Announcing the 6th ECN Crowdfunding Convention: “New technologies for access to finance”

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Over the past couple of years the fintech sector has brought to surface various new ways and tools to facilitate and make more efficient access to finance for SMEs and individuals. These will not only drastically change processes of established financial institutions, but they will also help improving operations of existing alternative finance players. They will open new opportunities and allow to serve SMEs and individuals in a more effective way. The 6th ECN Crowdfunding Convention will bring together European crowdfunding and online lending platforms, fintech entrepreneurs, financial institutions, investors and policymakers for a 2-days event that will shape how online access to finance will look like in the future.

How will online access to finance look like in three years from now? What new technologies are there to improve the process and better serve the customers? How do European policymakers see all these changes and how do they plan to tackle them? How can we improve SMEs and individuals’ online access to finance further? These are the questions that the 6th ECN Crowdfunding Convention will address with the input of high-level speakers and sector players. Hosted at the brand-new Vilnius Tech Park, the event will gather, on the 19-20 October 2017, more than 200 international delegates representing the online access to finance ecosystem.

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“We are excited to bring the 6th edition of the Crowdfunding Convention to Vilnius! The Baltic region in general is an internationally acclaimed market for digital innovation, crowdfunding and online lending and the Lithuanian government is working to transform the country into one of the main fintech hubs in Europe”, comments Irene Tordera, Marketing Manager at the European Crowdfunding Network (ECN).

Since the financial crisis of 2008 the crowdfunding sector grew up quickly overall, even though some models developed faster than others. Lending today reaches impressing multi-billion Euro values per year, fuelled by institutional investors’ money who did not miss the chance to get some interesting returns. Equity crowdfunding got regulated in many European countries: a big achievement which however turned out to be a huge obstacle for scaling up at European level. It is being included in the new European laws for issuing a prospectus and together with lending features strongly in the Capital Market Union. Reward crowdfunding, with its simple and low risk model keeps growing, proving to be a very suitable way to raise finance for creative projects.

Statistic indicate that the European alternative finance industry is growing at a slower rate. This may indicate that the sector, after an initial booming, is entering a consolidation phase that will determine which actors will stay in, which others will go out. On top of this, the emergence of new technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, has opened the door for new developments. New fintech players emerged, proposing different models to make more efficient accessing finance for SMEs or individuals. The Payment Services Directive 2 will help further to open the payment sector, reducing cost and removing hurdles for crowdfunding.

“We are going to welcome platforms CEOs, corporate executives and international policymakers to join and contribute to the discussion. This event will again be the must attend conference of the year for professional market actors re-shaping digital access to funding, pushed by the introduction of new technologies and by regulatory developments in Europe” concludes Oliver Gajda, CEO of ECN.

If you are interested in finding out more about the 6th ECN Crowdfunding Convention and register for it, you can visit this website.

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