The Fintech Entrepreneurship Program launched its online courses and community events in the Grand Duchy, with a pitching competition that addressed Open Banking, Blockchain, RegTech and AI challenges.
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From 27 November to 5 December, four teams conducted by Luxembourgish startups LUXHUB, Tokeny, Governance.com and Lingua Custodia were requested to tackle four fintech challenges using the Open Banking, Blockchain, RegTech, and Artificial intelligence technologies.
The nine-day competition was part or the Fintech Entrepreneurship Program, a joint initiative by Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT) and the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE).
The participants learned how to apply design thinking and agile methodology, received mentoring from successful founders and innovation executives.
During the session, each team received 8 hours of classes delivered by industry experts that covered topics such as entrepreneurship, legal, marketing, and cash management.
“The Fintech Entrepreneurship Program aims to upskill financial services professionals to be able to better embrace and take advantage of the accelerated shift to digital.”
The realities of entrepreneurship
They also worked with 13 mentors conducted by Antony Martini, Fintech Entrepreneurship Program lead: “This intense program reflects the realities of entrepreneurship combining both lectures by renown instructors, the exposure to in-field mentors and the solving of real-life case studies,” Martini detailed.
On the last day of the program, ESG Radar team led by Governance.com and Ticked team, led by Lingua Custodia won the final pitching competition.
ESG Radar developed a solution that helps asset managers solve conflicting challenges in relation to sustainable investing. While Ticked developed an AI powered solution enhancing a better, faster and cost-efficient detection of greenwashing in funds documentation.
The jury included Julie Becker (deputy CEO of Luxembourg Stock Exchange), Denise Voss (chairwoman of LuxFLAG), Ananda Kautz (head of innovation, digital banking and payments at ABBL), Tram Anh Nguyen (co-founder of CFTE) and Nasir Zubairi (CEO of the LHoFT).
The five members judged each team on the boldness, viability, look and feel of the delivery, and on the Fintech entrepreneurship skills of their concept.
ESG Radar and Ticked received an official graduation certificate from CFTE, as the other participants, in addition to an access to the CFTE Entrepreneurship program and a free membership at the LHoFT to continue working on the project.
The Fintech Entrepreneurship Program is an initiative of Luxembourg’s Digital Finance Academy, set up by the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT) and the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE). The program follows an agreement signed during the Singapore Fintech Festival in November 2019.
Finance professionals upskilling
“The Fintech Entrepreneurship Program aims to upskill financial services professionals to be able to better embrace and take advantage of the accelerated shift to digital,” explained Nasir Zubairi.
“This program was developed for people from all backgrounds to acquire knowledge in Fintech and in today’s world, one skill that one should have is the mindset of an entrepreneur,” added Tram Anh Nguyen.
Launched in 2017 and based in London, the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship is an education platform dedicated to professionals in finance who need to up-skill in a rapidly changing industry being transformed by emerging technologies.
Congrats to participants of #Fintech Entrepreneurship programme @CFTE_Edu and @The_LHoFT. What they did in 1 week is what normal #entrepreneurs could spend months.I was amazed by the quality of strategies developed by each of the 4 teams. #Bravo to the 2 winning teams! pic.twitter.com/ugf4chNhsR
— @TramANguyen (@TramANguyen) December 6, 2020
About the teams
The Open Banking Challenge was led by Jacques Pütz, CEO of Luxhub, a Fintech that specializes in open finance. The team’s objective was to build a product offer based on open banking. The solution shall be relevant for incumbent financial institutions wishing to offer their retail clients a unique customer experience. The team included Francesca Messini (director, fintech leader at Deloitte) Maia Kevkishvili (current account manager at Volkswagen Payments), Bernardo Arnaud (serial entrepreneur, market leader in financial inclusion through open banking in Brazil), Gildas Coerchon (Chief Compliance Officer at Joompay) and Osseni Senou (impact ESG background).
The Blockchain Challenge was led by Luc Falempin, CEO of Tokeny, a fintech that specializes in asset dematerialization on the blockchain. The team’s challenge consisted in leveraging blockchain technologies to make green finance more accessible and attractive. The team included Arne Hessenbruch(MIT lecturer), Nida Khan (cybersecurity & blockchain research, founder of Nash), Christian Knitterscheidt (COO of Savedroid), Asish Sharma( Innpact, ICFA adviser and impact finance fund consultant) and Bryan Harslem(cryptocurrency advisor).
The RegTech Challenge was led by Bert Boerman, CEO of Governance.com, a fintech that specializes in lowcode application platform with acceleration components dedicated to address complex business problems. The challenge was to build a product that helps fund managers contribute to a sustainable world, by monitoring, reducing and disclosing sustainability risks (ESG) in their portfolios. ESG Radar team included Stephanie Rastellini (current operation transformation lead), Jean Marc Lahaye (Funds manager), Vesa Renfors (CFO Apollonian), Ervin Zaljević (manager funder corporate services), Sean Omar Klein (junior payments officer DZ Private Bank) and Georg Oheme (international business developer at Vistra).
The Artificial Intelligence Challenge was led by Oliver Debeugny, CEO of Lingua Custodia a fintech that specializes in natural language processing applied to finance. The ESG investment challenge consisted in bringing to the market a new tool that identifies greenwashing and helps companies and organizations minimizing their environmental impact, while spending less time and money in self-marketing. The Ticked team included Roger Tafotie (managing director at Operxify, former associate director EY, professor in Law), Najia Belbal (independent director, member digital committee at ILA), Loise Wandera (senior scientist at HydroSat & ESG specialist) and Rosario Di Maggio (former director of business development at Vistra).
About the Instructors and Mentors
The Instructors team included Huy Nguyen Trieu (co-founder of CFTE), Janos Barberis (co-founder at EdTech Accelerator), Nadia Manzari (partner at Schiltz & Schiltz S.A), Brad van Leeuwen (CEO at Cledara co-founder), Dr. Jürgen Wolff (CEO of A352), Alex Panican (head of partnerships & ecosystem at the LhoFT), and Aram Attar (VC researcher & teacher, founder of Tytchme).
The Mentors team included Roger Kraemer, Cosmin Cosma, Radu State, Eric Falk, Emilie Allaert, Nicolas Gerard, Michael Pechner, Laurent Marocchini, Cristian Puan, Manon Loison and Alexandru Ceausu.