Recap – “Fin-Tech Leader Business Visit #1”
Publish Date: January 27th, 2023
From October 27 to November 2, 2022, Berlin Finance Initiative, USA in cooperation with Berlin Business Office, USA, hosted the delegation trip “Fin-Tech Leader Business Visit #1” to the US (with stops in Atlanta and New York) with leading Berlin FinTech startups. Following, we give a short recap of the trip and share with you some of the insights we took away.
First and foremost, these Berlin FinTech startups were part of the delegation trip:
- Myos (Nikolaus Hilgenfeldt)
- Ultimate (by Unstoppable Finance) (Peter Grosskopf)
- ecolytiq (Ulrich Pietsch & Anindya (Andy) Shankar)
- finmarie (Leitha Matz)
- Cadeia (Constantin Ketz)
In addition, we had Berlin-based FinTech expert Kevin Hackl from Bitkom, the editor-in-chief of Payment & Banking Christina Cassala and Thomas Rappold from Divizend with us.
First Stop: Atlanta, Georgia
The first stop of our delegation trip was Atlanta. What makes Atlanta an outstanding location? Atlanta in the US state Georgia is considered an attractive location for many companies, 90% of all Fortune 500 companies have a branch in Georgia and 70% of all payment transactions in the USA are processed in Atlanta (Source). Thus, especially as far as the financial industry is concerned, all important players and customers are represented in Atlanta (e.g. Visa, Global Payment, Amex).
Our activities in Atlanta were focused on initiating strategic partnerships for the startups and expanding global market access for Berlin’s financial and technology scene. We hosted one of our two Key-Events of the trip in Atlanta – “Made in Berlin” meets Atlanta (Lunch Edition), and here’s what the agenda looked like:
The Consul General at German Consulate General in Atlanta, Melanie Moltmann, gave a short welcome speech, referring to the strong relationship between Berlin and Atlanta. Achim Oelgarth and Alexander Daamen from Berlin Finance Initiative, USA gave comprehensive insights into the Berlin FinTech and startup hub scene and promoted Berlin as Germany’s FinTech hotspot. The startups had the opportunity to present their pitches and received valuable feedback from two American VC’s.
The following panel discussion yielded exciting insights into the rapid developments in the fintech locations of Berlin and Atlanta. Todd Harris, CEO of Skillshot Media in Atlanta, described Berlin as the leading European location in the e-gaming sector. The exchange between the Berlin/ Atlanta FinTech ecosystems was initiated and the startups networked with high-profile stakeholders and venture capitalists in Atlanta.
Among other highlights, the program, in Atlanta included a visit to the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Tech Fintech Lab. Here we became particularly aware of Atlanta’s strategically relevant location for Berlin-based companies (80% of the U.S. population can be reached within a 2h flight from Atlanta + small time difference to Berlin of 6 hours).
We also visited the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), FinTech Atlanta, and the Atlanta Blockchain Center, gaining comprehensive insights into the FinTech scene in Atlanta, and the visit to the Atlanta Blockchain Center resulted in a cooperation between the Berlin and Atlanta Blockchain scenes.
Second Stop: New York, New York
Our second stop of the trip was New York City, where we hosted the second key event of the trip, the “Fin-Tech Leaders Conference“. We had a great program with exciting speakers:
The event focused on two panel discussions and the pitches of our startups, which were once again evaluated by four high-profile American venture capitalists.
The first panel dealt with the topic “Scaling Your Business Across the Atlantic”, which was examined from different angles in a stimulating discussion. Speakers included Maximilian Riege, LL.M. (NYU), ex-Managing Director & COO of Penta, Maximilian Wühr, Co-Founder of FINN, Marcel Bock, US CEO of Raisin (Berlin-based fintech that now works with more than 400 banks from over 30 countries), Kilian Thalhammer, Head of Merchant Solutions at Deutsche Bank, and Ulrich Pietsch, Co-Founder & CEO of ecolytiq.
The second panel focused on “Female Leaders in Finance & Tech: Transatlantic Opportunities and How to Seize Them,” featuring the two power women Jennifer Klimko Courant, Head of Sustainability, Culture and Talent at Deutsche Bank Technology, and Leitha Matz, Co-Founder / Chief Product Officer at FinMarie.
The entire event was moderated by FinTech expert, author and influencer, Scarlett Sieber, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer at Money20/20, who appeared on various panels in front of more than 11,000 people at Money20/20 (the largest FinTech conference in the world) in Las Vegas a week earlier. We are proud to have been able to excite her about our event.
(PC: Nathalie Schueller)
For further impressions of the “Fin-Tech Leader Conference NYC”, there is also a recording of the conference available.
On the last day, a visit to NASDAQ was on the agenda. After attending the NASDAQ Opening Bell, we had the opportunity to speak with Joseph Brantuk, Chief Client Officer at Nasdaq and were able to take away a lot of insights on the U.S. financial industry – a great ending to the trip.
This project is supported by the Berlin Government, Senate Department for Economics, Energy, and Public Enterprises and funded by the European Union´s Corona recovery program #ReactEU!