Inaugural Singapore Fintech Festival

The much anticipated Singapore Fintech Festival drew to a close last night with over one million Singapore dollars being handed out to fintech start-ups, financial institutions, and technology companies.

The festival started with a bang as DBS Bank launched a 16,000 square feet innovation space, Asia X. Located at the Sandcrawler Building in Fusionopolis. 

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DBS Asia X (DAX) has project pods and spaces, journey rooms, co-working spaces for up to 100 people as well as an auditorium and cafe. finews.asia was also name checked during the ceremony following the recent article on DBS's fintech leaderNeal Cross (pictured above).

The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Deputy Managing Director Jacqueline Loh (pictured below) and DBS CEO Piyush Gupta christened the new venture.

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Top 100 Fintech Movers and Shakers

The opening networking event of the Singapore Fintech Festival was also a great success with a very large turnout. The Fintech Asia 100 list of this year’s top 100 fintech movers and shakers were revealed in front of a live audience in the Aura Sky Lounge (pictured below), at the National Gallery.

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Fintech Asia 100 is compiled by Next Money, in partnership with EY and supported by Visa. Among those in attendance was Lawrence Morgan, CEO of Hong Kong based Nest, a familiar figure in Asian fintech.

Strong MAS Support 

The senior members of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, including Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of MAS, made several appearances to support the event and also to share their commitment to the burgeoning financial technology community in Singapore.

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The MAS themselves came out with several initiatives in the middle of the week following a keynote speech by Managing Director Ravi Menon (pictured above) He said that in an industry facing the headwinds of lower economic growth and heavier regulatory burdens, innovation represented a way to refresh and re-energise the business model.

On The Ground at the Fintech Festival 

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While Singapore is not the largest city in the world and getting around is easy, the location of the event itself at Singapore Expo was not ideal. Several financial institutions such as Citi, have their innovation labs fairly close by in the Changi Business Park, but most do not.

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However the large floor area of the Singapore Expo exhibition halls meant there was plenty of room for the almost 70 exhibitors, a separate theatre area, various networking spaces and a very welcome area full of local street food offerings.

Among comments made by the participants to finews.asia were that the Singapore event had been well organized and well structured and the overall response was very upbeat.

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Hong Kong Event Less Structured

Last week Hong Kong also hosted a fintech week of its own. The reviews from people finews.asia spoke to who had attended the event were mixed however with many saying that the Hong Kong event had been less structured and seemed to have been put together in a hurry.

Finally spare a thought for the San Mateo based pair of Stephane Dubois and Kerry Langstaff from Xignite who were heading back across the Pacific yesterday on a 16 hour 10 minute flight, that is fintech commitment.

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