They don’t call it Startup Nation for nothing.
With the exception of Silicon Valley, Israel is the world’s top incubator for startups — and fintech is increasingly becoming hot there. Some of the world’s most remarkable fintech startups have their roots in Israel, while big-names banks are starting — or trying — to plant flags there. This is not just about the weather and falafel in Israel.
No, Israel is at the center of profound innovation, and that is why Bank Innovation is bringing its well-regarded conference and demo event to the Holy Land, to build on what has already started there: profound fintech idea generation.
Bank Innovation Israel on Nov. 10-11 in Tel Aviv will bring together global leaders to explore the future of fintech — with a particular eye on local entrepreneurism. Sessions will be in English.
There are more than 400 fintech startups in Israel today, according to some estimates. The startups range from ventures focused on security for large banks like BioCatch to big data solutions like BillGuard, and crowdsourced investment solutions like eToro’s social trading network. Tel Aviv was recently ranked fifth in the world for its adoption of the cryptocurrency bitcoin and was one of the first cities to open a bitcoin ATM to the general public. The Israeli fintech scene got its greatest jolt of energy last March when Fundtech, the Israeli banking technology company, was sold for US$1.25 billion to DH Corp. Scratch many a “Silicon Valley” fintech startup and you’ll find Israel DNA.
For good reason. Israel has a number of advantages in developing fintech startups, including its small size, which acts as a great testing ground; extraordinarily high mobile engagement among Israelis; and big-data skills learned in Israel’s elite army intelligence units, like the 8200 unit, known for cultivating star entrepreneurs. All those strengths will be on display at Bank Innovation Israel, an invitation-only event.
The Holy Land has been attracting big-league banks, recently. Barclays, Citigroup, and Visa Europe all maintain significant innovation or R&D ventures in Israel, as go tech giants such as Google and Facebook. Citi, for example, runs its Technology Innovation Center in Israel, and earlier this year launched Citi Mobile Challenge there to award local fintech startups that “foster innovation within the banking industry.”
Said Citi Israel CEO Neil Corney at the time of the Challenge’s launch earlier this year: “There is no doubt that, in recent years, fintech in Israel has developed.”
We aim to foster greater development not just in Israel, but globally, through the intermingling of fintech ideas from within and without Israel. We invite you to join us in Startup Nation for a deep dive into the heart of true technology innovation at Bank Innovation Israel.