Leading FinTechs honoured at the 2018 FinTechGermany Awards with the Golden Garage

For the fourth time, the Golden Garage was awarded to outstanding FinTech companies on Thursday, June 14, 2018, at the FinTechGermany Award ceremony. The leading investor-driven award for FinTech entrepreneurs, organized by Börsen-Zeitung, Business Angels FrankfurtRhineMain, Frankfurt Main Finance and TechFluence, honours start-ups in six different categories for their accomplishments. Awamo was able to convince the jury of its success in the category Seed-/Early Stage while Optiopay won the category Late Stage. N26 was awarded best FinTech in the Growth Stage. Revolut stood out as „Best foreign FinTech on the German market.” Additionally, the special prize for the best PropTech was given to Exporo. Element Insurance was honoured in the special category Insurtech. The Longlist, consisting of applicants and nominees, featured more than 150 companies.

“FinTechs are of utmost importance to the long-term attractiveness and high economic performance of the Financial Centre Frankfurt,” emphasises Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance.

“We are pleased that the FinTechGermany Award provides a platform for start-ups and promotes the financing chain in the region throughout the entire start-up process – from the seed stage to pre-IPO,” states Andreas Lukic, Chairman of Business Angels Frankfurt RheinMain.

“The award ceremony has become a well-established event in the Financial Centre Frankfurt,” says Dr. Jens Zinke, Managing Director of Börsen-Zeitung. “The German FinTech industry continues to grow. We are still at an early stage with regards to the digitalisation of the financial sector,” explains Michael Mellinghoff, Managing Director at TechFluence Consult and Senior Advisor as well as Mentor at FinTech Forum Frankfurt.

The jury’s three most important judgement criteria were financial viability, scalability and exit-potential. They evaluated the business concept, competitive advantages, positioning, financial planning and management. The Seed-/Early-Stage comprises of FinTechs, which either generated their first revenue or had none yet. Companies with a cumulative turnover of at least six figures were able to qualify for the category Late Stage. The category Growth Stage requires companies to have a seven-figure or higher revenue and international expansion to qualify. The special awards recognize important FinTech industry sectors, which are becoming increasingly significant. In addition, the best foreign market participant is being honoured.

Frankfurt Startup Ecosystem Report

Release of the Frankfurt Startup Ecosystem Report

Universities and corporations hold key levers in driving Frankfurt from a startup to a scaleup ecosystem. With a strong startup culture, fast growth in funding, and a globally-leading Fintech cluster, Frankfurt can create billions in economic value. Read more

Global Startup Ecosystem Report: Frankfurt’s Startup Ecosystem conquers Top 10

Frankfurt, Hesse, April 17, 2018 – Released at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul, the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018 features insights from over 10,000 founders across 45 cities, and shows what it takes to build a dynamic startup ecosystem. For the second time since 2017, Frankfurt is one of the top 45 cities for which detailed data was collected. The Frankfurt startup ecosystem has received special recognition worldwide for the creation of a FinTech cluster and is presented several times as a future hub of the new tech era.

“The Frankfurt region combines a solid (digital) infrastructure, the right kind of talent, globally acknowledged research & teaching and a decade-long experience of established companies. The Masterplan for the FinTech and Startup region Frankfurt Rhein-Main, developed by TechQuartier, defines specific measures to foster the creation of tomorrows ideas, businesses and innovation. Together with partners from the worlds of industry, science and politics, the State Government of Hessen fully supports the implementation of the Masterplan.“ Tarek Al-Wazir Hessian Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development.

Global Startup Ecosystem Report. Quelle: TechQuartier Frankfurt

Quelle: TechQuartier Frankfurt

According to the authors of the report, one of the keys to Frankfurt’s success is its clear focus on FinTech. “Frankfurt has the highest (together with another ecosystem) concentration of start-ups in a particular subsector in the almost 100 ecosystems worldwide,” the report states. In addition, more than 50% of local VC investments were invested in Fintech start-ups between 2012 and 2017.

“Frankfurt has a relatively high number of startups in the B2B sector. For the FinTech sector, this results in the proximity to regulators and banks for partnerships. The Frankfurt ecosystem offers the best conditions for starting and growing a FinTech business with access to experienced workforce and investors. We see FinTechs as partners to innovate our business and not as competitors” says Swen Moellmann, Head of Digital Strategy & Innovation at ING-DiBa.

