2019 Fintech & Financing Conference and Expo: FEARLESS, April 3-4, Toronto Canada

Category Archives: Voices

[Report] A New North Star: Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy

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Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019

Rise of the intangibles

When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading.

Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to new thinking. Canada’s economy cannot afford complacency in this new economic era.

We need a new competitiveness consensus

In the world of policy and politics, short-termism and complacency are difficult to resist. They trump partisanship. They trump best intentions. Pressure mounts on any government or political party to respond to immediate issues and keep an eye fixed on the four-year election cycle. Both of us observed these demands in our respective positions as economic advisers to national governments.

See: 

Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace

Competition Bureau weighs in on fintech: urgent action required

Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation

NCFA Letter to Ontario Economic Development on Burden (Jan 2019)

The problem is that reactive governance is inconsistent with the mix of long-term policies required to promote broad economic participation and growth. For a competitiveness agenda to maintain and raise Canadians’ quality of life, it demands discipline, focus and a vision that extends beyond the election cycle. It thus requires a multi-partisan commitment. A change in government may naturally result in new preferences and priorities, but it should not cause us to lose collective sight of the common bases of competitiveness, productivity and jobs, and the greater opportunities and outcomes they produce for successive generations.

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

US News | By Ben Luthi | Apr 12, 2019 Apple Pay is secure and convenient, as long as you use it correctly. No payment method is entirely safe from fraud. But Apple Pay provides cardholders with several layers of security that can protect against some common forms of credit card theft. If you want to try Apple Pay, knowing how it works is important as well as how your credit card information is safeguarded and what you can do to stay protected while using it. What Is Apple Pay? Apple Pay is a mobile wallet for Apple devices such as iPhones and Apple Watches that allows you to make purchases in stores, in apps and online securely without handing over your credit card information every time. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity In a store, the mobile wallet uses near-field communication technology – it allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data – to transmit your card information. You just need to verify your identity with the Touch ID or Face ID feature, then tap your device to the store's card reader to process the payment. To keep your information private, Apple Pay ...
Read More
Is Apple Pay Safe?
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | April 16, 2019 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference in Toronto addressed challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and innovators transforming the financial industry TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2019 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA), the non-profit cross-body organization that promotes and supports fintech and funding throughout Canada, closed its 5th annual flagship Fintech and Financing Conference - FFCON - which featured numerous fintech market leaders, as well as industry experts, government officials, and prominent tech investors. "FEARLESS" was the theme for this year's conference, celebrating the boldness and innovative nature of the FinTech industry, where entrepreneurs constantly challenge pre-existing financial systems with innovative new products and services. The conference brought together more than 500 attendees who experienced keynote speeches, immersive learning, workshops, startup pitch presentations and awards, an exhibitor floor, and networking receptions. Key themes explored at FFCON19: FEARLESS: RISK is a conscious choice and necessary to innovate; Digital trust and security are essential for mass adoption; The digital bank and future of fintech is already here; Collaboration and new social (decentralized) models can revitalize markets controlled by incumbents with too much power and no incentive to change; Private-public market ...
Read More
NCFA 2019 Conference Closes with Renewed Focus on Fostering Innovation in Fintech
Business Insider | Dennis Green | March 25, 2019 Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines and make life easier for card-carrying consumers. But a backlash has grown, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have already barred stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures. This could affect the growth of Amazon's physical stores, which do not accept cash. Cashless stores are becoming controversial. See:  Under pressure Amazon plans to accept cash at cashless Go stores Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers. Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US ...
Read More
Cities and states around the country are banning stores from refusing to accept cash, and it's a troubling trend for Amazon
Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019 Rise of the intangibles When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading. Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to ...
Read More
[Report] A New North Star:  Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy
NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy! HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin) BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world. Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here: Season 1 | Season 2 Transcription of Interview Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of ...
Read More
Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov
SEC | April 3, 2019 Bill Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation.  We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities.  Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws. As part of a continuing effort to assist those seeking to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws, FinHub is publishing a framework for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as an investment contract, and, therefore, is a security.  The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset.  Also, the Division of Corporation Finance is issuing a response to a no-action request, indicating that ...
Read More
Statement on “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”
TechDaily | Stefan Palios  | April 8, 2019 To be fearless, you have to set up the right conditions and environment. Taking this perspective to heart, #FFCON19, a conference put on by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association, pondered how to create the right conditions so entrepreneurs can be fearless in their work. From conversations about AI creating fake videos to open banking, the wide-ranging conference detailed that fearlessness comes from using the right tech at the right time, desiring a positive outcome more than wanting to avoid a negative outcome, and putting the right regulations in place. Deep fakes and identifying what’s real Kicking off the conference, entrepreneur Toufi Saliba brought the idea of ‘deep fake’ to the conversation, the premise that artificial intelligence technology can make videos appear to be of certain people. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity “Deep fake enables everyone with a computer to download software to enable you to put someone speaking in a video, saying something they did not actually say,” Saliba explained. While innocently used in gag videos, the negative side is much more concerning. With this technology, said Saliba, hackers and other malicious actors can declare war, pretending to be a ...
Read More
#FFCON19 talked about how to build trust in the 21st century
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Apr 4, 2019 Canada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.” Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies. The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models ...
Read More
Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation
LAST CHANCE FOR TICKETSApril 3 SOLD OUTApril 4 last block of tickets >90%#FFCON19 “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”  Clayton Christensen FFCON19 is here and officially kicks off tomorrow!  Congrats on the 9 pitching finalists announced Some more speakers added! Brady Fletcher, Managing Director and Head of TSX Venture Exchange Jon Medved, CEO, OurCrowd Fred Pye, CEO, 3iQ Corp Neha Khera, Partner, 500 Startups Alixe Cormick, President, Venture Law Corporation Sandi Gilbert, CEO, InterGen and Chair of NACO David Lucatch, Chairman, Pegasus RJ Reiser, Chief Growth Officer, Polymath Keren, Moynihan, Co-Founder, Boss Insights Check out all 50+ speakers here Please meet FFCON’s Incredible Master of Ceremonies April 3:  Chantel Costa    April 4:  Amy ter Haar Look who’s coming to #FFCON19?  JOIN US!   THANKS TO OUR AWESOME FFCON19 PARTNERS!   HOST: PLATINUM: GOLD PARTNERS: SILVER PARTNERS: ...
Read More
Look Who's Coming to FFCON19!  Last Chance to get Tickets
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | March 31, 2019Nine high-growth companies have been selected from inbound applications to pitch live at the 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference: FEARLESS (#FFCON19).These companies will be pitching in three sessions on April 4, to be led by pitch session partner hosts McCarthy Tétrault,  Toronto Starts.and the PCMA.Congratulations to the 9 finalists!BalanceBooknBrunchConsilium CryptoFeedbackFintrosHedgieOwl LabsneedlsVacation FundOne winning company will be selected for the inaugural People's Choice Award, which celebrates an up and coming startup that is the most innovative and most impactful, as determined by the pitch session judges and the crowd.The Conference, to be held from April 3-4, 2019, attracts fintech, blockchain and AI innovators, investors, companies actively raising capital and key decision makers/stakeholders in technology and capital markets from all over Canada and around the world. Click here to view the full program.   The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders ...
Read More
Live Pitching Finalists Announced for FFCON19: FEARLESS

