By Khushi Mehrotra – Life.SREDA VC & InspirAsia Accelerators
We believe ecosystems are very important to be successful in the FinTech space. We spend a fair bit of time thinking through how we can accelerate the development of communities. There are many types of communities we believe are important in development of the ecosystem. These range from start-up community, education community, investor community, mentor community etc. Through structured thought provoking discussions in the various community events we not only contribute our perspectives but also help in connecting the various dots together. This helps in generating a level of trust in the ecosystem.
We are a fintech museum- a centre of excellence filled with knowledge, creativity and thought provoking ideas@Launchpad. We don’t charge for any of these events as we believe the value of content generated benefits the entire ecosystem.
The Singapore FinTech Festival in middle of Nov was awesome. We are very proud of the fact that we supported the community build out in Singapore. In conjunction with Singapore Fintech Festival InspirAsia (Life.SREDA) was extremely delighted to host a very special event on 14thNov2016 to discuss the real challenges of FinTech development in Asia and what practical steps should be taken towards building the successful fintech industry in Singapore. We had more than 200 attendees
The highlight of the event was Bank-as-a-Service and Open API banking as the way to address existing challenges and make a real impact for the whole FinTech ecosystem in presence of world famous fintech minds such as Chris Skinner and Slava Solodkiy as keynote speakers. Amit Goel from Letstalkpayments (the knowledge partner of the event), observed IndiaStack case in his speech. CEOs and Founders of most prominent fintech start-ups from Europe and all over South East Asia (Azimo, Instarem, Kashmi, Slash, Yolopay and Softpay) shared their experience, issues and achievements during the panel discussion and demonstrated the real picture behind the fintech ecosystem…
And lastly we were very glad to have the most beautiful part of the event The Femtech panel as an ongoing process to support the growth of females in tech/fintech industry the discussion with female entrepreneurs (ADDO, Azimo, MDEC, Supercharger, FintechTwins) was absolutely amazing & inspiring …who discussed growing role of female in tech industry and how they landed up in this space.
The event was a huge success based on its content and not to forget the fact that we toiled hard to build this entire ecosystem to bring in the best minds from around the world to Singapore for the past few months. We are very proud of our contribution as InspirAsia to the entire industry…
Reflections on InspirAsia last 18 months in Singapore
InspirAsia since its inception has helped the people of Singapore whether its Fintech or Non Fintech by hosting their events, panels along with inspirational tours, educational programs and various talks through its network of mentors in its Space. …..Fintech in Asia is a very dynamic industry due to the large portion of unbanked people and millions of SMEs, who are the main target audience for most of fintech solutions and products. A big demand for fintech solutions provided a huge growth of investments from VC funds, mainly in China and India. Next big wave of investments will be in South-East Asia with a one of major fintech centre in Singapore, due to many Government initiatives regarding Fintech Development in Singapore.
Life.SREDA, being one of the most prominent and experienced fintech-team globally, predicted a boom of fintech in Asia in 2014 and decided to relocate to Singapore with a relevant Fintech-background based on 4 years of successful direct investment (with a lot of exits and high financial return), operations on both US/EU and Asian markets, very experienced and recognized global team, worldwide networking, knowledge, reputation and vision
During 2015-2016 InspirAsia did a lot of initiatives to support development of fintech community in Singapore:
Events that created an educational impact on the market
1) InspirAsia regularly invites different global fintech leaders and tech stars to Singapore to promote global fintech leaders in Singapore who are a source of inspiration to help our budding entrepreneurs. They get opportunity to learn from the success stories of leaders and potentially grow themselves.
Vitalik Buterin, CEO of Ethereum, one of the most prominent person in the blockchain industry in the world was part of Life.SREDA/InspirAsia Singapore Office, blockchain panel at 3rdof June, 2016; objective was to inculcate the real ethics of ehtereum and to arouse the fintech worm hidden in our entrereneurs and to show the world that a young 20 year lad can do wonders. Almost 200 attendees joined the session
- Event with the founders of leading global digital banks. Organized by Life.SREDA at MAS to inspire the Fintech community with the most promising examples across the world in Fintech industry, to support the dominance of leaders with few iconic examples. This helped community to approach them and gain insights on how they became successful. Around 60-70 delegates were part of it.
- Hosted a group of Temasek Polytechnic students from Diploma in Business and students from University of Royal, Cambodia (total of 50 pax) for their learning journey and knowledge exchange with raiSE and some of the 2 other social enterprises, under the Temasek Foundation Specialists’ Community Action and Leadership Programme also known as TF SCALE, a leadership programme sponsored by Temasek Foundation.