This large concentration of financial expertise, banks and FinTech start-ups and the close cooperation between the start-ups leads to 7th place worldwide in the “sense of community” indicator.

“In the last two years, the start-up scene in Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region has developed rapidly. A key factor here is the excellent interaction of the players in the Frankfurt financial centre. We will continue to do so and thus make even better use of the region’s potential,” says Thomas Groß, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of Helaba.

While the Global Startup Ecosystem Report gives an overview of how Frankfurt compares with other ecosystems worldwide, a more detailed study is also in progress. This will focus in particular on high-growth start-ups (or scale-ups) and compare Frankfurt with other leading ecosystems in Asia and North America. The results of this study will be presented at a press conference at TechQuartier on June 12 2018.

Source: TechQuartier

Find the full Global Startup Ecosystem Report here.

Plug and Play and TechQuartier announce first five corporate partners to join Fintech Europe Innovation Platform in Frankfurt

Plug and Play, the largest global innovation platform, and TechQuartier, the one-stop startup hub in the heart of Frankfurt, Germany, announce Aareal Bank, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank and NETS Group as the first five corporate partners to join their fintech program based out of Frankfurt. The partnership, known as Fintech Europe, will act as a home away from home for some of the most disruptive and innovative startups in the banking industry as they pilot their solutions with leading financial institutions.

The goal of Fintech Europe is to have 10-15 banks and financial service providers as partners in Frankfurt. These first five founding partners will dictate the focus of the program based on their current use cases, with Plug and Play championing a selection of highly rated startups sourced via their global network. Plug and Play will work hand in hand with the partners’ various business units to expedite the engagement process and encourage fruitful collaboration.

“Frankfurt is a major financial capital and on track to also become a global fintech hub. We are very proud to be launching our first fintech open innovation platform for Europe, and we invite our partners from across the continent to join us as we build a fintech platform that is relevant not just to Europe, but the world,” says Saeed Amidi, CEO and Founder of Plug and Play.

The program is set to kick off on May 29th, 2018 and the first batch of startups will join in June. TechQuartier will provide complimentary desk space along with mentorship from their premier network of executives, investors and entrepreneurs.

If you are a financial institution looking to work with an international scope of technologies, or a startup enabling the advancement of the financial sector, get in touch today.

Please contact Amir Karimpour or Fernando Zornig to learn more.

About Plug and Play

Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services, and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 20 locations globally giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 6,000 startups and 220 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. We provide active investments with 200 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and host more than 700 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $7 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk. For more information, visit www.pnptc.com.

About TechQuartier

TechQuartier (TQ) is the central platform for the start-up community in the Frankfurt Metropolitan Region. Since December 2016, TQ has been offering over 3,200 square meters of flexible working space for start-ups, scale-ups as well as for innovation and digital teams of established companies. With numerous events, tailor-made offers for talents, start-ups and established companies, TQ offers an ideal environment for the development of new technologies, services and business models. TechQuartier enriches the vibrant start-up ecosystem in Frankfurt Rhine Main with its unique community of more than 80 startups and 30 corporate partners and academic institutions, including Aareal Bank, Allen & Overy, Atos/equenswordline, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Börse, DZ BANK Group, EY, Goethe-University, Helaba, ING-DiBa, KPMG, PwC, Sparda-Bank, Hesse, TU Darmstadt and WIBank. The TechQuartier has also been designated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as one of Germany’s “FinTech-Hub”. For more information, please visit www.techquartier.com.

Techquartier – These are the upcoming events for international FinTechs

Landing Pad

in Cooperation with KPMG.

Is Frankfurt the right place to get your startup to the top? Landing Pad is a unique opportunity to discover Germany’s FinTech hub and Frankfurt’s way of doing business – and it will happen in a matter of one week, not months!

Who? Selected fast-growing incorporated startups under 8 years old, eager to understand the German market and make first business connections.
How? Submit your pitch deck and tell us why you want to join Landing Pad.
When? 1. – 4. May. Application will close on April 1st.

 

 

Growth Con

GrowthCon is a Tech and M&A Conference and offers a deep dive into the relevant topics of today’s tech business and entrepreneurial challenges. Joining the event on stage, many well known investors and founders will discuss the hottest trends and give a picture of newest developments. As a networking platform, TechQuartier expects more than 500 technology savvy founders, digital leaders, investors and corporates to mix into an inspiring crowd. Get your ticket and more info about the agenda and the speakers here.

