FinTech North is an event initiative created to generate collaboration and economic benefits for the North, and enhance the FinTech reputation within the region and beyond. It is a collaborative project conceived in 2016 by White Label Crowdfunding and Whitecap Consulting, and operates under a not-for-profit ethos.
Julian Wells, Director of Whitecap Consulting and FinTech North, commented: “We’re delighted to be expanding FinTech North this year to cover three major cities across the Northern Powerhouse. The interest we have seen in FinTech North on a regional, national and international basis over recent months has been increasing exponentially, and we are making tangible progress in our efforts to build a FinTech community across the north.”
Annual FinTech North conferences have taken place in Leeds for the last two years, and monthly FinTech North seminars, covering an array of relevant topics, are also now held in the city, in partnership with Leeds City Council. There are plans this year to organise further seminars in other northern cities, expanding the reach of the initiative. This year’s conferences will take place at aql in Leeds on 26th April during Leeds Digital Festival, on 22nd May at the University of Manchester, and on 12th June in Liverpool, as part of the International Business Festival. The events expect to collectively attract over 700 delegates and speakers from the UK and overseas.
Dr. Chris Sier, FinTech Envoy to the Northern Powerhouse, visiting professor of Financial Technology at the University of Leeds, Professor of Practice at Newcastle University Business School, and Chair FCA IDWG, has been involved in FinTech North since its conception. He believes passionately in the region’s potential:
“There is a deep vein of skills, resources and opportunity in the Northern Powerhouse, but for its potential to be realised it is important that we build a strong FinTech community, which means the public and private sectors coming together and enlisting the support of key stakeholders such as our universities.”
Daniel Rajkumar, Founder and CEO of two Leeds-based FinTech businesses, White Label Crowdfunding and rebuildingsociety.com, and Director of FinTech North, added:
“Technologically-led firms have become market leaders for most business sectors. It’s normal that there will be some convergence of innovations and clear leaders will emerge. I believe this pattern will continue, and that FinTech will play an ever-growing role in the business world.”
Attendees of the FinTech North events are offered diverse, wide-ranging insight into the financial technology field from industry experts. Speakers at the events have included representatives from the Financial Conduct Authority, CBI, Department for International Trade, Tech City, First Direct and University of Leeds. They have raised various topics relating to the sector, ranging from regional infrastructure and connectivity to cryptocurrencies and regulation. The next FinTech North event will take place on Friday 23rd February, and will cover the topic of Women in FinTech North.
Chris Sier, who will chair this year’s Leeds conference, concluded:
“Over the last year there have been many positive developments in building the FinTech economy in the UK outside of London, including the FCA’s regional sandbox, the impending launch of Nexus at Leeds University and a number of other initiatives. Events like FinTech North help build the regional FinTech community, and supporting them is therefore very important to grow the regional and national FinTech economy.”