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Financial Confidence CEO Desirée Ballegaard on how the NYC Tech Masterclass helps companies build a global perspective

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 first instalment, Desirée Ballegaard, Founder and CEO of Financial Confidence explains how the NYC Tech Masterclass helps companies build a global perspective and stay relevant in the fast-paced world of fintech.

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Denmark in New York: Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to attend the NYC Tech Masterclass.

Desirée Ballegaard: My name is Desirée Ballegaard. I’m the Founder and CEO of Financial Confidence, which is an independent advisory platform helping users achieve a comprehensive view of their financial life while ensuring independent and unbiased advice. Making personal finance more accessible, smarter and truly independent.

I got news of the NYC Tech Masterclass from some of the participants who had already signed up and who thought it was a good idea for me to attend as well. After seeing the well-designed and relevant program, I found the time to go as well. Learning, seeing and experiencing from the inside of the NYC fintech ecosystem is valuable for my company to stay relevant, be on top of trends and keep focus on solving the key problem for our users.

What are your key takeaways from the Masterclass 2019?

Desirée Ballegaard: The key takeaways from the Masterclass were the insights on the trends in tech, understanding the challenges, opportunities and threats, the future of work, how we can stay relevant and cyber security — which is a global challenge for everyone and every company.

What insights did you bring back home to your team?

Desirée Ballegaard: I came home with many insights and new approaches, where some are key in our ongoing development and growth of the company. I believe that it is important to always be open-minded, never stop learning, learn from others’ mistakes and successes, and mostly surround yourself with people that ask the right questions and challenge you. This is key in your professional life and that is what this MasterClass and the people I have met has confirmed and supported.

For whom is the NYC Tech Masterclass relevant?

Desirée Ballegaard: I would say you should join if you have a genuine interest in fintech, find the program relevant, work in tech, are a regulator and/or from the financial services industry, and would like to gain a deeper insight on trends, gather inspiration, see opportunities and threats, and learn more about how other companies handle their challenges. It is a fantastic group of people sharing the same interests and challenges as well.

In many ways, Denmark is a great environment for testing and building your business, as we have all the infrastructure in place. But, in terms of our size and possibility of scale, it is important that we also look globally, to be competitive, be able to contribute and stay relevant now and in the future.

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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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