an ever-important tool for companies to grow, expand internationally, reduce costs, and identify new business opportunities, how can the Fintech District help companies foster and encourage such a powerful paradigm?

Promoting matchmaking activities in our community

With more than 280 fintechs and techfin companies in community, the Fintech District acts as an ecosystem aggregator, with the aim of creating the best conditions for all stakeholders to work in synergy and discover opportunities for local and international growth.

 To achieve this mission, the Fintech District has created a wide array of propositions to share knowledge and facilitate Open Innovation projects. One of these is linked with matchmaking activities that can help companies scouting novel solutions and identifying new business development opportunities. Several players, part of the wider Fintech District ecosystem, have boosted their Open Innovation practices thanks to our matchmaking activities:

  • Quid – Paydo: Quid is a Corporate that focuses on the design of ICT solutions in financial services since the late 1980s, facilitating the digital transformation of financial institutions. To better serve its clients, Quid has recently developed its Qinetic Platform: an innovative cloud-native credit lifecycle management product that enables omnichannel strategies.
    Thanks to the Fintech District role of aggregator, Quid identified PayDo (a fintech part of the Fintech District’s community) as partner to develop a solution to enable Quid’s customers to manage payment and collection operations in both ordinary activities (recurring deadlines) and extraordinary phases (soft collection), directly through the Qinetic platform features.
  • OCS - Redo: OCS is a software development company that for over 30 years has guaranteed excellence and reliability in the retail financial market. Thanks to matchmaking activities conducted with the Fintech District, OCS identified in Redo, a fintech company part of our community operating in the mobile instant lendingsegment, the best partner to continue its transformational journey towards becoming a Fintech Digital Partner. At the end of the matchmaking project, facilitated by the Fintech District, OCS acquired Redo in early 2022.

Organising Italy’s most important fintech event and promoting global connections

Another way through which the Fintech District promotes Open Innovation practices is by organising the Milan Fintech Summit (MFS), Italy’s largest event on the future of fintech. With the 5th edition already planned for 7-8 October 2024, the MFS is rapidly establishing itself as a must-to-go event amongst international fintech leaders where to share knowledge about the latest industry trends and conduct first-class networking sessions with both establish players and emerging start-ups.

This year, the 4th edition of the Milan Fintech Summit took place at the Allianz MiCo, Europe’s largest conference centre based in Milan, Italy’s fintech capital², and welcomed over 1400 participants, 90 partners, 120 speakers e 10 fintech unicorns from more than 30 countries across the globe. From Mastercard to Visa, from Oracle to Alipay, from Spotify to, this event can truly help fintech firms tapping the potential of innovation that lies outside their boundaries by listening, engaging, and making fruitful connections with top-notch experts and global players.

On top of organising the MFS, the Fintech District fosters connections with ecosystem partners based in countries such as Canada, Latvia, Portugal, and the UK. This is done to further promote innovation for fintech companies and other FS players willing to either enter the Italian market or expand abroad and to create a global network of fintech ecosystems based on common activities such as mentorship programmes and masterclasses.

Being part of the Fabrick ecosystem

The third main way through which the Fintech District stimulates Open Innovation for fintech and techfin companies is by being part of the Fabrick ecosystem. Fabrick is a European Embedded Finance provider, which thanks to its platform empowers businesses to transform their end-to-end value chain through modular, easy-to-integrate and future-ready Open Finance solutions. Here is what can happen when members of our fintech community start collaborating with Fabrick:

  • Hype – Bitpanda: Following its entrance into the Fintech District community, Bitpanda, one of Europe most well-known fintech companies operating in the investment space, joined forces with Fabrick to offer digital asset investing as a white label solution for Italian banks and fintechs.
    Through Fabrick’s Open Finance Platform, in November 2022, Hype, Italy’s leading neobank, launched a new investment feature allowing its clients to tap into Bitpanda's full scope of fractional stocks, ETFs and metals, 24/7. Thanks to this partnership, millions of clients have now access to new ways of powering their saved cash in a completely safe and regulated environment.
  • Findynamic – Fabrick: After becoming part of the Fintech District Community, Findynamic, leading European fintech company within the Supply Chain Finance segment, found in Fabrick the perfect ally to encourage the adoption of processes that benefit the entire supply chain.

Understanding the potential of Findynamic’s solutions, today Fabrick not only collaborates with this fintech through its Open Finance platform, but it has also invested in Findynamic through its Venture Capital unit, becoming one of its key technology partners to accelerate


Are you in the mood for Open Innovation? Let’s get in touch!


Open Innovation: The New Imperative | Henry Chesbrough, 2003


Milano for Fintech | Yes Milano (in collaboration with the Fintech District), 2023

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