Firing up finance in Copenhagen

04/24/2015 | By Aleksander Bordvik

This post originally appeared on

There is an increasing focus on the tech and startup environment in Copenhagen, with many great initiatives taking the place now and the idea of entrepreneurship getting more and more traction from both young and more experienced players. In this setting we are hosting another chapter of Startup Weekend, this time we the topic of Finance. It is not a first, and surely not the last time Copenhagen will have an Finance topic. The first time was in 2012, where the partnership with CFIR (Copenhagen Fintech Research and Innovation).. With same partner again this year, Startup Weekend is back in a space where a lot has happened since last time.

Therefore it is time to be building new connections within the financial industry using entrepreneurship as the driving force and maintaining the local connection through partnerships.

Today we have several startups in Copenhagen working within the Fintech industry, such as Meewallet, Lendino and Coinify. At the same time established players are starting to innovation such as Danske Bank with MobilePay.

We hope to gather a broad audience of people, not only from the financial industry, but also young and creative people. That is one of the beauties of Startup Weekend that we can bring people with very different skill set to work together. As a startup you need a team and people around you with different background and knowledge. For people working within financial sector, Startup Weekend Finance represents a unique opportunity of being introduced to entrepreneurship world. Financial sector is so much more than traditional banks and infrastructure build around them.

Furthermore, the financial industry is a tough industry to innovate, typically, because of the conservative mentality that has existed in many centuries. On top of that the industry is heavily regulated, which may scare people away from taking the initial leap into the financial space. Spending 54 hours to play with an idea, that might be on the border of this regulation in a risk-free environment will hopefully open peoples mind about the possibilities of pushing the regulatory body.

The amount of data available for the financial industry is immense and often it is about finding the right data to use for solving the challenges the best way. The big leaps technology takes each year opens for new innovative approaches to solving financial challenges.

It is long time since technology moved into the banks, and the IT departments are now one of the biggest entities in the organisation. However the difference in purposes for big banks and startups are still very big, the environment provided by the banks is often to comply with regulations which limits the innovational spirit, the startups have little initial focus on compliance and spend their resources on being innovative.

Some thoughts before the weekend:

  • Can we tear down silos during a weekend and make people dream big about the financial sector?
  • What kind of ideas provokes regulation to the extent that they will never happen?
  • How willing are people to bet on the bridge between financial institutions and startups versus disrupting without the established players?
  • Is scale more important than technology or compliance?
  • Are we changing the way we exchange value?
  • David vs Goliath is happening in the industry, at what point are they meeting on mutual grounds?
  • Where is the the tipping point for default rate and the credit risk?
  • Who will have the highest social score in Copenhagen?
  • Does mistrust play in when working with finances?

We can wait to see what people will pitch Friday and what the final presentations will look like Sunday. A lot of excitement, but mostly, we just look forward to meeting all of the participants. See you there.