André M. BajoratBuild and pitch a business model within 45 hours? With this enticing formula, Startup Weekends have gained huge traction among makers around the globe. André Bajorat is a jury member of the first Startup Weekend Hamburg with a Fintech focus, which will take place from November 10 to 12 at betahaus Hamburg. Learn what the founder of pioneering Fintech-enabler figo and of Bankathon has to say about FWHH17: 

As founder of the Bankathon, you are familiar with events where teams have to design products or processes in a short time frame. Where do you see the biggest value of a Startup Weekend Hamburg Fintech?

I think that the biggest benefit of a Startup Weekend or a Bankathon-style event is that they take us outside of our normal working context and enable us to interact with like-minded people from the same industry. In everyday life, we usually lack the time or the right people to do develop an idea that we carry inside ourselves. A Startup Weekend is a powerful trigger to get these ideas out and explore them with others.

With PSD2, a new European regulation will be introduced at the beginning of 2018 which will open the finance market up for Fintech innovations, among other. Which type of Fintech innovation will benefit most from this change?

It is true that PSD2 leads to an opening in the finance market. The banking infrastructure, which until now was practically a silo, will be accessible by third parties. However, I would say that inovation is more a consequence of this process than its motivation. Which type of innovation will benefit most from it? That’s hard to say, but it is clear that we as users or customers will benefit most from it. Thanks to PSD2-inspired innovations, we will have banking services at hand when we need them, and they will be much friendlier than before, e.g. the paperless loan application or accounting process. Banking data may also be used to identify ourselves and speed up certain procedures. Any situation in which we use banking data today may become subject to innovations and new customer value.   

Startup Weekends with a focus on Fintech have been performed in other countries and cities before. What is special about participating in a Startup Weekend Hamburg Fintech?

To be honest, I don’t care if a Startup Weekend or Bankathon takes place in Paderborn or Barcelona. But I will stand up for the idea of a Fintech Hub Europe any time, if only to create a counterbalance to the Fintech influx from the US and Asia. That said, Hamburg is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany and it is widely known that it is a place where many smart people live (laughs). 

You like to go on bicycle races and know what it takes to stay mentally and physically energized during longer time stretches. What is your advice for the participants of Startup Weekend Fintech in Hamburg

My advice to first-time participants is:

  1. Don’t stick to the first idea that comes your way.
  2. Don’t go it alone, find the right people to execute your idea.
  3. Do talk with the people who are on site to support you, i.e. mentors, coaches etc.
  4. Pick an actual, real-life problem rather than building something just because the idea appeals to you.
  5. Present your idea in a way that your grandmother would be able to relate to.

If you were 23 years old and invited to participate in a Startup Weekend Fintech, what would be your favorite role?

Right now, a lot of what I do consists in helping others to improve and execute their idea. My strength is to sharpen ideas, bring the right people together and present the result convincingly. If I was 23 years now, I would hopefully have coding skills and would take up a role where I can actively create something.   

Note: André Bajorat is a member of the jury at Startup Weekend Hamburg #Fintech. A full list of the judges, coaches and mentors can be found here.


Startup Weekend Hamburg #Fintech takes place from Friday evening, November 10 to Sunday, November 12, 2017, at betahaus Hamburg. 

You would like to become part of Hurry, registration ends soon!  Sign up for SWHH17. 

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