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Copenhagen Fintech launched in 2016 with the aim of making Copenhagen a leading FinTech Hub in the global financial services industry. The idea was to do so by supporting and catalysing the next era of technology-led corporate and start-up innovators. The dreams were sky-high, and judging from the last three years, they were rightfully so. Nonetheless, dreaming big is dangerous in a country known for its ‘Jantelov’. Many critics were asking the question: can a small Nordic start-up challenge the heavyweights of fintech?

In responding properly to doubters, Copenhagen Fintech needed to dig deep and create a long-term and visionary strategy, mapping out key trends and developments to focus. At a strategy meeting in London in February 2017, the team managed to create a framework for going forward. Today, only two years later, CEO Thomas Krogh Jensen and his team have managed to build one of the world’s largest and most interesting fintech ecosystems with prominent partners, sponsors and members.

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On a (global) roll

Copenhagen Fintech is not just buzz. The team has grown the numbers to prove its significance and impact. The last 2 ½ years have been extraordinary, and the organization has grown the number of partnerships between incumbents and startups to reach around 60 partnerships, and the investments into Danish Fintechs make the sphere the most-funded vertical in Denmark. Investments grew from DKK 95m in 2015 to more than DKK 2bn as of today. It is fair to say that Copenhagen Fintech has seen exponential growth. Fueled by eager investors and a platform to invent ideas and scale ventures, the number of startups has grown from 75 to 230, so in a very short period of time, the whole ecosystem has grown to a size that not even the team itself dared dreaming about a few years back.

“During the last 2 ½ years, we grew the number of partnerships between incumbents and startups to reach around 60 partnerships, and the investments into Danish Fintechs make our sphere the most-funded vertical in Denmark. We grew investments from DKK 95m in 2015 to more than DKK 2bn now.”

A small country in a big world

Fintech is global, and Thomas Krogh Jensen is strictly aware that he together with his team engage in a global fight for talent, in which they wear the Danish national jersey. Denmark is a small country in a big world, and the hunt for talent and impact is global. Copenhagen Fintech leverages the global scene through wide-spanning partnerships, Canada and Singapore to mention a few, creating connections and opportunities for Danish fintech start-ups to onboard, aiming at an extraordinary growth venture. The non-profit association creates opportunities to scale and connect, and this is not only opportunities for Danish startups to grow globally. It is indeed also opportunities to attract foreign investments and grab a share of the global talent pool. Therefore, Copenhagen Fintech has launched a scale-up program with a professor from the London Business School. Through this accelerator, it has attracted tons of foreign startups that is now looking into how they can actually scale into Europe through Denmark.

2,000 square metres of talent

Successful growth ventures don’t come overnight. Nor is entrepreneurial talent crafted overnight. It has, however, shown that talents have moved into the Copenhagen Fintech Lab overnight. The 2,000 square metres, which today houses approximately 170 fintech entrepreneurs, leverages co-creativity, global connections and cross-industry know-how in creating the next big thing. The creation of a dynamic co-lab with global influx and bright inputs was a key part of the initial growth strategy, and the boss is proud of it. The Co-Lab is the DNA of Copenhagen Fintech: spotting links, connecting people, building and accelerating.

Mama, I made it

Today in 2020, Copenhagen Fintech can write many prominent names on its wall of partners. Since the beginning, many interesting partners have boarded the ship, and the many faces of the ecosystem is what makes the wheel spin. In an ecosystem like this, it is crucial to attract the fintech start-ups, but it is equally important to have the partners and sponsors who can help build and, in the long run, benefit from a thriving fintech-scene. Copenhagen Fintech has been successful in attracting some of the brightest minds and talents in the industry – as well as some of the most powerful corporations around. And Copenhagen Fintech has a lot of partners today. Some of them being Danish and Nordic, but a growing number of the impressive partners are global players. Not just any players – it is companies like Internationale Nederlanden Groep (ING), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBC) and Citibank. It seems that the growth journey starting in 2016 has just begun.

“We are doing more and more partnerships with companies who do not engage because they want to build a dream, but because they see business here, they see talent coming through the system”

 

– Simon Schou, CIO