Some time ago I was privileged, as a major investor in Scotcoin, to be invited with others to the Consultation on Scottish Fintech hosted by Deloittes with Scottish Enterprise.
Firstly, what is Fintech? It is the all encompassing word for the financial architecture of the digital age. It covers market infrastructure, payments, settlements, digital currencies, and data analytics. Its protagonists utilize software and programming code to provide financial services.
In the world ecosystem of Fintech, London is Number One.
But Scotland is number 18 – and that is entirely creditable given our size.
The object of the consultation was to delineate what was needed to boost us from eighteenth into the top ten – and potentially higher.
So what is needed?
Firstly – and perhaps most importantly – we need to draw world attention to Scotland. How difficult can that be? We have a fantastic country with good communication systems, superb countryside, and an eager and responsive workforce. We have an excellent online community already, with some real winners to the fore.
Secondly, we need to push connections together. Scotland is ideal for a “hub and spoke” set up. We need available service centres and spaces to bring people together, to allow ideas to be born and flourish, and reach maturity.
Thirdly, education. This doesn’t just mean top down , but at the very start of children’s schooling. We need educated participants. We need to make them evangelists for Scottish Fintech, and we need a continuous stream of new participants. We need to build on what we have already, but we need to strengthen and broaden what there is. We have to up our game at all levels.
Fourthly, finance. There are some seed funds available, but we need to expand them and scale up. In order to attract new people and businesses, we have to nurture them, to welcome them, to support them and help them navigate through the beginnings of their business into the full flood of their maturity.
If we do all that, we can easily get into the top ten. And who knows maybe even higher than that!

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