The Fintechweek in Hamburg is one of the highlights of the German and international Fintech events. This year again, it brought together heads of the industry, institutes and Fintechs with a colourful programme. With the event “Building Bridges” we from Gravning have also made a good and above all international contribution to this.
In the run-up to the event we visited some Fintechs in Sweden and had the opportunity to take a look at the Swedish Fintech ecosystem during a meet up with the Swedish Fintech organisation Findec. Although there were some similarities (e.g. agility of the founders and employees, desire for networking, good ideas) we also noticed some differences.
We got to know exciting personalities, interesting structures and a very determined community. All participants really enjoyed the event, which took place in the rooms of the German-Swedish Chamber of Commerce.
What else did we notice?
- The founders are (mostly) significantly older and have all worked in responsible roles in large tech (related) companies or in corresponding departments in banks.
- A very open and honest community
- Excellent, purposeful and honest exchange
- Open-mindness to enter new markets, as the Swedish or Scandinavian market is noticeably more limited compared to others (10 million inhabitants in Sweden)
- The country is highly innovative (not only in the financial sector)
- Cashless Society with all its advantages (and disadvantages??)
- Representatives of the Fintechs are highly professional with absolute focus on their products
- The support of the goverment and other non-governmental institutions is very high
- The Coworking scene is very pronounced, so there are many incubators for innovation and new ideas
- The English language is much more present here which makes communication between different nations easy.
- Excellent coffee and a „Fika“
- Enjoying work
We would like to return tot he issue oft he elder founders, particularly the people working in and for fintechs in Sweden.
The Swedish (Fin)Tech ecosystem is and has been strongly influenced by a few “Fintechs” or “start ups”. These include the two key players Klarna and Spotify. Both companies, founded more than 10 years ago and now beeing unicorns, have generated good ideas, smart people and are bringing in money.
These resources`availabiltiy, being so important for Start Ups, characterize the Swedish Start Up market.
Money from founders and middle management employees has been and will largely be invested in other Start Ups. Some would say naively invested, others would say courageously. Because one thing is absolutely clear: the investment behaviour is also completely different than in Germany. Available money is not „hoarded under the matress“, but invested continously. Especially in young Fintechs and Start Ups.
Here is a quote from a Swedish Fintech COO: “You Germans suck in investing”. We would like to leave this quote uncommented.
The listed points can (but do not have to) be attributes that make the Swedish Fintech scene successful. During the Fintechweek we got to know more Fintechies from Sweden and went deeper into the “swedish way of fintech”.
With the format “Building Bridges” Gravning the international (not only limited to Sweden) exchange between Fintechs, institutes and investors. Everyone can benefit from this, from Stockholm to Hamburg and beyond.