Australian fintech industry leaders today announced that Melbourne would later this year host a week-long fintech festival, which is expected to be the most influential event of its type in the Asia-Pacific region.
Intersekt will run from 27 October-3 November 2017 and will be held in partnership with FinTech Victoria, York Butter Factory and Next Money and presented by the Victorian Government.
The festival has also already attracted key corporate and government partners including NAB, Accenture, EY, Acorns, Entersoft, VTWO, the Melbourne Convention Bureau and the City of Melbourne.
Intersekt is expected to attract more than 1,000 delegates and participants, along with among the world’s best fintech thought leaders and influencers.
FinTech Australia president Simon Cant said Intersekt would have a strong focus on helping better connect the Australian and Asian fintech environments.
“Australia has tremendous potential to be world’s leading intersection for fintech innovation and a large part of that comes from our proximity, common time zone and strong cultural links to Asia,” he said.
“Asia presents incredible opportunities for the Australian fintech industry, including venture capital to help grow our globally focussed fintechs.
“Intersekt will play an important role to help expose our thriving fintech environment to an Asian-Pacific and global audience and bring about the connections and insights to help take our industry to the next level.”
Rob Findlay, CEO of Next Money said: “We are delighted to be working with the Victorian Government and fintech community to deliver a festival which should capture world attention and highlight the exciting qualities of the Australian fintech ecosystem.”
Philip Dalidakis, Victoria’s Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, used the festival launch to announce that his government would be Intersekt’s presenting partner.
“The Intersekt festival will showcase Melbourne’s outstanding credentials as a global fintech hub and the world’s most liveable city to a global audience of senior fintech leaders,” Mr Dalidakis said.
“The Victorian Government has provided funding to support Intersekt and looks forward to working with FinTech Australia and its partners to plan and deliver the festival.”
Key elements of the Intersekt festival will include:
• The Collab/Collide summit, which will be a two-day event co-produced by FinTech Australia and Next Money discussing the latest domestic and international fintech trends including open data, digital identity, open and private blockchain, next gen banking, digital super, regtech and insurtech;
• A two and a half day fintech hackathon;
• A two-day community and corporate Melbourne showcase circuit, which will include dynamic community discussions and events and highlight the city’s fintech ecosystem;
• An expo, pitchfest and extensive networking opportunities; and
• A one-day event focussing on blockchain technology, which is transforming financial services in areas such as supply chains, smart contracts, payments and foreign exchange.
FinTech Victoria CEO Alan Tsen said: “Fintech Victoria is excited to be involved with an event of this calibre. We’re thrilled to be working with Fintech Australia, Next Money and York Butter Factory to bring an event of this scale to Victoria.
“We feel that bringing together the Australia fintech ecosystem over a week long festival is sure to further strengthen Victoria’s position as an emergent fintech hub.”
York Butter Factory Liaison Officer Sahand Bagheri said: “We are excited to be a part of an initiative that aims to better connect national and regional investors, startups and corporates under one roof. We hope this will further fuel the advancement of Australia’s startup ecosystem and bring with it more growth opportunities for Australia to compete globally.”
The launch of the Intersekt festival comes amid a strong performance by Australia’s fintech ecosystem during the first half of 2017. This includes:
• The KPMG Pulse of FinTech report 2016 finding that Australia’s fintech investments more than tripled from US$185 million in 2015 to US$656 million in 2016
• A decision by major international investors, including from China, to back a $US13 million capital raising for Melbourne-based payments company Airwallex
• Strong support for fintech in the 2017-18 Australian budget, including a commitment to introduce an open financial data framework, remove tax on digital currencies and expand Australia’s regulatory sandbox.