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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

FinovateWest Digital opens wide on small screens

FinovateWest Digital, held online Nov. 23 to 26, 2020, drew thousands of investors, media partners and fintech enthusiasts from around the world. The second in a virtual series launched in September 2020 with FinovateFall, the event combined real-time presentations, live Q&A, on-demand demonstrations and networking opportunities.

As done in the first event in the series, participants were invited to customize their profiles and use the networking part of the platform to arrange meetings, which could be one-on-one chats or group invitationals.

"Over the past 12 years, many of you have come to feel like family to us, and we hope you are all doing what is needed to keep yourselves and your family safe," Finovate organizers wrote. "As part of an effort to keep everyone safe, and to comply with current governmental recommendations surrounding COVID-19, we have rescheduled FinovateWest 2020 to take place November 23 through 24."

Digital viewing options

In reflecting on recent successful shows, Finovate organizers reiterated objectives of curating "world-class speakers, unmissable insights and powerful connections, both on-site and in person." The FinovateWestDigital platform included the following features:

  • Profile settings: Customizable profile settings with filters enable attendees to browse the attendee list and find companies and individuals according to company type, areas of focus and technology specialization.

  • Meeting availability buttons: Navigation bar buttons, designed to simplify appointment bookings, can be reset each day to show available times for group and one-on-one meetings.

  • On-demand viewing options: On-demand sessions enable participants to continue exploring demonstrations and presentations when they have time. A series of on-demand clips, designed to explore the lighter side of the show, included rapid-fire Q&A, off-the-record chats with executives from financial institutions and backstage chats with speakers.

  • Interactive components: Additional interactive components included a scavenger hunt with cash prizes and daily opportunities to vote for Best of Show and submit jokes to be read during live sessions. Submission deadline for the scavenger hunt is Nov. 25, 2020. Winners will be announced via email during the week of Nov. 30, 2020.

  • Audience choice awards: Best of show awards in multiple categories are announced at each Finovate event as voted by the audience on each day of the show. FinovateWestDigital will host a short awards ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, at 1 PM PST.

  • Charitable cause: Finovate has partnered with No Kid Hungry to alleviate childhood hunger, a persistent problem made worse by the coronavirus pandemic. Noting that one in four children face hunger in the United States, Greg Palmer, vice president, Finovate Group, urged attendees to support the cause. Two hundred donations of $25 would enable Finovate to raise $5,000 goal for No Kid Hungry, he stated.

  • Inclusive access: Ahead of the event, participants can set up their profiles and browse the directory to find participating individuals and companies and book appointments in advance. During the event, they can use the networking part of the platform to book and host meetings. After the event, they can continue to access material and conference sessions for a week.

Best of Show

No one could have foreseen the unique circumstances that forced Finovate to pivot from a big stage to small screens around the world but event organizers found a silver lining. Going digital has removed barriers of long-distance travel, they stated. This has broadened access to the venue, enabling delegates from around the world to participate in the Finovate community. They added, "wherever you are in the world, Finovate is coming to you."

Sean Collins, co-founder and head of development at Monit, observed that everyone gets a front row seat at Finovate digital shows. "You can really see the demo," he said. "Onstage, the demos can be a little hard to follow."

Collins added that Monit, a Best of Show winner at FinovateFall, will demonstrate its predictive financial platform at FinovateWestDigital in hopes of another win. Recalling the September day when he and co-founder and CEO Steve Dow learned Monit had won, Collins said, "It was a beautiful day in Boston; I let out a loud yelp. My neighbor yelled back, asking if I was ok; I was really excited."

Dave Hunkele, chief strategy officer at Finzly, agreed that winning at Finovate is an experience like no other. He stated that Finzly will demo Finzly Flow and Finzly DAO at FinovateWest, solutions that support the company's BankOS platform that won Best of Show at FinovateFall.

"We’ve been very impressed by what Greg Palmer has put together over the years," Hunkele said. "As a technology provider, we love the visibility that Finovate creates for new solutions." end of article

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