On Wednesday, the 30th May 2018, we celebrated a big event here at Hardenbergstraße 32: the official opening of Fintech Hub H:32. With representatives from business and politics in attendance, Europe’s largest hub for Fintech companies was officially declared open.
The Fintech Hub is a place where companies can exchange and develop ideas and grow together with a focus on the term fintech, meaning technologically innovative services and instruments in the financial sector. As part of the Digital Hub Initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), Berlin was named a hub in 2017 with a focus on IoT & Fintech. The city of Berlin chose FinLeap, as the largest Fintech company in Europe, to build a hub focusing on Fintech in order to create an ecosystem for the finance sector.
For the official opening of the Fintech Hub H:32, Europe’s competence center for the digitization of finance, we took the opportunity to invite key players from the Berlin ecosystem: from local politicians to other fintechs, representatives from banks or insurers and local press; they all came to celebrate with us the engagement of the de:hub initiative and the success of the companies, who have already settled in the building.
So, we kicked off the official event with welcome speeches by the Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, Ramona Pop; Dr. Jürgen Allerkamp, Chairman of the board of Investitionsbank Berlin; and Dr. Andreas Goerdeler from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. They all named Berlin as the hotspot for fintech in Europe and acknowledged the great success of FinLeap and its companies over the past few years and our role in shaping the market.
The following panel discussion with Thilo Hacke (Member of the Management Board DKB), Alexander Artopé (CEO and Co-Founder smava), Dr. Jörg Howein (CCO of solarisBank) and Ramin Niroumand (CEO FinLeap) handled the topic “Are ecosystems the key for reshaping finance? How can we bring them to life?”, where recent trends in financial services and what to expect in the future were discussed.
The official 2-hour programme was complemented with the presentation of two ecosystem cases from our portfolio companies, namely PAIR Finance with their partner Zalando as well as Elinvar and their partner Donner & Reuschel. Stephan Stricker from PAIR Finance with Kai-Uwe Mokros from Zalando and Chris Bartz from Elinvar with Markus Neuburger from Donner & Reuschel, gave their individual insights into their collaborations while underlining why the Berlin ecosystem plays a vital role for their partnerships.
After all the official presentations, we continued our evening networking and celebrating the successes of all who were in attendance. The guests were treated to a three-course dinner on the 9th floor of H:32 and afterwards, could enjoy the views over Berlin with a delicious drink in their hand atop the impressive rooftop terrace of the H:32 building, letting the evening fade away.