 

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Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation

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Crowdfund Insider | | Apr 4, 2019

Canada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.”

Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies.

The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models as it is mandated for these officials to foster competition.

See:  Inside the power struggle between big banks and fintechs to modernize financial services

In Hong Kong, an important global financial center, public officials have not only talked about fostering Fintech innovation, but much money and resources have been dedicated to encouraging innovation. Fintech is viewed as strategically important to maintain a dominant position in the global financial industry.

So can Canada do more?

Crowdfund Insider recently reached out to Michael King for his perspective on the status of Fintech in Canada. King is co-Director of the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab at Ivey Business School and an advisor to the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada. He spent multiple years in the private sector working in the global banking industry so he has plenty of hands-on experience.

King recently created a helpful database of Fintechs operating in Canada which provides a good overview of these new firms. King believes Canadian officials, both regulatory and elected, must do more to catch up in the international race to remain relevant and competitive in the global financial sector.

So will Canadian policymakers listen? Our conversation is shared below.


Which international jurisdictions do you believe are doing the best in fostering Fintech innovation?

Michael King: The leading jurisdictions for Fintech are the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Each of these countries has outlined a national strategy to be a leader in Fintech and is coordinating both public sector and private sector bodies towards achieving this goal. These small open economies understand that financial services are a global industry that has been opened up to foreign competition by the internet, cloud computing, smartphones and other technologies.

Canada is lagging, with no coordination nationally and harmful competition between Fintech centres across Canada.

See:  NCFA Letter to Ontario Economic Development on Burden (Jan 2019)

The leading jurisdictions for #Fintech are the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Each of these countries has outlined a national strategy to be a leader in Fintech 

Which sectors of Fintech do you believe hold the most promise?