Pitch Battle at GrowthCon

Presented by TechQuartier in collaboration with Eintracht Franfurt, ING DiBa and WIBank, here is what the Pitch Battle is all about :

  • Seize the opportunity and present your start-up at GrowthCon to a high-level audience
  • Connect directly with high-profile investors, corporates and entrepreneurs at the Speakers’ Dinner
  • Win a investment readiness session with the experts of ACXIT and TechQuartier who will challenge your business strategy
  • All participants of the pitch battles receive free tickets to the conference

The Pitch Battles

TechQuartier is selecting 10 startups. The Pitch Battle consists of three tracks – SporsTech, FinTech and ICO. The 10 startups TechQuartier selects will present in front of the whole audience and to a selected group of expert judges from the industry and investment space.

When?  May 2nd, 12:00 to May 4th, 14:00

More Information on Techquartier.com.

 

FinTech Forum on Tour. Frankfurt Main Finance Managing Director Hubertus Väth

Building FinTech bridges between London and Frankfurt

FinTech Forum On Tour in Frankfurt

On March 22, 2018, promising entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and others interested in FinTech, gathered in Frankfurt for the FinTech Forum on Tour. The future cooperation between FinTechs and banks, as well as the UK and Germany were at the core of the event. Snowy weather and delicious earl grey tea created a fruitful atmosphere for discussions, startup pitches and much more.

Her Majesty’s Consul-General for Hessen, Mr. Rafe Courage, and Britain’s Ambassador to Germany, Sir Sebastian Wood KCMG, welcomed the attendees and underlined the importance of close collaboration between Germany and the UK in FinTech, especially in the coming years considering the growth of digitalization in banking and consequences of Brexit. “Scientific and technological cooperation must increase, there is no political discussions on that,” said Ambassador Wood. Hubertus Väth, managing director of Frankfurt Main Finance, elaborated on the Financial Centre Frankfurt’s role as the destination of choice after Brexit, stating that “Frankfurt is building a bridge to London for financial institutions and FinTech in particular.”

 

A major part of the forum was dedicated to startup pitches – ten FinTech companies presented their solutions for the future of banking and digitalization. Much attention was given to improving digital rights and consent management to protect consumer data. The integration of analytics systems for asset managers, secure data operations, and the role of artificial intelligence for banking were just several examples of the advancements that FinTech startups offer the finance sector in the UK and Germany.

During the panel, moderated by Dr. Martin Deckert (niiio finance group), Lucie Haß (Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen), Steffen Seeger (digitalplus), Christian Nehk (Barclays Bank) and Nektarios Liolios (Startupbootcamp FinTech) addressed questions about costs, competition, compliance and growth of FinTech and banking. All panelists agreed that digitalization in banking and the collaboration with FinTech startups has rapidly increased over last five years. However, there is still room for new solutions and innovative ideas in both markets. “Five years ago, Germany was far behind but now it is a place to be, it is a success for everybody,” said FinTech pioneer Nektarios Liolios.

Panelists and participants concurred that regulations may differ between countries; however, common trends apply. Large financial services companies and banks require more time to implement smart technological solutions, nevertheless the urgency for digitalization can no longer be denied as it may have been in 2013. According to Sir Sebastian Wood, Brexit and its resulting shifts in migration and trade policies does not undermine the fact that the UK is willing to cooperate with Europe, especially on FinTech IT matters. “Wir müssen Freunde bleiben,” exclaimed Ambassador Wood in German. The concluding remarks of his keynote corresponded nicely with Hubertus Väth’s position that Germany, and Frankfurt in particular, could indeed become the new bridge between London and Europe.

 

More Information: FinTech Forum On Tour

Global Startup Ecosystem Report. Quelle: TechQuartier Frankfurt

Global Partnership Forms to Study Vibrant Frankfurt Startup Ecosystem and Identify Growth Drivers

In partnership spanning three continents, organizations will analyze conditions for startup success and what steps can boost growth, drawing lessons for other regions

In a unique global partnership, a 28-year-old Chinese serial entrepreneur, Startup Genome, Goethe University, and TechQuartier have come together to identify key factors in the success and growth of startup ecosystems. The project will focus on the fast-growing startup ecosystem in Frankfurt, Germany, and will generate findings that can be applied to regions across the world.

