Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition has reached its sixth edition and has become one of the biggest events on technological innovation in Europe. “It is a good example of how a public institution, with a great team, as Innova Camera, can brilliantly realize its mission: to foster innovation and development of the entrepreneurial system” according to Alessandro Collesano, curator and moderator of the event. In this interview he explains what will happen in Rome and in the future of Fintech sector.
How and when was the idea of dedicating a free event of “Waiting for Maker Faire Rome” to Fintech?
I participated at Maker Faire Rome with two ‘digital’ startups of which I’m a founder, learning a lot and meeting people and companies with whom we still collaborate. I asked myself how to grow this event that in 3 days has over 100K visitors and a huge media and social coverage. How to capitalize on the benefits for entrepreneurs and citizens? This year I made a small contribution to redesign this event as a series of vertical events throughout the year that would create value for the production system. Then, they asked me to design and curate one: FinTech Innovation
Keyword: concreteness. What will Fintech startups really find?
At this event “waiting for Maker Faire Rome” they will find entrepreneurs, managers, CFOs, professionals, banks and investors interested in their services. Take, for instance, Roberto Nicastro: manager of great experience in the banking world and one of the most active “angel investors” in FinTech and advisor Europa for Cerberus Capital. The ecosystem will also see one of their main representative – Ignazio Rocco di Torrepadula from Italia Fintech – talking with institutions: MISE, Consob and ABI: it will be a good opportunity to discuss how to further develop the Italian FinTech. There will also be an opportunity for dialogue with other Fintech startups Fand banks; for example, in the special pitching session in “Future Hall” entitled “4 FinTechs 4 Banks”, animated by Frédéric Perrin (Exton Consulting) with 3 French startups and an Italian excellence in robo-advisoring and in the robo-assistance: Deus Technology.
What will Fintech and non-fintech SMEs really find?
They will find digital solutions that will help them strengthen and develop. Working as a CFO and as a consultant for the digitization of SMEs, I realize that some solutions are still little known. SMEs in just two days will have an almost complete map of many tools already available today and will know how and when to use them to create value.
Blockchain and bitcoin: it is a sensitive issue. Why did you choose to face it during this event “waiting for Maker Faire Rome” and how?
We talk about it too much, often out of turn, and in the confusion of a nascent sector, businesses can be victims of manipulations and scams. There is too much hype that hides the few concrete things that are emerging. There is great confusion, it is necessary to address the issue to provide a service to companies. We will highlight the first practical applications useful for their business and, at the same time, we will present limits, risks and cautions in order to help make people able to distinguish facts and fiction.
One of the four main directions of the event is “the future of FinTech”, how do you imagine it?
I’ll answer with a trend-slogan.
UP!: Financial Education, Digital Payments, PSD2, Digital whatever, Invoice Trading, Supply Chain Finance Crowd whatever, P2P whatever, Mobile Whatever, AI, & robo, open banking, Distributed whatever, KYC-onboarding-customer journey, CyberSec
DOWN!: paper, bad UX, ‘people doing repetitive tasks’, physical money,
What role can the Fintech District play in the future scenario of the sector?
I’ll answer quoting Larry Page (Google) in an interview with Wired in 2013 said
“I worry that something has gone seriously wrong with the way we run companies. If you read the media coverage of our company, or of the technology industry in general, it’s always about competition. The stories are written as if they are covering a sporting event. But it’s hard to find actual examples of really amazing things that happened solely due to competition. How exciting is it to come to work if the best you can do is trounce some other company that does roughly the same thing?”.
In my opinion, Fintech District embodies this vision: it is making a huge contribution to fostering a spirit of collaboration in the Italian and European fintech ecosystem. It will help us a lot to develop!