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The Hottest Topics and Events at Boston’s FinTech Week

Posted by Lauren Kendall on September 4, 2018
Originally written on LinkedIn by Jim Urquhart, Vice President of FinTech at The Bowdoin Group.

The 2018 Boston FinTech Week will bring together Boston’s leading innovators across Financial Services and Technology for 35+ events from September 10-14.  Experts will discuss trends, challenges, and opportunities in navigating the city’s rapidly changing FinTech landscape.

As the final agenda begins to take shape, here are the topics that we anticipate will be the most talked about and the events that reflect them:

VC activity – It will be hard to ignore recent investor activity in Boston at this year’s FinTech Week.  Between S&P Global’s acquisition of Kensho for $550 million, Toast’s valuation at $1.4B, and Flywire’s recent round of $100m in funding, it’s obvious that the Boston FinTech scene is onto something around building transformative technologies.

  • Event to attend – As more investor eyes turn to Boston, Breakout Successes: The Story of Flywire and Toast is sure to be a top event as the CEOs of Toast and Flywire discuss how their technologies are revolutionizing the payments vertical and the broader FinTech industry.

Fin vs. Tech – Some of the most exciting FinTech companies in Boston are being led and funded by executives and investors who have had successful experiences in other industries and verticals, like Circle, LevelUp, HomeTap, and Forge.AI.  It’s no secret that Boston’s reputation in the FinTech space leans more towards the “Tech” than the “Fin” side of things, but it begs the question: how is Boston’s tech-first mindset changing the FinTech space as a whole?

  • Events to attend – Check out The Bowdoin Group’s panel moderated by yours truly, The DNA of Boston FinTech.  Our event features leading executives in the Boston FinTech community as they discuss how Boston’s edge as a technology innovator is changing the culture, talent, and landscape of the FinTech industry.  Let’s not forget Coding Not Cursive, State Street’s event which will bring together thought leaders from NEVCA, Moody’s Analytics, and more to discuss various approaches to building teams and thought diversity.

Partnerships – We’re sure the steady uptick in partnership activity in Boston has something to do with organizations like FinTech Sandbox, MassChallenge, and the DCU FinTech Innovation Center connecting like-minded businesses and people.  The value of partnerships is taking off as incumbent financial institutions realize they can partner with startups instead of building financial technology themselves, while startups are benefitting from greater access to data and funding.

  • Event to attend – Finomial’s Startup Speed Dating will grease the path towards innovation as startups match with financial service organizations and help both parties provide more value to their customers.

Data – In a similar vein, data is back as a theme for this year’s FinTech Week, but this year’s events are approaching it from a partnership perspective – i.e. how can data providers and startups work together to achieve greater results?  Last year’s FinTech Week focused more on the science behind the data, so we’re looking forward to this year’s practical spin on this hot topic.

  • Event to attend – Up in the Air: The FinTech Data Frontier hosted by FinTech Sandbox will explore the technologies, critical issues, and potential tools that address today’s data challenges including AWS, Intel, OpenFin, and more.  The panelist line-up is relevant and impressive, featuring top executives from Intel, OpenFin, and Amazon Web Services.

RegTech – GDPR brought privacy and the burgeoning RegTech industry into sharp focus this year as some enterprise firms spent $20-25 million to become compliant.  Deloitte even dubbed RegTech “the new FinTech,” so this year’s FinTech Week would be remiss not to include it.

  • Event to attend – Boston RegTech Meetup is hosting RegTech Office Hours (Q&A) if you’re on the hunt for more on this topic.  Regulators and regulatory experts will gather in an office hour meeting environment where you can ask questions about regulations and how they impact your business.

It’s no doubt that this year’s Boston FinTech Week will be an exciting event full of learning and networking.  The agenda is better than ever and, if last year was any indication, the takeaways will be both useful and inspirational.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Boston FinTech Week?