By partnering with international fintech hubs and local leading operators, Fintech District wants to create an international bridge for national startups and be a soft-landing platform to attract new entrants from abroad. Today we meet Fintech Hive. Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of DIFC FinTech Hive, tells us about its activities and projects but also its point of view with regard to the Italian fintech ecosystem.
What is Fintech Hive’s mission? What are your key values?
As the region’s first-of-its-kind accelerator programme, FinTech Hive at DIFC aims to bring together established financial institutions, government entities, technology partners and creative entrepreneurs to help create cutting-edge technologies which meet the changing needs of the region’s financial community. At the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), we recognise the increasing importance of FinTech in our region and how it is becoming a key pillar in the future of financial services.
At FinTech Hive, our core value is financial inclusivity. The potential that these creative startups and the FinTech sector have for greater financial inclusion in the region is unprecedented. As such, we have invested in our infrastructure and partner networks to ensure that this unrealised potential is unlocked. We will continue to enhance and expand our programme to allow for more cohesive innovation and entrepreneurship culture to be instilled across the region.
What activities do you offer for fintech startups?
FinTech Hive offers FinTech, RegTech, InsurTech and Islamic FinTech startups the opportunity to develop, test and adapt their technologies, in collaboration with top executives from DIFC and regional established financial institutions. The 12-week programme ends by offering the startups the opportunity to showcase their final products in front of potential investors from the large players in the financial industry.
The programme is also supported by DIFC’s sophisticated platform offering dedicated commercial licenses for FinTech, RegTech, InsurTech and Islamic FinTech firms. This cost-effective scheme allows budding start-ups from the FinTech sector to benefit from the Centre’s world-class infrastructure and ecosystem at feasible rates. FinTech Hive also offers mentorship from leading financial institutions, a dedicated collaborative space to work, and a community of like-minded individuals as well as access to the largest financial community in the region.
What do you expect from the MoU with Fintech District?
As part of this MoU, we expect both FinTech Hive and FinTech District to share knowledge on best practice and enable innovative businesses to operate even more seamlessly between Dubai and Milan. We also wish to explore the various opportunities to facilitate bilateral FinTech access between the two cities and foster a venture capital ecosystem in both markets. As with all our partnerships, this partnership will benefit startups, entrepreneurs and large established entities by enhancing access to investment, unlocking business opportunities and engaging new audiences and innovative products or ideas.
How do you consider the Italian fintech ecosystem? Are there any types of fintech startups that are of particular interest to you?
The Italian FinTech ecosystem holds immense opportunities for creative innovators across Europe. More specifically, Milan ranks #2 in Europe in terms of the number of organisations that support innovation, according to B-Hive, a European collaborative innovation fintech platform. Milan’s dynamic and creative environment makes it a hotspot for entrepreneurship, comprising 7 research centres, one technological park and several spin-offs. As such, we see immense opportunity to work closely with Fintech District and bring fresh, creative ideas to fruition.
FinTech Hive is particularly interested in technologies that can enhance financial inclusion in the MEASA region and beyond. These startups tend to focus on payment solutions, lending, and process automation, which allows for easy banking access through smartphones or digital devices.
Among the innovation hubs, we work with is Copenhagen Fintech. Read the interview!
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