Michael King: The payments sector is the front line of the battle between Fintechs and incumbents. This trillion-dollar industry is complex, with many players collaborating and competing in overlapping networks. Consumers and businesses face many pain points, such as high costs, slow transfers, poor service and little to no transparency. Payments is where the largest and most successful Fintech companies have made their mark, led by PayPal, Square, Stripe and Adyen.

Canada’s Lightspeed POS is the leader in this space, although there are dozens of smaller start-ups targeting lucrative segments of this value chain.

Payments is also the space where global technology companies are able to compete most effectively by bundling payments with their other customer offerings: Alipay (Alibaba), Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and WePay (Tencent).

These “Techfins” have put technology first and financial services second when developing their ecosystems. But access to customer payments will bring data and insights to drive future financial product offerings.

On relative terms, how does Canada size up when it comes to Fintech innovation?

Michael King:  Canada remains in the top 10 for Fintech innovation with investment by both start-ups and incumbent banks, insurance companies and asset managers.

Canada has been gaining ground in key areas of Fintech, namely payments, cryptoassets and blockchain, online lending, and wealth management.

See:  Competition Bureau weighs in on fintech: urgent action required

On a public policy basis, what has been done so far?

Michael King:  Federal politicians in Canada are pursuing a policy of benign neglect towards the Fintech sector, preferring to leave policy to provincial governments and regulators while focusing on other innovation priorities. Canada has not published a national strategy on Fintech, none of the funding for superclusters was directed to Fintech, and no politicians are offering speeches to support this sector. The only recent indication of support is the public consultations on open banking, which has already been adopted in the European Union, United Kingdom and Australia.

Canada prefers to be a follower on open banking, balancing the need for more openness with the desire to maintain a sound and stable financial system.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

