Holland Fintech Update By Menno van Leeuwen
Holland Fintech & Startupbootcamp launching IPO’s at Beursplein 5?
Friday I attended the Holland Fintech Monthly meetup with the 11 entrepreneurs pitching of the current cohort of Startupbootcamp Fintech & Cybersecurity. Icoinic member of Holland Fintech was so generous to host this session at Euronext, Beursplein 5 in what must have been a dynamic week for them.
A few observations from my side.
What a topic expertise
If you have been involved in fintech startup events even before the word fintech was created you perhaps look at things differently. In the early days, I found that many entrepreneurs dove into a certain underserved market – and there were many not served by banks – where they built up knowledge on the job. To put it more bluntly, they were a bit naïve, and had no clue where they would get into, but that did not stop them from challenging the status quo. In this cohort it struck me that all these entrepreneurs were very knowledgeable. You could derive that from the pitches and background stories, but also how they handled the questions from the audience. And if there weren’t any questions, Don Ginsel stepped in as moderator to keep it lively and content strong. On May 19th you can watch them pitch: Apply for Demo Day.
What an impact!
Working for years in the financial industry and focusing on innovation I got trained to always look at the client needs, unsolved problems at hand. If there is not any problem you can make concrete, do not bother to innovate. From my experience most of the current unsolved problems are caused because of the transitions we are in as a society and economy. Energy (geopolitical reason added recently), circular and social transitions. In most of my work I moved a little bit away from fintech to sustainability, e.g. working on topics such as climate impact, the need of electrification, material reuse and being inclusive. It was striking to see that the majority of the fintech & cybersecurity startups were addressing sustainability topics where they could make a positive impact: Banking solutions with a focus on connecting to black and african people, crowd funded solar farms, cross border tuition payments, financial education, track spendings… What a great merger of fintech & sustainability. (Of course, there is still a market for not per se sustainability driven fintech)
Networking and coaching
Live meetups after years of online meetings are quickly sold out. People were on waiting lists and the presentation and networking rooms were fully packed. The need to meet and connect more spontaneously is validated. I caught myself mentioning: ‘I did some work this morning so I could join this event.’ Justly corrected by Don that networking is working too.
For Holland Fintech we really want to be there for fintech entrepreneurs when they startup, scale, succeed and want to give back. That is also a circular economy play, not wasting any talent, using and reusing all knowledge and connections that drive impact.
The many accelerators like Startupbootcamp prove the need of finding people that can contribute to each other. Often the focus is during a program. We want to discover the value add of networking, advisory and coaching in all the other stages you entrepreneurs are in. As an advisor I like to help more startups than just the one I am advising now, but I need some help structuring it efficiently. E.g. During this event I talked to some ambitious entrepreneurs and got connected to them with one-on-one sessions likely to follow. Most of the time this is a one-off contact moment. Hit and run, or is there more to gain?
Let’s co-create more impact
Reach out to us if you have a need for a coach, advisor, sparring partner or whatever you want to call it. Also if you are an experienced fintech entrepreneur, investor or topic expert and you want to contribute creating more impactful fintech startups that eventually become the next unicorn after chosing The Netherlands as launch platform. Share with us how you see this more structurally organized.
The bull outside the Euronext building must be taken as a positive sign. Many IPO’s to follow from impactful fintech entrepreneurs.