Before heading to Paris with a group of Dutch delegates who will meet the local ecosystem as part of the Money 20/20 Europe Roadshow, it is useful to recap the recent Swiss Trade Mission and Zurich meetup. With a packed schedule that spread over three days there is a lot to recap and therefore, this article will concisely summarize the activities that took place.
Jointly organized by the Dutch Business Round Table (DBRT), StartupDelta with Prince Constantijn van Oranje as a special envoy and Holland FinTech, the Swiss Trade Mission comprised more than 10 companies from a number of sectors. The trade mission offered a unique opportunity to connect to the Swiss fintech ecosystem by bringing together companies, investors and experts.
Day 1: Holland FinTech meetup (Zürich)
Don Ginsel kicked off the event and shared his vision of democratizing finance by spreading knowledge around the globe. Attendees were welcomed by Andreas Iten from the F10 Accelerator and Daniel Dahinden from SIX group who hosted and sponsored the event. This was followed by a Money20/20 fireside chat with Don Ginsel and Emma Pearce from Money20/20 Europe. Next on stage was Sandipan Chakraborty from Sonect, who shared the company’s story. Before wrapping up the meetup and networking a panel discussion on the “future of payments” took place with Dejan Juric from SIX group, Sandipan Chakraborty from Sonect, Nils Jung from Innopay, Raphael van Reekum from Julius Baer Bank and moderated by financial regulatory expert, Lea Hungerbühler, from Loyens & Loeff.
Day 2: Blockchain, innovation and investment (Zug & Zürich)
This day began with a drive to Zug, where the delegation convened at the Zug Municipality to hear presentations by Vasily Suvorov from Crypto Valley Association and Startup Delta’s special envoy, Prince Constantijn van Oranje. This session was concluded by a panel discussion on “how can authorities support and drive innovation” with panelists from Holland Fintech, Startup Delta, Crypto Valley Association and Zug Canton. This was followed by a boat ride across the Zug Lake where the delegation was welcomed by Matthias Michel from the Canton’s Council and Dutch Ambassador to Switzerland Anneke Luwema. During the cruise Nabil Naghdy from Status and Ryan Jesperson from Tezos, both blockchain-based fintech start-ups, presented their ideas.
After this floating session, the delegation moved to the Suurstoffi campus and was received by the Head of Hochschule Luzern who discussed the unique business concept of Suurstoffi. Mathias Ruch from Lakeside Partners was up next to share his insights on blockchain and was followed by a panel discussion regarding the impact of science and early stage investment.
From there, the delegation returned to Zürich for the last event of the day hosted by DBRT at the Kickstart Accelerator. After short introductions from DBRT, Ambassador Luwema, Prince Constantijn van Oranje and Don Ginsel, the companies who joined the delegation pitched their ideas before a crowd of Swiss corporations, startups and investors. Once done with the pitches, guests enjoyed a matchmaking dinner where companies connected with investors and other interested parties.
Day 3: Pitches and insights (Zürich)
The last day of the trade mission started with a breakfast meeting, where the top 3 companies pitching the day before were able to pitch again in front of DBRT’s Dutch community in Switzerland. From this session the delegation moved to Google’s Zürich office and was welcomed by Dutch Googler Jeroen Kemperman and site lead Behshad Behzadi who shared his insights on innovation made by Google. Next, was a presentation of the HQLAx solution by Guido Stroemer from R3, Declan Falvey from Credit Suisse and Herve Francois from ING. This was followed by a presentation from Advanon’s founder Stijn Pieper and a talk on how Google helps business to grow by Steffen Ehrhardt. The delegation sealed the visit with a tour and lunch at the Google office before heading to the airport.
Overall, the Swiss Trade Mission enabled members of the delegation to connect and create cooperation with Swiss counterparts, demonstrating the importance of international reach and the inclusiveness of the Dutch and Swiss fintech ecosystems.