US News | By Ben Luthi | Apr 12, 2019 Apple Pay is secure and convenient, as long as you use it correctly. No payment method is entirely safe from fraud. But Apple Pay provides cardholders with several layers of security that can protect against some common forms of credit card theft. If you want to try Apple Pay, knowing how it works is important as well as how your credit card information is safeguarded and what you can do to stay protected while using it. What Is Apple Pay? Apple Pay is a mobile wallet for Apple devices such as iPhones and Apple Watches that allows you to make purchases in stores, in apps and online securely without handing over your credit card information every time. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity In a store, the mobile wallet uses near-field communication technology – it allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data – to transmit your card information. You just need to verify your identity with the Touch ID or Face ID feature, then tap your device to the store's card reader to process the payment. To keep your information private, Apple Pay ...
Read More
Is Apple Pay Safe?
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | April 16, 2019 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference in Toronto addressed challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and innovators transforming the financial industry TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2019 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA), the non-profit cross-body organization that promotes and supports fintech and funding throughout Canada, closed its 5th annual flagship Fintech and Financing Conference - FFCON - which featured numerous fintech market leaders, as well as industry experts, government officials, and prominent tech investors. "FEARLESS" was the theme for this year's conference, celebrating the boldness and innovative nature of the FinTech industry, where entrepreneurs constantly challenge pre-existing financial systems with innovative new products and services. The conference brought together more than 500 attendees who experienced keynote speeches, immersive learning, workshops, startup pitch presentations and awards, an exhibitor floor, and networking receptions. Key themes explored at FFCON19: FEARLESS: RISK is a conscious choice and necessary to innovate; Digital trust and security are essential for mass adoption; The digital bank and future of fintech is already here; Collaboration and new social (decentralized) models can revitalize markets controlled by incumbents with too much power and no incentive to change; Private-public market ...
Read More
NCFA 2019 Conference Closes with Renewed Focus on Fostering Innovation in Fintech
Business Insider | Dennis Green | March 25, 2019 Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines and make life easier for card-carrying consumers. But a backlash has grown, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have already barred stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures. This could affect the growth of Amazon's physical stores, which do not accept cash. Cashless stores are becoming controversial. See:  Under pressure Amazon plans to accept cash at cashless Go stores Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers. Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US ...
Read More
Cities and states around the country are banning stores from refusing to accept cash, and it's a troubling trend for Amazon
Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019 Rise of the intangibles When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading. Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to ...
Read More
[Report] A New North Star:  Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy
NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy! HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin) BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world. Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here: Season 1 | Season 2 Transcription of Interview Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of ...
Read More
Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov
SEC | April 3, 2019 Bill Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation.  We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities.  Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws. As part of a continuing effort to assist those seeking to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws, FinHub is publishing a framework for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as an investment contract, and, therefore, is a security.  The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset.  Also, the Division of Corporation Finance is issuing a response to a no-action request, indicating that ...
Read More
Statement on “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”
TechDaily | Stefan Palios  | April 8, 2019 To be fearless, you have to set up the right conditions and environment. Taking this perspective to heart, #FFCON19, a conference put on by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association, pondered how to create the right conditions so entrepreneurs can be fearless in their work. From conversations about AI creating fake videos to open banking, the wide-ranging conference detailed that fearlessness comes from using the right tech at the right time, desiring a positive outcome more than wanting to avoid a negative outcome, and putting the right regulations in place. Deep fakes and identifying what’s real Kicking off the conference, entrepreneur Toufi Saliba brought the idea of ‘deep fake’ to the conversation, the premise that artificial intelligence technology can make videos appear to be of certain people. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity “Deep fake enables everyone with a computer to download software to enable you to put someone speaking in a video, saying something they did not actually say,” Saliba explained. While innocently used in gag videos, the negative side is much more concerning. With this technology, said Saliba, hackers and other malicious actors can declare war, pretending to be a ...
Read More
#FFCON19 talked about how to build trust in the 21st century
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Apr 4, 2019 Canada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.” Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies. The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models ...
Read More
Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation
LAST CHANCE FOR TICKETSApril 3 SOLD OUTApril 4 last block of tickets >90%#FFCON19 “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”  Clayton Christensen FFCON19 is here and officially kicks off tomorrow!  Congrats on the 9 pitching finalists announced Some more speakers added! Brady Fletcher, Managing Director and Head of TSX Venture Exchange Jon Medved, CEO, OurCrowd Fred Pye, CEO, 3iQ Corp Neha Khera, Partner, 500 Startups Alixe Cormick, President, Venture Law Corporation Sandi Gilbert, CEO, InterGen and Chair of NACO David Lucatch, Chairman, Pegasus RJ Reiser, Chief Growth Officer, Polymath Keren, Moynihan, Co-Founder, Boss Insights Check out all 50+ speakers here Please meet FFCON’s Incredible Master of Ceremonies April 3:  Chantel Costa    April 4:  Amy ter Haar Look who’s coming to #FFCON19?  JOIN US!   THANKS TO OUR AWESOME FFCON19 PARTNERS!   HOST: PLATINUM: GOLD PARTNERS: SILVER PARTNERS: ...
Read More
Look Who's Coming to FFCON19!  Last Chance to get Tickets
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | March 31, 2019Nine high-growth companies have been selected from inbound applications to pitch live at the 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference: FEARLESS (#FFCON19).These companies will be pitching in three sessions on April 4, to be led by pitch session partner hosts McCarthy Tétrault,  Toronto Starts.and the PCMA.Congratulations to the 9 finalists!BalanceBooknBrunchConsilium CryptoFeedbackFintrosHedgieOwl LabsneedlsVacation FundOne winning company will be selected for the inaugural People's Choice Award, which celebrates an up and coming startup that is the most innovative and most impactful, as determined by the pitch session judges and the crowd.The Conference, to be held from April 3-4, 2019, attracts fintech, blockchain and AI innovators, investors, companies actively raising capital and key decision makers/stakeholders in technology and capital markets from all over Canada and around the world. Click here to view the full program.   The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders ...
Read More
Live Pitching Finalists Announced for FFCON19: FEARLESS

 

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March 1, 2019: NCFA Submission to the Ontario Securities Commission on Regulatory Burden

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NCFA Canada | Burden Reduction Committee | March 1, 2019

Executive Summary

In response to the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC’s) January 14, 2019 request for comments, this submission responds to the eight questions set out in the OSC’s Staff Notice 11-784. This submission draws heavily on, and also updates, the Association’s earlier submission to the OSC dated August 24, 2017 (see Appendix), which primarily focused on the crowdfunding requirements in Ontario.

The National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada (the Association) represents over 2,000 fintech SMEs and individual members that support financial and capital market innovation, small businesses and technology. We are pleased that the Ontario government is undertaking this important regulatory burden reduction initiative to the benefit of all Ontarians.

The Association has consulted a number of diverse crowdfunding and fintech stakeholders – including exempt market dealers, industry experts, securities lawyers, regulators and government agencies and is proposing several recommendations to reduce unjustifiable burdens placed on Ontario’s businesses.

