FinTech North News and Regional FinTech Developments

Memoirs from Money20/20: Tales from our Northern FinTech Trade Mission



From the 4th to the 6th of June, FinTech North brought together a delegation of pan-Northern organisations, consisting of the North of England’s inward investment agencies and a group of innovative FinTech, Tech and ecosystem enablers, to exhibit as part of a UK Pavilion to Money20/20 in Amsterdam, in partnership with the Department for Business and Trade.

Thanks also to sponsors of our Money20/20 marketing campaign, Started from SkyParlour, a marketing and PR programme designed to support world-change tech start-ups.

After missing out on last year’s excursion due to my sister’s frankly selfish decision to invite me to her wedding, I was incredibly excited to attend and to see what the Money20/20 fuss was all about!

As many of you will know, at the start of 2024, we set out to increase our support for enhancing international FinTech trade, both inbound and outbound. Our objectives are two-fold; we’re really keen to make sure international trade comes to the North from overseas, and that the existing firms in the North can grow their brand on the international stage.

To see this vision come to light at Money20/20 felt incredibly rewarding, and I’m delighted to have played a key role in assembling the delegation. Hopefully this is just the start!

Following our trip, I thought it would be useful to share my experiences of Money20/20, shedding a light on our international work and highlighting the benefits of joining FinTech North on future international trade delegations.

We began our journey at Leeds Bradford airport and before we knew it, our short hop across the North Sea had begun. Not long after starting this blog, we had landed! We then hopped on the train to Amsterdam Central Station, sailed past the inner-city sights and sounds before arriving at our cosy ApartHotel, nestled in the heart of the Dutch Capital.

There was certainly excitement in the air. The FinTech North team couldn’t wait to convene our largest delegation yet; generating inward investment enquiries for our regions and providing business development and brand profile opportunities for our group of Northern FinTech, Tech and ecosystem enablers.

The next day, we made our way to the RAI Centre via the Metro. We arrived, checked in, and made our way to the UK Pavilion stand. We then met up with our delegation, which consisted of our inward investment colleagues across the North; including Invest North East England, Invest Liverpool City Region and MIDAS – Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency. As well as SDK.finance, Scott Logic, Squire Patton Boggs, Iridium, White Label Loyalty, Shoosmiths and Dialect Communications.

The UK Pavilion stretched over 79 square feet, fitted out with 6 individual pods for each exhibitor, a large screen to present, a PA system and a dedicated networking section. Our pod featured a TV screen that highlighted our delegations’ propositions, providing brand profile and an excellent base for our delegates to work from.

Once we’d settled in and our delegation were happy, I decided to take a look around.

Tickets to Money20/20 are expensive. Whilst I understood the breadth of the event, my judgement was reserved. This notion quickly dissipated.

I was blown away by the sheer size of the event. They weren’t lying when they said Money20/20 is one of the largest FinTech events in the world. Spreading across 4 conference halls, it was a real ‘who’s who’ of FinTech, with presence from pretty much every big name in the industry.

Interwoven between this sea of exhibition stands lied various content stages, which featured speakers from the world’s largest FinTech and Tech organisations, who all shared their expertise across a huge variety of pertinent sector topics. It really felt like I was at the forefront of knowledge, and I came away feeling fulfilled and inspired for future FinTech North events.

Despite it’s price-tag, I’d say it’s an incredibly valuable event – and one certainly worth attending. Superb content, incredible networking opportunities and free food and drink whilst you’re there!

My favourite stages were the Exchange Stage, appropriately coined as the epicentre of ground-breaking discussions, where Europe’s Fintech pioneers share bleeding-edge insight and the NA.I.TURE stage, where a bespoke AI tool helped to moderate the sessions amidst an indoor jungle.

Whilst I would have liked to have more time to indulge in more of the content, the networking opportunities more than made up for it. I can safely say that the networking events throughout Money20/20 were nothing short of superb.

The Money Beach Club Retreat was particularly unique. A beach inspired environment with reclining sunbeds and swinging chairs in the backdrop of a beautiful lake, it was the perfect place to recharge or to gather for an unconventional meeting. Not to mention – you could hire out pedalos to ride around!

On Night 1, we headed to Money in the Park, hosted in a converted acre of Amstelpark. In what can only be described as a sprawling festival of food, drink, and networking; the energy was palpable and provided a unique platform for endless networking to occur. We met and networked with the crowd, our delegation once more and shared a drink or two with the Department for Business and Trade team.

On Night 2, we attended Money in the Street. An entire street in the beating heart of Amsterdam was rented out and laid claim to over 3,000 delegates from Money20/20. Each bar and restaurant along the street was open, offering free drinks to the attendees. Another awesome platform to meet and connect with new people!

Alongside Money in the Park and Money in the Street, FinTech North and our delegation were invited to several fringe events:

  • Starling Bank and GFT hosted a fringe event on the UK Pavilion stand.
  • Marqeta invited us to attend a networking event in the city centre. Julian wells, Director of Whitecap Consulting & FinTech North spoke on a panel discussion and shared insights about the Northern FinTech ecosystem.
  • Shortly after Money in the Street, we were invited to a networking event at Oche with Google for some drinks and darts.
  • Joe Roche, General Manager, FTN & Julian Wells attended an event hosted by FeatureSpace.
  • Department for Business and Trade hosted a session with EY, sharing an overview about Amsterdam’s FinTech market for any potential FinTech imports.

FinTech North also hosted our own fringe event, ‘A Lightning Tour of the North of England’, where we invited our delegation to talk about their region’s Fintech offering and for the FinTechs/Tech companies to pitch their proposition.

Overall, I had a superb time at Money20/20. I’m super proud to have pulled together my first international delegation for FinTech North, flying the flag for our regions on an international level. It was amazing to connect, build and develop relationships on a global scale and to continue to grow my understanding of the sector and stay on top of trends and developments.

It was great to meet up with our strategic partners Mastercard, Kris Foster and Joanne Dewar from Project Nemo, our fellow FinTech National Network members, our colleagues at DBT and our friends at Kani and Starling Bank – only to name a few!

The FinTech North team are now busy following up with all the great people we met during Money20/20 and actively retrieving feedback from our delegation via a survey. We’re excited to share the results of this with you soon.

Additionally, if you’re interested in finding out more about our international objectives and our future international activity, keep your eyes peeled for our new webpage.

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