AT THE VENUE
Moneyconf is a “FinTech child of WebSummit.
You can feel it everywhere – all the templates, messages, rules feel totally the same as WebSummit. And if for some reason you missed all of that – right in the centre you will see a big booth with WebSummit logo hiring people for their events.
The event for me started with a pleasant surprise: I expected the same long queues of people trying to register and get their badges, just as it was at WebSummit.
However, it was a very seamless experience – took me about a minute. At the same time, after having attended Websummit, I definitely expected more space and more things to see – Moneyconf felt a bit small in comparison.
But everyone can’t be a fan of Fintech, so it’s probably normal for a niche event.
ALPHA SECTION FOR STARTUPS
So what was our role at Moneyconf?
At the beginning of the year, we applied for an ALPHA programme with our crowdfunding product LenderKit we just created and were immediately approved as ALPHA startup.
That gave us 3 tickets to the conference and one day of exhibiting at ALPHA section with a stand. Of course, we jumped at the chance to connect with Fintech-minded people and talk about our product in particular.
A few words about our stand.
I think Paddy Cosgrave and his team created an amazing scalable framework for events which allows them to organise so many different events during a year just by following the same process.
The startup stands also represent a part of that framework: if you saw one of them you’ve seen them all.
You just need to fill up a basic web form with no more than 10 fields, and your stand is ready to be printed.
The good news is you don’t need to bring any additional equipment to the conference which is absolutely perfect for an early stage startup. I am pretty sure such startups wouldn’t have huge budgets to spend on events because just a month earlier we learnt a lot about that when exhibiting in London at the Great British Business Show.
At the same time cheapness comes with the limitations of course.
The stand is only about one metre wide, and you have neighbours right next to you – it means you don’t have a lot of space, to say the least.
Fortunately for us, our stand was a corner one, and the stand next to us was empty, so we were pretty comfortable.
Who we talked to?
Lots of different people of course – that’s the whole purpose of being an exhibitor.
Sometimes we were swamped, while at times it was very quiet which is totally normal for any conference or exhibition: you can’t expect people to buzz around you for the whole day.
We’ve seen a lot of banking people looking for innovations they can bring to their organisations, FinTech startups looking for clients and partners, investors exploring the landscape.
With “Kharkiv, Ukraine written as the location at our stand, we’ve stimulated Ukrainian attendees to come by and say hi – that’s how we met a few people from Kiev, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhia.
Based on Moneyconf attendees, exhibitors and speakers, we were able to define the most current trends in FinTech at the moment.
The trends boil down to just two areas which wasn’t too surprising.
- Blockchain and cryptocurrencies
Who doesn’t talk about crypto and blockchain these days? Fortunately, not always in one sentence – thanks for that at least.
- AI, ML and Identity Checks
Quite a lot of companies are monetising on the use of cognitive algorithms for validation and fraud prevention.
Looks like they are mostly doing the same thing and compete on a few metrics like speed or accuracy.
At the same time, we saw successful demos of software that allows simulating almost any voice, so there are serious doubts of how reliable the automatic checks are going to be with the development of such fakers.
So what’s the outcome of the event for us?
It’s probably too early to talk about results, but we already have a few:
Even though we didn’t expect to receive direct leads for LenderKit from the conference since it’s not precisely targeted to the MoneyConf audience, we connected with a few people who turned out to be very interested in it.
We also received an invaluable experience of talking to people and explaining what our product is about – it really helps in shaping our communication and messaging.
Understanding the industry
New connections and a better understanding of the FinTech industry is a significant achievement for a FinTech-focused development team like us.
It’s interesting to see how our participation in technical events has been evolving recently.
In 2017, we sponsored the Awwwards conference twice – in London and Los Angeles.
What’s next in this evolution?
It’s definitely exploring more speaking opportunities as well as exhibiting and organising our own events.
Let’s stay in touch – exciting things are coming!