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Fintech Updated: 16 Nov 2017

The fintech world gathers for the BBVA Open Summit

Madrid will host Wednesday the first BBVA Open Summit, an event that brings together startups, entrepreneurs and experts in innovation, all of them disposed to shake the financial services sector.


More than 100 startups, entrepreneurs and experts in innovation and technology will gather at the Matadero Madrid venue to take part in the first BBVA Open Summit. At the event, which will continue through Friday, October 20, the global winner of the BBVA Open Talent 2017 competition  - the benchmark in the world of fintech - will be announced.

This year, BBVA has sought to give more visibility to the world of startups, with a summit meeting in which established startups will take part, along with others that want to become established.  The aim is to promote innovation and collaboration between the banking sector and fintech companies. As part of its commitment to the startups, BBVA has spent years supporting the fintech sector and has made a series of alliances with the most disruptive companies.

The first day will feature a special line of work devoted to the participation of women in the world of entrepreneurs and financial technology, which will close with a special prize for “Women in Fintech.” María Benjumea, founder of Spain Startup and head of the South Summit, along with Rebeca Minguela, founder of Clarity, will analyze the success of a technological project. Benjumea will also offer her views on the situation of the startup ecosystem in Latin America.

Open Summit will also host the traditional “pitches” by the finalists in the BBVA Open Talent contest. They include  DOV-E, an Israeli startup that won in the category of Global Trends; Pago 46, a Chilean project that won the regional BBVA Open Talent contest; B2BPay, winner in the category of Fintech for Companies; Change, which took first prize in the Artificial Intelligence category; and SnapSwap, the Luxembourg startup that won in the category of Identity.

The first day’s activities will conclude with the presentation of the Blue BBVA Challenge, the BBVA training program aimed at young people interested in entrepreneurship, but without preparation in this field.  In this case, the challenge is oriented to “how music can change people’s lives.” It is not directed to professionals in this area, but rather to initiatives that, through music, can contribute to changing some aspect of peoples’ lives.

BBVA Open Summit will become a crucial element of a fintech platform for startups in Spain and beyond.

Financial services and innovation

BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila and Derek White, Head of Global Customer and Client Solutions, will open the second day of the summit, by providing the keys to understanding and applying open innovation in the banking industry.

In the afternoon, BBVA Global Chairman Francisco González will take part in a talk with David Brear, CEO of 11FS and the guru of the fintech ecosystem, where they will share his vision on banking strategy in the 21st Century. Francisco González will also preside over the awarding of prizes to the global winner of the BBVA Open Talent 2017 competition, in which five startups are competing.

Other distinguished panels on this second day include an encounter between Rob Brown, BBVA’s Global Head of Design and Marketing, and Jason Bates of 11FS. The pair will examine design as a key element in customer experience. Another panel will analyze the future of banking, in the view of the disruptors; Marko Wenthin, of Slaris, Ed Maslaveckas of BUD and Lupina Iturriaga of Fintonic will all take part.

Also on the second day, parallel sessions will be organized, to put venture capital firms in contact with fintech projects that require financing. Jay Reinemann, director of Propel and Juan López Carretero, head of M&A Digital at BBVA, will be among the experts that advise a group of candidate startups.

The last day of the Open Summit will be devoted to the world of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and how they are participating in the great paradigm change in the financial services of the future. Raúl Lucas, Alberto González and Pablo Narro, all of BBVA, will share practical examples of how the Group is moving towards “open banking.” Anxo Lópex, head of the Design area of BBVA, will offer a special workshop on Design Thinking, and how to apply these skills to create incredible experiences for customers, partners and employees

The world of data will be represented by Juan Murillo and Ana Laguna of BBVA Data & Analytics. They will present practical examples of how algorithms are changing every aspect of our lives, from economic development to the talents of the professionals of the future. To conclude, Alex Vidal and Jonah Burlingame will offer a master class on the implications and responsibilities of designers in the age of machine learning.