Thanks to Holland FinTech, Caltrix was fortunate enough to be selected for the FinTech Mission to Edinburgh, organized together with the British Embassy. As a young company involved in corporate entrepreneurship, developing solutions together with (and for) corporates, we were very happy to be a part of the mission and explore innovations and collaborations with FinTechs. We were there for our KYC-venture, to expand our KYC ecosystem and look for potential partnerships.
Early flight to Edinburgh
The trip kicked off with an early flight on Wednesday September 25. After a strong cup of coffee, I boarded the plane to Edinburgh where we landed around 8:30am. Our contact from the British Embassy connected all the Dutch delegates through a group app and we agreed to meet at the arrivals gate of Edinburgh Airport to take an Uber to the event together (finding each other in a busy airport can be challenging when you don’t know what the other looks like!). The other two Dutch delegates were from two large Dutch financial institutions.
Upon arrival we immediately joined the first sessions in the main room which ranged from more generalist presentations about ‘Lean Startup’-methods to more use case specific sessions. In between we had time to connect with people from Scottish FinTechs on the event floor and make some first introductions.
The Awards Dinner
Later in the afternoon we needed to prepare for the Scottish FinTech Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa (yes it was indeed as fancy as it sounds!). It was all very well organised, high quality and, as you may expect from the Scottish, there was no shortage of refreshments on the table. I was able to take some pictures with my phone (apologies for the poor quality).
The event was presented by Fred MacAulay, a famous Scottish comedian (shame on me that I never heard of him). He wouldn’t allow award winners to get near the microphone for an acceptance speech as “nobody needs to hear how “the team” made it all possible”, which resulted in a very efficient awards ceremony (after spending two days here… big fan of Scottish humour, accent and efficiency!). Of course, the night wouldn’t be complete without enjoying the charming city of Edinburgh afterwards.
Next morning my ‘1-on-1 speed date sessions’ with ten Scottish FinTechs were up, these were rapid 15-minute sessions, which was just about long enough to have a very effective first introduction and explore potential synergies and collaboration. After an intense morning of speed dating I participated in a final roundtable session on cybercrime and then we headed off to the airport again for our flight back to Amsterdam.
It was all in all an amazing experience and we feel privileged to have been selected as a delegate. Many thanks to Holland FinTech and the British Embassy!