FinTech Connector is the first exclusive online and real world membership community that connects fintech entrepreneurs and start-ups (the “Innovators”) with global professionals, thought leaders, and investors (the “Enablers”) to take fintech ideas and turn them into financial services innovation that will benefit people around the world.
FinTech Connector is based on four key principles:
Community: A truly borderless and exclusive fintech community driven by a common purpose — to disrupt and innovate financial services around the world.
Connect: The online platform and ecosystem to connect finance and business Enablers with fintech Innovators to drive innovation forward for all people.
Collaborate: The tools and resources to collaborate on fintech ideas and initiatives that improve the financial services ecosystem.
Cultivate: Bring together global Enablers and Innovators via a virtual incubator and crowd-funding platform to cultivate fintech ideas into financial services innovation.
Meet the Master FinTech Connectors
Angel Lorente (Vision & Strategy)
Angel Lorente is the Chief Master Connector of today’s fastest growing global fintech network — FinTech Connector. Angel is an alumnus of MIT’s FinTech: Future Commerce and Big Data & Social Analytics where he evolved a vision to lead the fintech market segment. Angel’s storyline connects every dot from MIT to the future of financial technology.
Angel is continuously cultivating an exclusive community of Enablers (professionals, investors, thought leaders and subject matter experts) and Innovators (fintech and blockchain entrepreneurs and startups) that come together in their local communities to share ideas, learn from each other, and drive fintech innovation forward.
Throughout his career Angel has shaped and articulated a vision and strategy for global financial institutions, supported key business lines, evolved as an expert in financial products, reporting, risk management, and treasury services, and pivoted his career to lead a global financial services innovation team in the Americas.
He has built a reputation as a collaborative influencer who excels within highly competitive environments where leadership and teamwork are keys to success.
Angel commented, “We are still in the beginning stages of this great initiative that will, in my opinion, drive key market innovations in fintech. I believe FinTech Connector will soon be viewed as a global powerhouse of professionals, thought leaders, innovators, and subject matter experts helping drive financial services innovation around the world.”
Mary Olson (Brand Creation & Digital Transformation)
Mary Olson pivoted her strategic design and business innovation firm to support fintech innovators, build new brands, introduce new narratives, and establish new markets. Mary began collaborating with Angel Lorente to help turn his conceptual framework into reality.
Mary, a consummate communicator and an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur, is skilled at framing and designing founders’ concepts and visions. She is focusing on building brand equity for FinTech Connector through strategic design and applying new innovations to drive value, growth, and influence in the innovation economy.
According to Mary, “The process of co-creating FinTech Connector disrupts the entire traditional business development process through trust, transparency, and innovation.”
John Patrick Mullen (Business Development - Asia)
John Patrick Mullin is the former trade.io Managing Director of Research and Business Development, based out of the Hong Kong office. Prior to this, he was a senior Fintech research analyst at Guotai Junan Securities.
John is an active member of the Shanghai Fintech community, and wider Asia Pacific region, where he serves as Regional Director of APAC for the FinTech Connector. John writes for Forbes, Cointelegraph, and LinkedIn China about blockchain and Fintech innovation.
Additionally, he is an securities token and FinTech advisor, advising several blockchain companies in Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore and the United States. Most notably, Orichal Partners, HelloFriend, TV-Two, Traxia, and Hero Node.
meet our Strategic AdvisErs
Regional Lead Digitial, Fintech, & Blockchain - HCL Technologies
FinTech Connector - Chicago Community Partner
Vikas Bansal is a Master Connector of today’s fastest growing global fintech network — FinTech Connector. Vikas is an alumnus of Columbia Business School and Oxford University’s SAID Business School’s FinTech Program.
Vikas has successfully managed multiple consulting/outsourcing relationships as a Client Partner for various Banks and Financial Services institutions to deliver transformation projects and achieve key business objectives. As a strategic adviser to clients, Vikas has been a keen observer and researcher of trends and opportunities that contextualize FinTech and the various thematic areas of FinTech innovation and disruptive technologies. He is proficient in the Lean Launchpad methodology – including Business Model Generation, Product Market Fit, Value Proposition Canvas and the Ten-point Innovation Framework. He has an astute understanding of the domains of Digital Transformation and their application in the context of Financial Services. He has published his points of view on Digital Transformation and future of retail banking.
Vikas is focused on curating a community of Fintech enthusiasts, innovators and enablers locally in Chicago and around the globe.
Narayanan Ganpathy, CFA
Chief Executive Officer - Angivest Ventures
FinTech Connector - Bahrain Community Partner
Narayanan runs an early stage investment firm based in Bahrain providing pre-seed and seed stage capital to technology startups globally. Over a career spanning twenty years, Narayanan has evolved as an investment management specialist, having held senior management positions with prominent institutions such as Deutsche Bank in London, GFH Financial Group, KPMG Corporate Finance and International Investment Bank in Bahrain across a range of sectors. As an advisor to FinTech Connector, he brings to bear a combination of skills as an angel investor, a financial analyst, an investment manager and a Fintech enabler. He is a CFA Charterholder, a Master in Finance from London Business School, an alumnus of MIT’s Fintech: Future Commerce and has completed the Digital Business Leadership Program at Columbia Business School.
