With Techquartier, a bridge between Germany and Italy
One of the innovation hubs with which we work with is Techquartier, located in Frankfurt. In this interview, the managing director Sebastian Shafer tells us about its activities with the startups and what he expects from the MoU signed with Fintech District last November, during the Salone dei Pagamenti.
What is Techquartier’s mission? what are your key values?
As an innovation hub, our mission at TechQuartier’s is to empower people with tools and technologies that will help them drive innovation. We believe entrepreneurship is the core competence of the 21st century, and our mission is to unleash these entrepreneurial forces through the most accessible and impactful innovation experience possible. Our key values are diversity, authenticity, curiosity and risk-taking, self-reinvention and adaptiveness, and most important of all, playfulness!
What activities do you offer for fintech startups?
We work closely with our partners – global financial institutions, consulting firms, universities, and even a football club – to co-create acceleration programs which fintech startups can access. These are free of charge, and no equity is taken. During these programs, which range from 3 days to 3 months, they meet with corporate decision-makers, investors, regulators, mentors and other fintech founders to validate their business model, go-to-market strategy and potentially, enter into collaboration with them. We also provide access to very affordable workspace in the heart of Frankfurt’s financial district, as well as to a growing number of international partner hubs.
What do you expect from the MoU with the Fintech District?
As with other international partners, we have very high expectations! The focus will be on action and tangible results. We want to be able, in a year from now, to clearly state examples of collaborations between our ecosystems, whether between corporates, startups, academics, experts or investors, Think visits, programs, events, proof of concepts, partnerships. We signed the MoU on the margins of the Salone dei Pagamenti, where I was talking this past November. My topic was on how ‘How Fintech Hubs’ collaboration can increase European competitiveness‘. I came back to Frankfurt excited about the openness and vision of the Italian stakeholders who shared the stage with me.
How do you consider the Italian fintech ecosystem? Are there any types of fintech startups that are of particular interest to you?
Milano, just like Frankfurt, is a relatively young ecosystem, one that is full of promise. There is talent, there are corporate partners and banks eager to work with startups, there is a strong base of SME (which in Germany we refer to as the Mittelstand), there is a lot of expertise (in the case of Milano, especially in the payments area.) In our opinion, the Italian Fintech scene appears ripe for rapid growth. In terms of Fintech areas of interest, we are especially interested in predictive solutions, beyond banking, payments, process automation, as well as authentification and fraud detection for banking. The biggest tech focus is on Big Data and Artifical intelligence.
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