FinTech North returns to aql HQ for third annual conference

13 April 2018

FinTech North returns to aql HQ for third annual conference

FinTech North

FinTech North 2017 at aql HQ

Following its successful first two years, FinTech North will return to aql HQ next week for its third annual conference as part of Leeds Digital Festival.

aql has supported, and hosted, FinTech North since its inception. The event aims to spur collaboration within the financial services and technology community and to generate tangible economic benefits for the region.

The success of the showcase in previous years, and its ongoing support from government, emphasises fintech’s position as one of the major growth sectors for Leeds City Region and the wider North. Leeds is already the second largest financial city and economy in the UK and tech has grown into one of the North’s prime capabilities.

Tech’s growth over the past decade has come in significant part due to aql’s investment in the region’s fundamental digital “plumbing”. This includes IXLeeds, the first fully-independent internet exchange in the UK. This unique infrastructure means the region can connect to all worldwide financial markets via data connections that don’t have to pass through London-centric connectivity, thereby creating a geographically-separate location for backup and markedly improving the resilience of the country’s financial infrastructure.

The confluence of all these strengths – and more, including leading work in 5G – continues to build out an ecosystem of cutting-edge fintech companies, startups and innovation. The jobs this creates in turn keep graduate talent in the region, bringing more businesses and spurring further innovation and investment in a virtuous circle. Providing the fundamental building blocks that allow this to happen is a key part of aql's mission.

FinTech North is a not-for-profit, collaborative project conceived through the partnership of White Label Crowdfunding and Whitecap Consulting. aql founder and CEO Prof. Adam Beaumont will deliver this year’s welcoming remarks, with speakers including Henri Murison, Chief Executive, Northern Powerhouse Partnership; Paul Connell, Founder, ODI Leeds; and Chris Sier, FinTech Envoy to Northern Powerhouse.

aql is organising and hosting a number of other events during Leeds Digital Festival, including the opening of the Estonian Consulate to the North of England and the Isle of Man and a roundtable discussion on Estonia, Digital Society, and the Tech World’s Best Kept Secret featuring, among others, executives from LHV Bank, the Estonian fintech firm.

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