FinTech is an umbrella term for technology innovation that disrupts trading, banking, insurance, and more in the financial services industry. From hedge funds and startups to big banks, Chicago has a deep bench of FinTech businesses collaborating and competing to create the most efficient financial services. The city has embraced FinTech’s expanding role in its already robust financial services industry by offering a plethora of events for businesses and individuals in the space.
Chicago FinTech: Internationally Recognized
The Global FinTech Hubs Federation (GFHF) recently ranked Chicago among the top five FinTech hubs in the world. Chicago ranked strongest when it came to government support, innovation culture, and proximity to expertise and customers. The many resources available to businesses via coworking and incubator hubs in the city also contributed to this ranking. This presence is corroborated by other leading business researchers. According to a study this year by Deloitte, “Chicago acts as the epicenter for all FinTech activity in the Midwest, representing well over 20,000 financial institutions.”
In 2016, the FinTech industry in Chicago brought in $27.5 billion in gross regional product. According to World Business Chicago, at least 122,000 jobs across 7,629 companies are in the FinTech industry in Chicago. GFHF analysts believe that over the next 12 months, Chicago will see state and local governments partnering with the private sector and NGOs to pursue greater adoption of blockchain technology like the Canadian Central Bank tested last year.
Chicago FinTech Events Promote Growth
One of the ways the city of Chicago has increased efforts to foster the growth of the FinTech industry is by sponsoring conferences and events such as FinTech Week. FinTech Week Chicago consists of roundtable and networking events hosted in April by several Chicago incubators including 1871, TechNexus and FinTEx Chicago. According to 1871, “FinTech Week is a series of events that celebrates Chicago’s thriving Fintech ecosystem.” The week’s events focused primarily on blockchain. Speakers come from different areas of the Chicago FinTech community, including founders, lawyers, academics and government representatives.
Throughout the 2016 FinTech events, city leadership reinforced that Chicago is ‘all in’ for cultivating FinTech hubs. Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated, “Chicago is quickly establishing itself as an emerging global center for financial innovation. We are committed to strengthening FinTech in Chicago, which paves the way for more economic growth and opportunities in every part of the city.”
Chicago will look to supplement the GFHF study and FinTech Week with other FinTech events, too. These events will focus on women in FinTech, FinTech regulation, business development, data interpretation, and FinTech marketing for startups. Specifically, events likeNext Money, a financial technology conference, will come to the Midwest for the first time on September 26. “We are excited to bring our biggest U.S. event to Chicago,” said Next Money Chairman JP Nicols, who cited the city as a “burgeoning innovation center” on PRWEB, Next Money.
In addition to the big Next Money event, other groups like FinTank, facilitate Chicago’s FinTech industry by hosting a multitude of events at a much lower cost. Some upcoming seminars hosted by FinTank cover blockchain and cryptocurrencies as well as women and students in FinTech roles. FinTex, another industry-supportive community in Chicago, will also host informative FinTech events in the coming months. Other DIY-type events can be found on Meetup.com like an upcoming “Mix and Mingle” at the end of October.
Here at Ziliak Law, we look forward to continuing to support the financial services industry – when hedge funds, mutual funds, commodity pool operators, and proprietary trading groups have legal questions, Ziliak Law provides solutions that reflect experience on both the legal and operational sides of the trading industry.
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