- Introduction of Singapore FinTech ecosystem to Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance (TABF): Fintech awareness tour on 22 august 2016 at Life.SREDA premises
The aim was to build a bridge between 2 countries and connect Singapore startups with Taiwan guys. TABF is committed to spearheading financial innovations through research, trainings, publications and various initiatives to facilitate cross-border knowledge exchanges. The delegation was led by Chairman Dr. Mao-Wei Hung & President Dr. Bor-Yi Huang and well-coordinated by Hoya…from TABF
5) Supported INSEADERS in hosting a private networking lunch with a group of top execs from a Wharton-INSEAD EMBA class visiting Singapore, and our FinTech entrepreneurs to join them for a meeting of the minds. Around 30 people came to Singapore from the USA specifically to meet with exciting FinTech startups and to seed connections with the frontlines of Singapore’s ecosystem.
The event was supported by Yololite, InstaRem , WishFinance…
6) Shared the knowledge to visiting group of 10 pax from the Business Advisory Services from Ernst & Young Advisory Pte Ltd to LaunchPad @ one-north. Increasingly, there are starting to provide services and advice to more and more startups in terms of set up and operations, esp in the fintech sector As such, they requested for a visit to some of the fintech players in LaunchPad @ one-north to understand more on the fintech start-up ecosystem so that they could better customized their solution/services to address their needs
Events that created a community development impact
- Slava Solodkiy, head of Life.SREDA and InspirAsia, moderates a panel with fintech leaders from Singapore and London: Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer at SREDA/InspirAsia Office in Singapore, 20th of April, 2016
This helped the community get upto speed on the latest developments in the ecosystem and appreciate perspectives of the various thought leaders
- Helped fintech companies from Singapore to promote their business globally, get connected with foreign investors. We set up a Singapore booth in one of the biggest Fintech conference in the world Money2020-2015 in Las Vegas…We took 6 Singapore based startups all the way to US to promote Singapore as a fintech hub in Las Vegas and to gain knowledge & awareness from the mother of Fintech… The West
- InspirAsia in Singapore launched its first free fintech co-working space-to accelerate communication and flow of ideas between start-ups and use this space for their business meetings, events etc etc http://inspirasia.space/
It’s free of charge space and there are many startups which come to conduct business meetings as they think through their location options
- SREDA/InspirAsia team participates as speakers in the leading fintech events and conference in Singapore and Asia and we as an expert in Fintech industry always endeavour to share our global knowledge and experience with the world around and to support this cause Life.SREDA issues a lot of articles, analytics and reports about fintech to imparts its deep knowledge for free to various startups, banks, FI’s etc its knowledge and experience in retail and institutional banking space
Other Events that provided support towards build out of ecosystem.
1) Support towards raiSE initiative (Social Enterprise)
We supported raiSE FestivalForGood held during 20-21 aug2016 with the main objective of raising awareness and understanding of social enterprises in Singapore. Most importantly, we wanted to show the community that there are many ways for all of us to be #partofthegood. We are happy to say that many did come forward to show their support and shared that this has been a meaningful event for them.
FestivalForGood was supported by Life.SREDA’s. We really appreciate the partnership. “On behalf of raiSE and our social enterprises, I would like to thank you again for being so generous with your time and resources.” – Feedback from raiSE team
2)Support towards TiE
Life.SREDA has always been a supporter of TiE in its initiative of going global where industry experts joined the Panel Discussion and share their insights on KEY LEGAL, STRATEGIC and TAX CONSIDERATION impacting entrepreneurs and companies as they scale up globally…and on blockchain
3) Helped startup …Lever & Punch to organise their event Dirty Talk #2 at our premises and also gave a talked about Fintech awareness in Singapore
4) Data science event
Supported HR analytics event organized by small startup Engage Rocket with data scientists at our premises with leading speakers from banks such as DBS and talking about redunding Attrition
- Encouraged event on Legal Matters: Evolving Regulations and The Rise of RegTech : To demonstrate how different Asian countries are attempting to regulate and improve efficiency in compliance? How does compliance become a business opportunity in financial services eg. Systems that process anti-money laundering (AML) faster and cheaper? How can Fintech startups efficiently meet legal regulations across multiple regions Asia?
Overall InspirAsia (Life.SREDA) Asia’s strategy is to provide benefit to its target companies by Adding Value through team building, operations, perspective, skill building, customer development, analysis, and the network
- Team Building by designing and recruiting for a start-up’s most important asset,its human capital base
- Operations by enhancing administrative, accounting, legal, and technological capabilities
- Perspective by creating a strategy, competitive positioning, defining the target market, and scoping the product
- Skill Building by building the right skills, especially for senior management
- Customer Development by Identifying and gaining access to the right customers
- Analysis by measure, understand, and report the performance of their early-stage Companies
- Network: by providing most value-added service that an investor can provide is access to its network, particularly to potential acquirers. All functions such as marketing, analysis, investment decisions and deals execution are going to be performed in Singapore by the Applicant’s specialists with support of reputable service providers
In summary InspirAsia Accelerators Pte Ltd (Life.SREDA) is aimed to bulid the fintech-ecosystem on a mission to serve the ‘good guys’. Based in Singapore, the firm focuses on long-term relationships and integration with start-ups to provide a more unified ecosystem. We welcome everyone who has a perspective in the FinTech industry