The inaugural edition of Vizag Fintech Festival 2018, an initiative by Government of Andhra Pradesh and organized by Fintech Valley Vizag was held from 22nd – 26th October 2018 at Hotel Novotel, Vizag.
VizagFintech Festival was a one-of-its-kind in the fintech domain, as the most comprehensive and reputed global platform where India’s key industry players of the Financial and Start-up ecosystem came together to discuss industry trends, challenges and market insights including the Indian regulatory framework. The event also showcased product launches, innovations, and augmented the forethought through the exhibition and a conference platform.
The Vizag Fintech Festival was a 5-day event which saw more than 75 start-ups as exhibitors and over 2,500 delegates and visitors from around 20 countries.
The festival saw the presence of dignitaries like N. Chandra Babu Naidu, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Nara Lokesh, Hon’ble IT Minister, Sri. GantaSrinivasa Rao, Hon’ble Minister for Education, Sri. JA Chaudhary, IT Advisor to Govt. of AP, Sri. K. Vijayanand, IAS, Principal Secretary ITE&C Dept., and Sri. Anoop Singh, IFS, Special Secretary – ITE&C Dept.
VizagFintech Festival 2018 also featured a series of exciting events including CXO Golf Tournament, CXO Roundtable, Networking Reception, Comic Relief, Re-Imagine Tour, Demo Day and Awards, and Site Tours.
The VFF 2018 conference program included various industry discussions, new insights pertaining to the sector and industry best practices. The conference themes included ankTech, InsurTech, GovTech, Financial Inclusion and EmergeTech. A few topics for the speaker sessions and panel discussions included ‘Future of banking’, ‘Social Impact through Fintech’, ‘Fintech Landscape in India and Rest of the World’ and ‘InsureTech Trends’.
VFF 2018 hosted eight keynotes along with panel discussions, case study presentation & fireside chats that brought together stakeholders of the industry on a single platform, allowing exchange of ideas that added value to Indian Fintech ecosystem at large.
VFF 2018 also launched a white paper on KPMG Blockchain – Thought Leadership. The white paper was launched by Mr. KunalPandey, Head – Financial Services in Risk Consulting, KPMG, Shri. Vijayanand,IAS, Principal Secretary- ITE &C, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh and Shri. JA Chowdary, IT Advisor to CM of Andhra Pradesh.
The third day witnessed the unveiling of the world’s first humanoid citizen robot, Sophia. Sophia is a highly sought-after speaker in business and has showed her prowess and great potential across many industries. She has appeared on-stage as a panel member and a presenter in high-level conferences, covering how robotics and artificial intelligence will become a prevalent part of people’s lives. Her reputation extends beyond business into the global and social arena. She was named the world’s first United Nation Innovation Champion by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and will have an official role in working with UNDP to promote sustainable development and safeguard human rights and equality.
The following day saw the most exciting session of the festival with Sophia engaging in an intriguing interaction with the Hon’ble IT Minister, Sri. Nara Lokesh, and the audience.
The $1Mn Challengewas being conducted worldwide enabling startups to showcase their products and solutions. With roadshows in 8 major cities (Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Bangalore) around the globe, the challenge culminated in Vizag with 37 finalists from around the world pitching on Demo Day. The Government of Andhra Pradesh, in strategic collaboration with its challenge partners, DCF Ventures and Bizofit selected two startups each from Fintech, Agritech and Emergetech, as winners of the first ever 1 Million $ Global Startup Challenge as the grand finale of the 5 day festival.
All the 37 startups had an opportunity to exhibit at the VizagFintech Festival 2018 to more than 1500 global delegates comprising of VCs, angel investors and corporate partners. All the winners and finalists were awarded prizes by the Hon’ble IT Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Sri. Nara Lokesh.
Vizag, with its remarkable technology ecosystem, is now the most attractive destination for innovation driven Fintech players. Not only Indian marquee companies but also several foreign companies have pledged to invest in the city, generating jobs in the near future. Vishakhapatnam is being developed as the most preferred global destination for Fintech and other emerging technology companies around the world, to start their operations and to drive innovation.