Bogota, Colombia – October 13th, 2017. It was not yet another tech conference and definitely it was not a regular industry conference. I had the pleasure and the opportunity of being part of the largest FinTech conference in Latin America organized by the most active early-stage tech investor in the region, NXTP Labs. I was surrounded by regional tech startups along with regulators and traditional financial institutions. Even though, it was an event in a class of its own.
The tech startup accelerator’s Managing Partner opened the event sharing some region insights with amazing figures: nine unicorns, eight companies with a valuation between USD 500M and USD 1B and an ecosystem valued in USD 38B. It was truly inspiring.
I confirmed right away that Latin America’s growth was underpinned by this hard evidence, regional growth was not just a feeling anymore.
After the opening, a motivating and sudden panel: local and regional regulators eager to share their vision about innovation, how to embrace it and most importantly how to put it at people’s service. Then a high-class and profound panel about financial inclusion by some of the most distinguished tech companies in the region.
The morning session ended with a presentation of the Digital Banking VP at Scotiabank followed by a pitch competition with top of the class startups. It was amazing to learn how a 185-years old Canadian bank embraced digital transformation and is now leading innovation in America.
After lunch, another pitch competition session followed by the panel I was part of: “Digital banks, Blockchain and disruptive technologies”. I was thankful for the opportunity to share RSK’s vision and discussing interesting ideas with my co-panelists, all industry leaders.
After one more panel and the pitch competition winner announcement it was time to go back home. Full of joy and honored of being part of one the largest ecosystem in the world I was coming back from Colombia to Argentina -two countries from the region where digital technologies open an opportunity to incorporate 1.6B people to the financial sector by 2025 as shown in a recent McKinsey report.
It’s time to put the technology at the service of social transformation and start building a more secure, flexible, transparent, low cost and inclusive financial system.
Head of Business Development @ RSK