Bermuda team connects with fintech leaders
David Burt turned the spotlight on the island's innovation community for a sold-out audience of global entrepreneurs in Toronto this week at Collision, North America's fastest-growing tech conference.
Collision brought 25,000 delegates, including investors and start-ups, to the city's lakefront Enercare Centre for its Canadian debut. The Premier participated as a guest panellist at a packed #MoneyConf session called, “Striking the balance between regulation and innovation”.
Moderated by Philip Crowther, White House correspondent for French television channel France 24, and also featuring Adam Hitchcock of Patch Capital Partners, the discussion highlighted Bermuda's regulatory agility that has created a respected framework aimed at attracting quality fintech businesses.
“[Fintech companies] are now looking at us,” the Premier told the Tuesday session that drew several hundred attendees, “and are talking to our Bermuda Monetary Authority, because they want to be regulated with a regulator that understands what they're trying to do, in a jurisdiction that is ready now, not one that's taking the approach of waiting a year or two to ensure structures are in place.”
The Collision showcase was a highlight of the three-day visit by Bermuda's delegation, comprising government, industry and the Bermuda Business Development Agency.
The Premier, accompanied by Denis Pitcher, his chief fintech adviser, and Andy Burrows, BDA chief executive officer, along with other industry representatives, also attended meetings with Toronto-based industry groups and fintech entrepreneurs to develop strategic partnerships.
“For the BDA, this has clearly been an opportunity to continue to showcase that Bermuda is innovative, nimble and agile, that we're not new to this space in terms of being adaptive and adoptive, and that as a jurisdiction, we are best placed to facilitate conversations, to get ahead, and to be part of the outcome and solutions,” Mr Burrows said.
Insurtech accelerator RGAx, a subsidiary of the Reinsurance Group of America that provides technology, consulting and outsourcing solutions to the North American life and reinsurance industries, hosted a private thought-leadership gathering at its downtown Toronto offices for Team Bermuda, with participation by executives from AIG Canada, Berkshire Hathaway, and several insurance-related start-up ventures.
“The idea was to get a number of industry actors together from government and insurance, as well as the start-up community, to really see how industry innovation can move forward,” said host Mitch Ocampo, a software engineer who now heads the Studio Innovation Lab at RGAx. “My role is built on the notion of co-creation and collaboration, so being able to work with Team Bermuda and explore ways in which we can move the industry forward is worth making time for.”
The delegation also held meetings with Accenture, SparkLabs Foundry, the Toronto Business Development Centre, Toronto Finance International, the Mars Discovery District, and Canada's leading crypto exchange Coinbase, among other fintech-related entities.
“Having Bermuda represented at Collision, as well as the meetings we've participated in this week, continues to help promote our jurisdiction — not only in the fintech space, but also in insurtech and education technology,” Coral Wells, founder of ConnecTech and one of the Bermudian delegation. “We've had the opportunity to introduce a few of our Toronto partners to the Premier and the rest of Team Bermuda, and we remain committed to growing the Bermuda technology brand.”