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Denmark In New York, Copenhagen Fintech to host seminar series aimed at boosting Danish fintech footprint in New York City

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? Well, there is an app for that … kind of.

The 2019 Fintech Masterclass in New York, launched by Denmark’s Trade Council and Copenhagen Fintech and running from September 4th to 6th at the Consulate General of Denmark in New York, will introduce Danish financial institutions and Copenhagen Fintech partners 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.

Denmark In New York spoke with Serafima Paluika, Innovation Program Manager at Copenhagen Fintech, and Victoria Bager, Denmark In New York’s Commercial Advisor in Tech, about their aspirations for the course and why New York remains the go-to market for today’s fintech pioneers.

Please tell us a little about Copenhagen Fintech’s New York Masterclass 2019 — what are its goals and ambitions and how does it plan to help Danish companies?

Serafima Paluika: New York is the world’s largest financial hub and a home to a multitude of highly successful fintech companies such as Stash, Moven, Lemonade, OnDeck, as well as Chainalysis, a Copenhagen Fintech Lab-raised start-up operating within the KYC and AML space for crypto economy, just to name a few.

The vibrant and mature New York fintech ecosystem, with its abundance of talent, capital, financial industry incumbents, start-ups, research and collaboration centers, make it a perfect learning ground for enterprises looking to leverage partnerships with fintech start-ups.

The main theme of the Masterclass is partnership between the incumbent financial institutions and fintech start-ups. The questions we will be looking to have answered by the “insiders” based on their real-life practical experiences are: what are the dos and don’ts in fintech partnerships? What are the current and potential business models that can be deployed in those partnerships? Are the start-ups still looking to partner with incumbents or do they see other paths for bringing to market and scaling their businesses? We will also be looking into the latest technology and regulatory trends, as well as maximizing our networking opportunities with all the engaged stakeholders.

Who are the participants for this year’s New York Masterclass 2019?

Serafima Paluika: The Masterclass is being tailor made for the Copenhagen Fintech Partner community from the Nordics. We have the representatives from the region’s most influential banks, pension funds and payments providers joining the trip.

What inspired you to collaborate with the Danish Trade Council in New York?

Serafima Paluika: Copenhagen Fintech has had a long-lasting fruitful partnership with the Danish Trade Council in terms of organizing outbound delegations for the Nordic participants. In the past couple of years we have jointly delivered trips to Silicon Valley, India, Singapore and Israel in connection with various fintech events taking place in those regions. The New York Masterclass, though, is different from our previous projects, as it is a stand-alone event tailor-made specifically to the needs of the participants, which is being designed and built fully by Copenhagen Fintech and the Danish Trade Council.

What kind of reactions do you hope to generate from the US fintech industry?

Serafima Paluika: We are very aware of the fact that Denmark is a small distant country which quite a few Americans would have difficulties pointing out on the world map. Nonetheless, in 2018 Denmark was named among the most digital countries in the world by the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2018. We are always one of the happiest!

With that said, we want to spark our delegation’s interest and curiosity in the NYC fintech ecosystem, with representatives from financial institutions, fintech start-ups and innovation hubs sharing their experiences.

Why is New York an interesting place for an association like Copenhagen Fintech?

Serafima Paluika: New York is considered one of the world’s largest financial hubs and the financial hub in the Americas with the highest concentration of banks and financial institutions. Almost every major bank is represented here and many graduates from top-ranking universities from across the globe arrive here to seek work in the financial sector, creating an ever-increasing talent pool.

The boom in the FinTech industry has not gone unnoticed among the big banks in New York, which is why investments in FinTech incubators and accelerators from Wall Street has increased. To mentioned a few, you have Deutsche Bank Innovation Labs, Barclays Accelerator and Well’s Fargo Start-up Accelerator. Whilst, New York does not have the same level of Fintech start-ups as London, it provides more political stability given the issues with the UK and Brexit. Further in 2015 the New York Department of Financial Services made it easier for businesses that engage in virtual currency transmission, custody or exchange services to operate in New York — something that has failed in California.

What can Denmark learn from the US FinTech industry? And is there anything that the US FinTech industry can learn from Denmark?

Victoria Bager: New York has the highest concentration of banks and financial institutions in America. Almost every major bank is represented here and many graduates from top-ranking universities from across the globe move to New York seeing job opportunities in the financial sector generating an ever-increasing talent pool.

Serafima Paluika: The boom in the fintech industry has not gone unnoticed among the big banks in New York, which is why investments in fintech incubators and accelerators from Wall Street has increased. To mention a few, you have Deutsche Bank Innovation Labs, Barclays Accelerator and Wells Fargo Start-up Accelerator. Although New York does not currently have the same level of fintech start-ups as London, it provides more political stability given the ongoing issues with the UK and Brexit. Furthermore, in 2015 the New York Department of Financial Services made it easier for businesses that engage in virtual currency transmission, custody or exchange services to operate in New York — something that has failed in California.

Who are some of the US partners and local stakeholders with whom you will be collaborating with for the Masterclass?

Victoria Bager: We have already confirmation from some exciting keynote speakers, subject matter experts, start-ups and panelists representing the investor, financial institution, innovation hub and start-up scenes in New York. Some of the representatives that will take part in the Masterclass are Fintech by SOSA, City Ventures, NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center, Fintech Collective, Barclay Rise New York, Payoneer, CityBlock Capital and Work-Bench.

Together, the Danish Trade Council’s network of US partners and local stakeholders will form a strong field that we hope will enrich the Danish participants with knowledge and insights on the future trends within fintech.

Interested applicants can sign up for the Fintech Masterclass here.

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The Official Medium Blog for the Consulate General of Denmark in New York. For all things Danish, #DenmarkInNY.

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