Yi Shi has built up one of Asia’s unicorn startups, DotC United Group, and has extensive international experience with large companies and startups. Studying at Goethe University motivated Shi to invest into this research initiative on the German startup ecosystem.

“I’ve been travelling between different continents (America, Europe and Asia) regularly and discovered different mindsets which impact the final approach and methodology in building a new business. And my intention to support this study, together with my alma mater, is to systematically analyze the macro and micro economic factors of building a successful startup ecosystem, in order to get a deep understanding of which measures could be done better by different stakeholders inside of the system.”

The study will use the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region and the German ecosystem as a basis for comparison with other global startup landscapes, identifying decisive framework conditions and growth drivers. A particular focus will be on the so-called scale-ups— i.e., young, fast-growing companies. A newly developed index will include growth conditions and success factor, and provide actionable insights for the German startup scene.

Startup Genome has been selected as the organization providing the international context of this project. The San Francisco-based company is the world leader in startup ecosystem assessment, delivering analytics and advice to innovation policy leaders in 30 countries to support the development of thriving startup communities. “The problem” explains CEO JF Gauthier, “is that four cities in three countries produce more than 70 percent of Exit Value in the Tech sector. We work to identify success factors so more cities and countries can benefit from the economic value generated by startups.”

Goethe University Frankfurt and TechQuartier will bring research experience and the latest scientific findings on the topic of entrepreneurship. Their growing experience with German startups will allow them provide the Startup Genome team with additional data and resources required for the project.

“We definitely need a better understanding of what makes talented youngsters transform into entrepreneurial leaders—whether they start their own business or innovate within existing firms. The study will test our hypothesis and then pave the way for tailor-made offerings of Goethe University to its students,” said Prof. Andreas Hackethal, dean at Goethe University and Academic Director of the Goethe-Unibator startup center.

Dr. Thomas Funke, Co-Director of TechQuartier, observed, “Startups alone will not save the German digital economy. Scaleups have the potential to do so. Therefore we are focusing in particular on scaleups, all startups that are characterized by continuous growth (20 percent growth over the last three years). They deserve special attention because they are an undisputed important element for the whole economy.”

New and reliable insights into the startup scene are important to clarify the key performance indicators and the success factors that are essential to a new company’s performance. This project will generate relevant data-driven insights, clarify which measures need to be implemented next, and identify how stakeholders can significantly contribute to improve the ecosystem. The study is scheduled to be published in June 2018.

Source: Pressrelease TechQuartier, March 12th 2018

Deutsche Börse – Crypto asset dojo 2018

If your daily activities include any of the following: creative thinking, coding, designing, hardware tinkering and lots of coffee, this one is for you! Deutsche Börse invites you to think about new, innovative financial services business applications.

Deutsche Börse’s upcoming dojo is all about crypto assets – or, to be more specific, about Ether, bitcoin, other crypto currencies, initial coin offerings and even tokenised company shares on private or public blockchains.

Challenge Deutsche Börse and their core business in a mind-opening way! Develop and present ideas how you believe Deutsche Börse Group can be a valuable part of the crypto asset space.

Divided into groups of up to five and given unique challenges on site, your participation in Deutsche Börse’s two-day dojo can range from presenting your teams idea up to the development of prototype software. You are fully in charge of how and what you want to present with the goal to differentiate you and your team’s idea from the other attendees.

Fuelled and developed by “out-of-the-box” thinkers, crypto assets are entering established industries, demonstrating that innovation and change have to be addressed! Deutsche Börse is confident that the current financial and crypto asset worlds will benefit from each other. Deutsche Börse wants to be part of this movement, and very importantly want to learn about people like you who shape it!

Interested? Then sign up and give Deutsche Börse a first impression about yourself and your capabilities, filling in the form here at the latest by 25 of February.

You will be informed by second of March if you are among the chosen participants.
The three best ideas will win up to €5,000, €3,250 and €2,500 on the basis of the agreed terms of our conditions of participation.

Frankfurt Main Finance has signed MoU with Bahrain FinTech Bay

Frankfurt Main Finance and Bahrain Fintech Bay have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the two FinTech Hubs. Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance, and Gerben Visser, Founder of Bahrain FinTech Bay signed the agreement.

