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  • Writer's pictureKoen Vanderhoydonk

Discovering the Pulse of Innovation in Amsterdam: XFW2023


I recently found myself back in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, immersing myself in a buzzing environment filled with startups from every nook and cranny of the world. This time around, instead of being housed in one gigantic venue, we moved between a variety of spots, fostering connections with various companies. Initially odd, this arrangement soon became a golden opportunity to forge more profound, heartfelt connections. A big shoutout to Holland Fintech for pulling off this innovative setup!

A highlight of my journey was observing the intense focus on digital transformation spearheaded through collaboration, a mission closely aligned with APIX’s objectives. For those unaware, APIX is an initiative backed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, created to foster collaboration between the public and private sectors. This platform has revolutionized the concept of hackathons, transforming them from tech-centred events to business-oriented forums where fresh and innovative ideas are nurtured and fostered.

This fresh take on innovation within the banking sector is quite a game-changer. It's fostering more internal collaborations creating a harmony that allows different teams to work together towards a common goal. I found this internal growth and focus on improving operational excellence refreshing and promising for the future.

We also had spirited discussions on the strategies that spur successful innovation within organizations. A consensus emerged highlighting the effectiveness of a hybrid model, blending centralized and decentralized approaches, a trend gaining traction globally across financial sectors.

Furthermore, we were enlightened by a representative from India who shared how innovation is harnessed to carve a brighter and more inclusive financial landscape in their region. This perspective resonated strongly with the principles and goals that drive the business hackathons orchestrated by APIX.

A golden nugget of advice shared emphasized the importance of clear communication and openness, especially when negotiating with banks, fostering an environment where collaboration can thrive without misunderstandings.

As I ponder over these vibrant discussions, I'm all geared up to witness the exciting transformations awaiting the financial sector. I look back to some enriching interactions. Thank you very much. And I'm very much looking forward to meeting you all in Frankfurt next week.

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