BEC’s Rasmus Løfstrøm on how the NYC Tech Masterclass helps companies stay successful in a changing world
World-renowned for its gastronomy, architecture and design, Denmark is now fast emerging as a Nordic leader in the tech start-up space with the fintech sector leading the charge. According to Nordic Tech List, some $63 million of start-up investment was channelled to Danish fintech in 2017, boosting a thriving industry already supported by a strong member’s organization, Copenhagen Fintech. Overall, industry observers of Denmark’s start-up scenes are increasingly optimistic. In fact, in 2017 Denmark boasted the highest per capita level of venture capital investment among 15 European countries and there has been a marked upsurge in investments for seed and start-up phases ever since.
But how can Danish financial institutions gain inspiration from the US market and adopt the latest trends from the New York fintech and innovation scene?
Copenhagen Fintech and Denmark In New York have a solution: the NYC Tech Masterclass.
Newly launched by Denmark In New York’s expert tech-focused trade team and conducted alongside key partners in the fintech space, the NYC Tech Masterclass introduces Danish financial institutions to the ins and outs of the New York tech scene, connecting them with leading practitioners from the New York fintech and start-up ecosystems.
Against that backdrop, Denmark In New York spoke with three recent NYC Tech Masterclass graduates about their recent experiences and why they would recommend the NYC Tech Masterclass to fellow Danish fintech entrepreneurs. In this third instalment, Rasmus Løfstrøm, Chief Business Strategist at BEC, explains how the NYC Tech Masterclass helps companies build a global perspective and stay relevant in the fast-paced world of fintech.
Denmark In New York: Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to attend the NYC Tech Masterclass.
Rasmus Løfstrøm: As the Business Strategy and Fintech lead at BEC, I’m constantly looking for new ways to secure our position as the leading core banking IT provider in Denmark. BEC is taking on its biggest transformation since the financial crisis, driven by changes in the regulatory environment, customer behaviour and technology. Financial Services is at a breaking point in terms of globalisation and innovating at speed to keep up with new ways of delivering financial services digitally and in person. The question is how fast that transformation will progress. That is what I was hoping to learn from the NYC Tech Masterclass: how fintechs and banks innovate in the world’s leading financial hub — New York!
What are your key takeaways from the Masterclass 2019?
Rasmus Løfstrøm: Fintech user adoption is now! In a crowded space where capital is a commodity for start-ups, tomorrow’s winners are slowly starting to get ahead of the pack. The laser focus on solving one customer problem with one killer product has been the winning strategy so far, but now digital-only players are taking advantage of a growing customer base and are moving sideways into new products and customer segments. The general shift from physical to digital distribution is also happening in financial services even though the pace is not as radical as first expected. To stay ahead of the curve or just at the curve, innovators need to both acquire the digital customers, and also find business models that cater to both customers and investors and form a long-term sustainable business.
What insights did you bring back home to your team?
Rasmus Løfstrøm: Strategic product development and the way we work with our development funnel is changing. We need to be more strategic and have different approaches to solving specific customer demands depending on the type of task we are solving. Many of the products we deliver today will be delivered through partnerships in the future, as there will almost always be someone who has found a better solution than we have. We need to take a role as an orchestrator of third party services together with the banks who run on our platform (through API’s). And, when we develop something in house, we need to improve our time-to-market and delivery model. That requires a new mind-set, new skills and ways of organising. Some tasks require a lean start-up approach with a build, test, learn mind-set, and some tasks can still organise around a bigger program, with longer delivery sprints. And, finally, we all need to pay genuine attention to what is happening at the global fintech scene because that is where digital innovation is happing right now.
For whom is the NYC Tech Masterclass relevant?
Rasmus Løfstrøm: It sounds like a cliché but in this digital race we all need to understand the dynamics of the global world we live in. Digital products and services are a globally competitive game now and the competition is no longer just within a local market. Therefore, picking the best digital solutions of tomorrow is and will be a crucial part of staying a successful company.