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The summer holiday season is coming to a close and on your return to the office your inbox is full of invites to conferences, meetups, tech fests and networking extravaganzas.

How do you decide which ones to accept? Do you go for an exotic location to prolong that holiday vibe? Will your boss only pay if you come back with a load of good leads? Do you want to come away having learnt something useful?

We’ve got some great reasons why it should be Next Bank, taking place on 18-19 September.

1. The content

Above all, Next Bank Europe is about content. With the help of an advisory board of recognized fintech experts Next Bank has finely curated the agenda and this year the theme is Re-think and Connect. They’ll be looking at how financial institutions are re-thinking leadership, the business, the customer and, above all, the boundaries of the corporation. Speakers will explore the democratization of innovation and how technologies are generating power shifts that are shaking up the status quo in financial services. And you’ll have the chance to connect with some of the best talent and ideas in Europe at the fintech innovator village and at the final of BBVA Open Talent.

2. The European final of BBVA Open Talent

Together with BBVA, Next Bank has searched the globe for the most innovative startups in two categories – New Banking and Digital Life – by all accounts some brilliant projects have been submitted. You’ll get to tap into this talented pool of creative minds and come up to speed with current trends in fintech. Each of the 20 European finalists will pitch their idea to our judges and the audience who will vote on two winners. Help Next Bank choose who gets to receive €30,000 to develop their project with the support of BBVA.

3. The workshops

Top 10 Reasons To Go To Next Bank Europe
Top 10 Reasons To Go To Next Bank Europe

Before things even kick off with the main event, Next Bank is running two pre-conference workshops. Hacking Finance Tech @ and Hacking Finance Biz @. This is your chance to roll up your sleeves, get creative and truly collaborate with fellow fintech innovators.

Hacking Finance Tech @ is a fintech hackathon for programmers, designers and business people to devise solutions for fields like retail banking, capital markets, payments and big data. You’ll have access to the Open Bank Project API, among others, to make your great idea come to life. The best hack will be invited to present to the audience at Next Bank Europe.

The second is Hacking Finance Biz @ with Claro Partners, which is a workshop for the creation of new value propositions using the networked business model – where consumers deliver value to consumers and companies become enablers of this value exchange. If you are a fintech entrepreneur or an innovator from a financial institution, join this workshop and help
find new and inventive solutions based on this model. Again, the most impactful solution will be chosen to present at Next Bank Europe.

4. No selling

This is not a conference where you sit and listen to vendors telling you how wonderful their product is, why it’s the best option on the market and where you’ll find them afterwards so that they can convert you into a new lead. Next Bank asks its sponsors and speakers specifically not to sell. That’s because Next Bank Europe is about content, it’s about innovation, it’s about collaboration and it’s relaxed and casual. It’s about having fun and being inspired. Not bombarded.

5. Poblenou

Next Bank Europe takes place at Valkiria Hub Space in the heart of Poblenou. This once industrial district of Barcelona has undergone a big transformation in the last 50 years. The former factories and warehouses have been converted into lofts, galleries and shops and art and design schools and studios are cropping up all over the place. Already a hub for creativity, the [email protected] plan (the name for the Barcelona innovation district body) aims to convert Poblenou into the city’s technological and innovation district. The leafy, cafe-lined Rambla del Poblenou (just 5 minutes from the venue) cuts through the middle of the zone, connecting the Avinguda Diagonal to the beach.

6. The audience

Next Bank likes to describe its events using words like diverse, open, unique, belonging, casual and collaborative. The events are attendee-driven and are excellent for networking. They attract a true mix of industry players – investors, startups, financial institutions, entrepreneurs, innovators, consultants, technologists – and give them the chance to explore emerging industry topics together in a relaxed environment. Don’t bring your suit and tie – it’ll be too hot for it in Barcelona in September anyway.

7. The speakers

Some of the top innovators in Europe are taking part. These include:

  •  Matthias Kröner from Fidor Bank
  •  Innovation guru Peter Hinssen
  •  Samantha Ghiotti of Anthemis
  •  Ex-CEO of SWIFT Lazaro Campos
  •  Marcus Treacher of HSBC
  •  Sebastian Diemer of Kreditech
  •  Matteo Rizzi of SBT Ventures
  •  Dave Birch, global ambassador of Consult Hyperion
  •  Jon Matonis of Bitcoin Foundation
  •  Philippe Gelis of Kantox, and many more…

These are people who are really pushing innovation in the industry and who are truly passionate about transformation, technology and new ideas.

8. The coffee

What Next Bank really loved about Valkiria Hub Space, apart from the space itself – a converted warehouse which is breezy, light and cool – is Onna Cafe. Onne Cafe is a space for the meeting of ideas, it’s about community and it’s about sharing experiences in fresh, diverse open and creative surroundings. And they make excellent coffee!

9. The timing

It’s become almost a daily thing to hear about a new fintech accelerator, a new bank innovation unit, another fund started by a bank or consultancy firm aimed at investing in fintech startups – the time really is ripe. The financial services industry is embracing the transformation being wrought on it by technology and has learnt from industries in the past that it needs to act. Fintech startups and entrepreneurs are springing up all over the place as new technologies such as cryptocurrencies become more widespread and feed their ability to come up with creative solutions. Next Bank Europe is the place where these two worlds meet to address this transformation and form alliances to make the most of the opportunity together.

And finally…

10. The beach!

The average temperature in Barcelona in September is 22 degrees celsius and the sea temperature is 24 degrees. What are you waiting for? Pack your swimsuit – we’ll see you in September!