The goal of the Co-working space Bahrain FinTech Bay is to become the largest FinTech Hub in the Middle East. To achieve this goal the initiative supports young FinTechs in their development, offers them partnership opportunities and a global FinTech partner network. This network will now be supported by Frankfurt Main Finance. For Frankfurt Main Finance and the Financial Centre Frankfurt’s emerging FinTech Ecosystem the cooperation is an important entry point to the Middle East FinTech events and initiatives.

1 Year TechQuartier – FinTech scene in Frankfurt

The Tech Quartier celebrates its 1-year anniversary. Lars Reiner, founder and Manager of Ginmon, Thomas Schalow, founder of AsiaFundManagers.com, Andreas Mang from easyfolio and Christopher Schmitz, author of the EY-study „Germany FinTech Landscape“ take a look at the FinTech scene in Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main-Neckar region.

The FinTech scene in particular continues to grow in the financial centre. These are the findings of the EY study Germany FinTech Landscape – Insights into the respone of financial institutions to FinTechs and inter-FinTech collaboration, which was published in September 2017.  Of the 300 German FinTechs, 73 alone are located in the Rhine-Main-Neckar region. 19 of them have settled in the TechQuartier, between Messe and Tower 185.

Frankfurt offers the best conditions for FinTechs

Lars Reiner, founder and managing director of Ginmon, a Frankfurt-based FinTech company, explains why Frankfurt is a particularly suitable location for FinTech. It enables private investors to invest in an automatically managed ETF portfolio. “The Frankfurt region combines important location factors that are unique in Europe in this combination. The most important financial institutions and regulatory authorities have settled here in the Main metropolis. As a technology company, Ginmon also relies on IT specialists to constantly optimize existing algorithms. The region can exploit the potential of numerous universities, especially the TU Darmstadt.”

Thomas Schalow, founder of AsiaFundManagers.com, shares this view: “Frankfurt has an established financial ecosystem with many relevant national and international players. Especially for B2B-FinTechs this is a decisive factor. Brexit will further increase the importance of the city as THE financial centre within the EU.”

FinTech cooperates with banks

The results of the EY study also show that FinTech’s links with traditional companies in the financial sector are becoming increasingly close. Christopher Schmitz, author of the study and partner for EMEIA Financial Services at EY, explains, “FinTechs and Incumbents are increasingly working together in digital ecosystems. This creates new opportunities and models for the industry.”

A glance at the partners of the TechQuartier shows this. Deutsche Bank, Frankfurter Sparkasse and Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen are among the handpicked but established partners who round off the diverse mix of the world’s best start-ups. The exchange between the “big ones” and “newcomers” is promoted and desired through various networking events and workshops in the TechQuartier. Here, people work together instead of against each other.

This means that Frankfurt can also hold its own internationally, says Andreas Mang of easyfolio, who offers private customers individual investments on a digital basis, “There is more space than just one or two FinTech hubs in Europe. In addition, the Brexit discussion could also make Frankfurt more interesting for international start-ups.”

Thomas Schalow of AsiaFundManagers.com also draws an international comparison, explaining, “If the strengths of AsiaFundManagers.com are used consistently and quickly, in the long run, Frankfurt can also hold its own internationally. The advantages of the location are obvious: an existing financial ecosystem, the position as the most important financial centre within the EU and the infrastructure. However, I also have a direct comparison with other FinTech ecosystems such as London and Singapore. Unfortunately, Frankfurt is still years away from them.”

Short distances distinguish Frankfurt as a location

Nevertheless, Frankfurt has become home to him. He likes the mixture of Hessian down-to-earthness and internationality and is always looking forward to returning to Frankfurt. The founder of FinTech particularly appreciates the short distances between international investment companies, which can be covered well with Vespa or the subway. It is also the short distances that Lars Reiner of Ginmon at the Mainmetrople enjoys. “Frankfurt is the city of short distances. From our office, we can reach important partners in a few minutes. This makes it possible to work effectively,” Reiner explains. “In addition, a broad network has been established in Frankfurt by promoting and inspiring each other.”

Nevertheless, there are still some things that could be done better in Frankfurt. Lars Reiner von Ginmon wants affordable office space and the expansion of public transport. Thomas Schlaow also has concrete wishes like “networks, low-cost office space, simple regulation, venture capital and easy access to B2B partners. All this should go hand in hand. Andreas Mang from easyfolio sums up what all three FinTechs think, simply stating, “We feel very comfortable in Frankfurt.”

The complete EY study can be found here.