Pich, a startup which connects with the infrastructure of the banking sector to provide companies and developers with access to financial data, was the winning business project at Fintech Venture Day Madrid, a contest organized by Santander InnoVentures, Accenture and IE Business School. The competition is aimed at startups which provide technology-based solutions for the finance sector and the event was held at the Rafael del Pino Foundation. Participants included Juan Pedro Moreno, president and CEO of Accenture Spain, Portugal and Israel, Peter Jackson, senior executive vice president and head of Innovation of the Santander Group, and Juan José Güemes, president of IE Business School’s International Center for Entrepreneurial Management, who, along with further experts in the field, worked together to examine the challenges facing the finance sector in this innovative ecosystem.
This is the first time that Fintech Venture Day has been held in Spain. The competition forms part of a series of contests held around the world, the first of which took place in Tel Aviv in February, with the next edition set to take place in Sao Paulo in May. Participating startups offer technology-based solutions for payment methods, alternative funding, wealth management, and services which cover areas that include investment, data and risk analysis, customer experience, and digitalization of financial services. A judges panel made up of investors and experts in entrepreneurial management, finance and consultancy services selected Pich as the winning project, which means that the startup will receive mentoring from the sponsoring firms and will have the option of accessing funding.
In addition to Pich, the other projects competing in the competition were Capital Ahora, a collective funding platform whereby investors can lend money to previously analyzed solvent firms; Fire PCI, a company which provides B2B technology and a prototype for cloud-based services that offer protection for sensitive data such as personal data or credit cards; Indexa Capital, which was the first automated administrator system in Spain to offer investments for which automation brings a high-profit potential with fewer commissions and lower costs than those offered by other financial entities; and Wetech, a company which collaborates with banks to develop wearables for payments subject to Dynamic Data Authentication processes, using different forms, designs and materials.
Mariano Belinky, managing partner of Santander InnoVentures, explained that the company was very committed to fintech startups in Spain through activities such as Fintech Venture Day. “The world of fintech in Spain is rising fast and we are moving in lockstep. We firmly believe in collaboration among emerging businesses and banks. There are already major operations, such as Kabbage, working with Santander to fast-track credits for SMEs in the UK.”
Fernando Rufilanchas, managing director of Financial Services at Accenture, said: “Collaboration with fintech startups can transform what is currently a threat to traditional banking into an opportunity to build the bank of the future together.”
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Juan José Güemes, president of IE Business School’s International Center for Entrepreneurial Management talked about how the fintech ecosystem is changing the rules of the game in the financial sector. “It is modifying the way to do business with tools that enable us to operate at any given time from anywhere in the world. The startups that took part in Fintech Venture Day Madrid today embody this change of paradigm in a sector with enormous growth potential.”
The Fintech Venture Days benefit from the experience of three key players in the field: Santander InnoVentures, the fintech venture capital fund run by Santander, is one of the largest banks in the world, operating in ten leading markets in Europe and the US; Accenture, a global leader in professional services that offers an extensive range of services in the fields of strategy, consulting, digital solutions, technology and operations; and IE Business School , one of the world’s top business schools, renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach to management education.