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DAY 2: WELLINGTON
Wow! Another great turn-out in Wellington last night. FinTech is certainly happening in Wellington, and our guest of honour was definitely the highlight of the programme.
The Honourable Jacqui Dean – Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and Minister of Small Business – spoke about how fast FinTech is growing in New Zealand, how it underpins the rest of our economy and will shape our future for all businesses large and small. She then talked about how committed the central government is as a member of this new community, as well as an active participant in the sector as both a regulator and an innovator. After that, she pronounced the New Zealand Financial Innovation and Technology Association – aka FinTechNZ – officially founded, launched, and ‘open for business’.
Thanks to the support from NZTech and our government, we have now effectively raced past incubation and are officially unleashed upon the unsuspecting world! 🙂
Afterwards, I was delighted when the Minister explained that FinTech is very important to both of her ‘Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ and ‘Small Business’ portfolios. I was then extra-delighted when she asked me to communicate directly to keep her informed on the progress of FinTechNZ and activities of our members, as well as our thought leadership on growing the New Zealand economy and our relevance to the global community. This is beyond fantastic!
International FinTech Delegation:
During her speech, Minister Dean publicly announced, as well as expressed the government’s support for and involvement in, FinTechNZ’s first sector initiative taking place immediately after our launch: the hosting of an international fintech business delegation visiting Auckland on 24th March from the UK and Australia.
FinTechNZ is leading this initiative with the support from the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech) and in collaboration with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF), New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE), and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).
As this is a New Zealand-wide initiative, Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC), Canterbury Technology Cluster (CanterburyTech) and Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) are also coming on board to include and engage the two respective regions.
Additionally, we are working with Kiwi Connection Tech Hub in South East Asia and other partners to explore the possibility of fintech visitors from Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong, all to converge in New Zealand on that day. More update on this will be provided as we progress.
So, FinTechNZ is not only ‘open for business’, we are open for ‘international’ business, immediately after launch. 🙂
Thanks to everyone who attended and participated, we had a super-engaged audience. Lots of great questions, ideas, feedback, input, and also highlights of what’s already happening in FinTech in the city/region. The NZTech support team furiously took note of everything. As a result, I am, again, updating a few things in my presentation this morning for Auckland this evening.
Interestingly, I noticed that insurance businesses were not present at the Wellington event. This could be because most insurers are headquartered in Auckland. Nevertheless, this morning, I met over breakfast with Tim Grafton – CEO of Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) – who assured me that insurers are innovating with technology across many areas of their businesses, and that externally there are also many assistive and disruptive InsurTech innovations rapidly emerging from the FinTech community. I am hoping there will be some FinTech movers and shakers from the insurance sector at our third launch meeting in Auckland tonight.
Unfortunately, our NZTech Board member and FinTechNZ Core Working Group member Mandy Simpson from Cyber Toa and many other FinTech innovators, practitioners, business leaders and start-ups could not be present at our Wellington launch because of a clash with the Lightning Lab FinTech Accelerator programme’s mentorship event. Nevertheless, we look forward to seeing you at the first FinTechNZ Connect event for Wellington region on 29th March. FinTechNZ and NZTech will work with WREDA to organise and deliver these Connect events.
A huge thank from the NZTech and FinTechNZ teams to our sponsor Augen Software Group and our host the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX). We would not have been able to deliver our launch in Wellington without you.
Thanks to our NZTech Board members Kim Connolly-Stone from MBIE, Eva Sherwood from Oracle, and Melissa Firth from Te Papa, for your attendance and support, as well as FinTechNZ Core Working Group members Peter Fletcher-Dobson from Kiwibank, Poppy Hanes from MBIE, and Rob Old from BNZ Bank, for being there to team-deliver and ‘field’ the session with me. I am looking forward to doing the same with the rest of the NZTech and FinTechNZ team later today in Auckland.
DAY 3: AUCKLAND
Tonight in Auckland, we have a very cool Guest Speaker – Leigh Flounders, CEO of LatiPay. Leigh will share the FinTech company’s journey from start-up to international success in a very short time. It’s an awesome story that is still just beginning to unfold for everyone involved.
Unbelievably, we are now oversubscribed, yet again! This time, we don’t have enough time to find a third venue now, so we have closed registration, and some attendees will have to stand, unfortunately. My most sincere apologies. We completely underestimated the spread of our networks and the level of interest in the community, twice.
I am not going to ask the same team to provide any future estimations. 🙂
Nevertheless, no one is missing out! FinTechNZ launch is but a formality to mark the beginning of the collective journey that will include all of us. The first bi-monthly FinTechNZ Connect event in Auckland will take place on 18th April. The conversation that we start tonight will be fully captured. We will rearticulate and continue it at the Connect events. We look forward to seeing many of you again or for the first time then.
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