Vice President / Global Digital Solutions - RGP Consulting
Top business executive, advisor, and investor with a purpose to inspire and connect others to achieve extraordinary things. Highly regarded for setting strategic vision, building new business models / Fintech products, growing high-performance diverse teams, driving revenue growth and cost elimination across Europe, Asia, and Americas.
Chief Executive Officer - Atlantia Advisers
Antonia Savaria is a regulatory compliance attorney and risk management executive with over 15 years industry experience in investment management, hedge fund, corporate governance, contract and business law. Antonia has extensive in-house expertise and has worked in various legal, compliance and risk management capacities at global financial organizations as well as entrepreneurial ventures, such as Morgan Stanley, KPMG, Focus Financial Partners and Intrade. She has provided counsel on legal, regulatory and compliance issues arising under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Investment Company Act of 1940, SEC and FINRA rules, as well as regulations of the FCA (UK regulator) and the Ontario Securities Commission and Autorité des marchés financiers (Québec) (Canadian regulators).
Antonia founded Atlantia Advisers with the goal of providing a holistic approach to the strategic advisory and regulatory compliance needs of small- to mid-sized investment advisers, hedge funds, wealth managers, and private equity firms that seek expert advice, benchmarking against industry best practices, practical guidance and sustainable solutions.
Antonia partners with the C-level executives and understands the value of effective, timely and efficient communication. Her approach is discerning and resourceful.
Former Head of Technology Transformation at JPMorgan Chase & Global Fintech Speaker and Influencer
Transformational business and technology leader in transactional and consumer banking, with 25 years of experience across Europe, Asia and USA with passion, high energy and commitment levels, who managed change, innovated and restructured businesses and put them on the path of growth triggered by technology innovation. Sonia believes that true differentiation in banking can be delivered through customer centric innovation leveraging technology- driving simplicity, speed and convenience.
In addition to her professional career, Sonia is a thought leader in digital transformation, a Power Profile on LinkedIn and a renowned keynote speaker at over 50 conferences around the world. She has been Adjunct Professor at the National University of Singapore and delivered lectures to students at the MIT, Stanford University, Warsaw School of Economics and Singapore Management University.
Sonia also held other leadership roles including Chairman of the Board of Junior Achievement Foundation, Member of the Supervisory Board of Handlowy – Leasing S.A., and Member of the Supervisory Board of Bank Handlowy Brokerage House.
Sonia holds a Master’s degree in Foreign Trade from Warsaw School of Economics and a BA in European Business Studies from Brunel University in London. She is married, with two children aged 15 and 20. Sonia is a passionate traveler, cook and a kickboxer with black belt in American kickboxing.
THE FinTech Connector story
By Angel Lorente – Co-founder & Master FinTech Connector
In June 2016, I created a weekly social networking event at Hurley’s Saloon in NYC for NY-area based MIT/GetSmarter Fintech online course cohorts. I am a firm believer that nothing is more valuable than face-to-face interactions.
Every week I participated in the online forum of the MIT FinTech course and let everyone know that I would be at Hurley's Saloon grabbing a beer and talking fintech. The first week two people showed up. By the time the course was over 12 weeks later we had anywhere from 20 to 30 people show up. The NY cohorts, the GetSmarter team, and one of the senior MIT instructors who met me in NY told me that I had created something special with the weekly networking events and that I should continue doing it...SO I DID.
I set up a NYC Meet-up page in September 2016 and referred to ourselves as the MIT FinTech Connector Cohorts. I kept doing the Hurley's Social Networking but also added events like Fireside Chats with CEOs of start-ups and investors to understand their journey, a tech education series with my colleagues at Blockgram (the first was “A Day in the Life of A Bitcoin Transaction”) and FinTech Pitch Presentation Night where cohorts could present their ideas or start-ups, get feedback, and meet enablers that could help them take their fintech idea to the next level.
My focus was to create an exclusive community of enablers and innovators that could connect, share ideas, learn from each other, and help drive fintech innovation forward for all people.
I soon began getting requests from people outside the MIT/GetSmarter FinTech course to join so I changed our name to FinTech Connector and opened it up to other fintech enthusiasts. New enthusiasts had to have relevant business, technology, finance, or consulting experience as an Enabler, and a clear idea or fintech business in startup mode as an Innovator.
I met so many wonderful people from the events that saw value in what I was doing. Some of them have joined me on the journey to create and expand FinTech Connector globally...see The Master FinTech Connectors above!!!
I also received encouragement from my international MIT FinTech Cohorts to partner with them in establishing local FinTech Connector communities and connecting them globally to encourage networking, collaboration, and innovation. This led to creating the Community Partners — Master FinTech Connectors for their cities/countries — to help plan and execute events, encourage collaboration and innovation locally, and invite fintech Enablers and Innovators to join the exclusive, global FinTech Connector community.
FinTech Connector is still in the beginning of this great initiative. I believe the community will drive a number of key innovations in the years to come and will be viewed as a global powerhouse of fintech thought leaders, subject matter experts, investors, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.
I hope that you will join me as we connect the fintech dots for Enablers and Innovators around the world, helping them disrupt and innovate financial services for all people.