Rizzi is currently the general partner at SBT Venture Capital, one of the first funds in the world solely dedicated to the fintech industry. Prior to that he spent 13 years at SWIFT, where he worked along its CEO Lazaro Campos.
Their latest effort is FinTechStage, an event that takes place in cities that are not known as fintech hubs and that aims to bring together local and international players in the industry.
The next edition of FinTechStage takes place in Barcelona on June 22 and 23.
Tickets cost €700, but we’ve got a special discount for our readers. The first 20 to use the ‘FREE23’ code will be able to attend for free.
To know more about the event, we sat down with Matteo Rizzi. Here’s an edited version of our conversation.
What makes FinTechStage different from other fintech events that are out there?
In specific locations, there is an overload of fintech events. However, FinTechStage has three main differentiation factors:
- It’s local, regional and global. But it starts with gathering local communities (Milan, now Barcelona, Luxembourg and Berlin next) where there is no international platform for investors, innovators in the financial industry and startups to build the dialogue driving innovation forward.
FinTechStage also offer an invite-only gathering called FinTech Insiders, where people from the industry get to talk about the challenges and opportunities the whole sector is facing.
We are not an event business, and the founders have decades of experience and network in the very same industry we are trying to change now.
Who is it targeted at? What startups or entrepreneurs should consider attending?
We don’t want FinTechStage to be the platform for startups to fundraise (at least not for those in early stages), but for it to enable growth stage international companies to open new markets with the support of the local communities we are bringing to the table, as well as for local startups to have the opportunity of pitching to international and mature players.
What can startups expect on the first day of the event?
In the morning of the first day of the event we run something called Crash Course, where we teach startups how to deal with a term sheet and what the best way is to pitch your company to an investor.
The term sheet course is like a live discussion between a startup and an investor, with a lawyer/moderator in the middle.
You’ve decided to run these events in cities/ecosystems that are not known as fintech hubs (compared to London). What’s the idea behind that decision?
We believe that there is not such a thing as a monopoly of innovation. Large financial institutions are creating their own fund, incubators or accelerators, and there is a lot of talent and capital available in many geographies.
Plus, starting with a number of local events gives you the perfect set up to gather a bigger community where the right people are around the table, not the fintech tourists.
Over the past few years fintech has emerged as one of the hottest tech sectors in Europe. What’s your take on its evolution?
It’s a fact.
The financial industry represents the biggest economical opportunity for transformation in all history.
Financial services need to be more inclusive, affordable, faster, distributed, and ultimately more fair. There is a lot of inefficiency and fatigue in more than a few historical banks businesses.
The profound disruption will come later, will engender a different concept of trust and banks will be part of it, but we can’t appreciate just yet to which capacity and scale.
Photo | Jose Maria Miñarro