Sthlm Fintech week: key takeaways from the Blockchain track

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Yes, they did it – and it was an amazing week! Organizers Lana Brandorne, Anna Blyablina and Love Dager put together this ground-breaking event in Stockholm: the first edition of Sthlm Fintech week.

Throughout the week Sthlm Fintech Week brought together industry leaders and experts in different areas within fintech: from regtech and insurtech to sustainability and blockchain.

I was particularly interested in the Blockchain track – coming straight from Stockholm’s central station after a 5 hour journey from Malmö, I headed straight away to SUP46 for the Blockchain track.

Here is a few takeaways from the track:

Mika Honkasalo (Robin Capital) : “The next generation of internet protocols is being built right now”

Mika (main photo) started the afternoon with the state of the Nordic crypto market. He pointed out that 2018 (coming to 2019) was the year that major financial institutions made their first public moves to blockchain/crypto.

Also, the Nordics have a great pool of developers the can solve major computer problems .

Agnieszka Sarnecka (Neufund): “Don’t trade your [equity tokens] until you finish your fundraising”.

Talking about “Fundraising on Blockchain: How to do an Equity Token Offering”, Agnieszka make another important point: storytelling.

Surely, storytelling is crucial to make people, and more importantly investors, interested in your product.

Oliver Oram (Chainvine): “Intelligent contracts are not replacing lawyers themselves, but offering new services.”

With “The importance of being agnostic”, Oliver talked about smart contracts, or how he likes to call it, intelligent contracts. They didn’t come to make lawyers obsolete but came to complement the services they already provide.

Carla Maree Vella (XD Consulting): “In Crypto we trust, in code we trust, in law we must.”

This was the second time I’ve seen Carla speak – the first time was last November in the Malta Blockchain Summit.

Her lecture was “Regulatory Boundaries: Are they stifling growth and innovation in crypto?” – she pointed out that regulations, especially in a jurisdiction like Malta, didn’t come to policy and hold back growth, but create a environment where blockchain companies can be liable and therefore, grow their business in a trustworthy way.

The Sthlm Fintech week will be back in 2020.

Sthlm Fintech Week to host ground-breaking fintech conference

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On February 11-15, the community-driven Sthlm Fintech Week will host a five-day conference in the heart of Stockholm gathering the best of fintech from all across the Nordics. The event will be a platform for start-ups, banks, legislators and corporate representatives to meet and discuss opportunities and challenges within the fintech community.

Over the course of the week, more than 50 start-ups will meet with banks, representatives from the Government Offices and the Central Bank of Sweden.

Investors and representatives from academia will discuss new trends of Fintech, Regtech, Blockchain, Insurtech, Sustainability and Impact tech, Digitalization, Regulation and Nordic Collaboration, as well as offer opportunities of investment and fintech acceleration.

“Stockholm accounted for nearly 50% of total fintech investments in the Nordics in 2018″

Anna Gissler, Acting CEO of Stockholm Business Region, one of the conference’s partners and supporter.

Joining Stockholm Business Region as partner of the conference are Amazon Web Services, Wirecard, Itello, Capgemini, Trustly, SEB and Norrsken Foundation.

One of the highlights for me will be the Blockchain track. Happening tomorrow (Tuesday 12th Feb), the track will bring a diverse group of keynote speakers discussing topics varying from the state of the crypto market in the Nordics, equity tokens, next-generation dapps platform to brokerage as service, intelligent contracts and crypto regulation.

On Wednesday 13th Feb, the much awaited Sustainability and Impact Tech track is happening at Norrsken House – part of Norssken Foundation. A very interesting panel discussion about the impact of startups and their sustainable development goals (SDG) will open the day. The track will also bring sustainable business cases, like AidHedge that promises to identify and help manage financial risks in aid and sustainable development projects.

“Norrsken Foundation strives to make a positive impact on people and planet. Our coworking space, Norrsken House is a hub for the brightest people in tech, entrepreneurship and impact and so it follows that our doors are always open to events like Stockholm Fintech Week who bring world-changing entrepreneurs together to create something very special. We’re delighted to be involved”, Thom Feeney, General Manager, Norrsken House Stockholm said

Digital SME lender Mynt challenges “Big Banks” in Sweden

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Last January, during FinDec’s launch party, I had a pleasure to meet Baltsar Sahlin (picture left), CEO of fintech Mynt, which provides loans for small businesses.

Baltsar said that in 2019, Mynt will focus on their product and will need more input on PR and customer communication and together with Blockchain PR, would be ready to reach a bigger consumer-base beyond Sweden.

So, welcome Mynt to the Blockchain PR family!

Mynt app

Baltsar and his team started Mynt in 2017 because small businesses shy away from seeking financial support in the traditional banking system due to slow application processes and high service fees. Mynt came to cater to those seeking a digital, fast and fair way to get business funding.

Here is a quick interview with Baltsar:

Ana Paula: So Baltsar, Mynt provides loans for small businesses but how is Mynt different from other fintech companies providing the same service?

Baltsar: We allow companies to get a revolving credit, all online in our system. There is no other service like ours, that can give a small business a revolving line of credit, in Sweden, or Europe for that matter. We can integrate our service in accounting systems or invoicing systems. Our platform is built ground up and is easy to integrate. Mynt is aiming to be the most automated product there is for small business financing.


“Mynt is aiming to be the most automated product there is for small business financing. “

Baltsar Sahlin, CEO at Mynt

AP: Being a small business owner myself, I’m always looking for financial products that offer lower interest rates, how does Mynt positions itself?

B: We are a cheaper than other traditional lending institutions offering small business loans – thanks to our data driven credit scoring. There are about 50 or so companies doing invoice financing or business loans. We can remove companies that are not creditworthy with our algorithms, and in return offer better and fairer rates for companies that do qualify for a loan.

AP: Applying for a loan is always a daunting process but you mentioned that all the credit scoring and application process are done online which makes it much easier – How does that work?

B: We have a product, that allows companies to be in control. While we are happy to talk to our clients and potential clients, we also have a fully digital product that lets the company do everything themselves if they want. You can sign up and get a credit within 3 minutes, all online in our system.

For more about Mynt click here

Main picture: Mynt team

Fintech + Decentralized: community hub FinDec launches in Sweden

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For years, Sweden has dominated the global innovation landscape and it is no different with the ongoing technological revolution where companies like Klarna and iZettle were put on the map. Although, Sweden has attracted two-thirds of the Nordic fintech investments, there hasn’t been a comprehensive national ecosystem.

This January, FinDec came to life as a physical and digital gathering place for Sweden’s fintech community, aiming to build a stronger ecosystem. The name FinDec is a reference to “Fintech” and “Decentralized” and will support fintech in general, including verticals for Regtech, Insurtech and Blockchain. Even before the launch, about 50 affiliated startups and established players have signed up, and strategic partnerships have been established with Helsinki Fintech Farm, Oslo Fintech Hub and Copenhagen Fintech.

Behind FinDec are industry veterans with extensive experience from the financial sector and tech industry. Among these are Mats Holmfeldt (Paynova, Resurs, Intrum, Swedbank, SEB), Anette Nordvall (business angel), Lars Arvidson (Ericsson), Stig Johansson (Finansinspektionen), and blockchain experts Daniel Zachrisson and Jens Frid to name a few.

In addition to coming investments in co-working, offices and physical gatherings, Findec will also launch a digital platform during the first quarter in order to be able to service all companies in the country with the same information and accessibility to networks, events, reports, mentors, advisors and investors.

Blockchain PR is a starting a content collab with FinDec

For more info about FinDec click here

Main photo: FinDec’s launch party at Embassy House