The FinTech Connector Story
By Angel Lorente — Founder & Master FinTech Connector
In June 2016, I created a weekly professional 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 every week. 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 expand and create FinTech Connector globally!!!
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 our Co-Founders and me as we connect the fintech dots for Enablers and Innovators around the world, helping them disrupt and innovate financial services for all people.
If you are a fintech enabler or innovator then sign up today to start connecting with the global fintech community — www.fintechconnector.com
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