The Association recommends that the province undertake the following:

  • The OSC conduct a review and publish a report evaluating the effectiveness of Ontario’s crowdfunding regulations (45-108) compared to other jurisdictions in Canada and international competitors such as the UK, US and Australia, including a comparison of the relative cost of capital;
  • The OSC continue its recently announced work to harmonize the crowdfunding regime across Canada (CSA Staff Notice 45-324) but do so with the goal of reducing unjustified regulatory burden and establishing harmonized regulation that make sense for the sector. In particular, all jurisdictions should review B.C.’s crowdfunding regime and consider either adopting a similar approach in harmonization;
  • Modify existing requirements so that they are principles based – detailed or prescriptive controls should only be imposed when clearly justified (ie. controls that can be quantified) and harmonized;
  • Implement specific burden reduction amendments to crowdfunding regulations:
    − Increase the 12 month issuer cap to $5 million or higher (from $1.5 million);
    − Increase the 12 month investor caps to $10k (from $2.5k) and allow accredited investors to fully participate;
    − Allow advertising and general solicitation on social media for all crowdfunding;
    − Eliminate requirements for financial statements unless raising more than $1.5 million; and
    − Allow fintech solution to streamline KYC and suitability tests.

See:  NCFA: Canada Needs a Harmonized Securities Environment as Current Provincial Approach is a Fintech Innovation Killer

Implementing these recommendations will help drive entrepreneurship, innovation and job growth.

Benefits to Ontario include:

  • Increased capital investment in the province and increased economic growth;
  • Increased investment options for investors that support small businesses across all of Ontario;
  • Crowdfunding sources remain in Canada;
  • More capital and improved access to capital specifically for small businesses, rural businesses, economically-challenged sectors, and underserviced groups (ie. women or Indigenous business owners);
  • Encourages liquidity and transparency in the markets;
  • Improved probability of retaining high growth companies in Ontario; and
  • Accelerated commercialization of new products and services.

Crowdfunding drives innovation, economic activity and job growth. It fills a critical early stage funding gap (commonly referred to as the ‘valley of death’), enables more productive investment in venture markets and strengthens early stage capital markets. Crowdlending also provides support to more mature companies looking to access capital that may fall outside the parameters of bank lending.

Background and Context

Contrary to the intent of the crowdfunding exemption, Ontario’s crowdfunding requirements hinder access to capital for SMEs across a multitude of sectors. These requirements have also restricted innovative opportunities for retail investors and our members feel the impact of this directly. Ontario’s economic growth is being hindered by regulation like the crowdfunding requirements that fails to promote economic growth. The potential of opening up regulation is significant increase in job creation and economic development. For example, Ontario’s 417,000 small businesses would benefit from the increased access to capital that crowdlending offers and the effects would be a strong boost in job creation throughout the province.

Canada has fallen behind international competitors like the U.K. and the U.S. Crowdfunding platforms now represent the largest investments at the seed stage in the U.K. and peer-to-peer platforms now represent 15% of all new bank lending to small businesses.

See: 

Ontario’s Fintech startups, small business innovators and entrepreneurs operate in a highly prescriptive, complex and costly regulatory environment:

“The Crowdfunding Exemption introduced by the [OSC] in January 2016 turned out to be much too onerous for young companies… Ontarians are locked out of equity crowdfunding and Canadian companies are restricted from accessing capital. … Unfortunately, we had to disappoint over 100 start-ups in Canada that wanted to raise capital from their supporters in Ontario.” – FrontFundr, Ontario Exempt Market Dealer

“It's extremely complex and it can be very discouraging for a lot of small entrepreneurs. There are numerous examples where in Ontario we [are] really pushing talent away or setting them up for failure because of the red tape, and the burden is huge. It is hard [enough] to start a business. You know the wages are very expensive, the rents... The regulation and the burden [is] just the complete killer.” – Anonymous NCFA member

“As a small firm, we have very tight budgets. Our compliance team has asked that we dig up very detailed and ‘historic’ information on emails, social media ads, and related campaigns. We had to devote 2 full time individuals over several months. Check-ins and site visits to confirm the material presented in the compliance report and to assist registrants in fulfilling their obligations would be far more productive. The former (exhaustive reviews) take an incredible amount of resources for both regulator and registrant and are not cost-effective.” – Anonymous NCFA member

Without a streamlined, flexible, nimble, and principles-based regulatory system – one that allows new rules to be formulated, while expelling old, outdated rules – Ontario’s regulatory climate will continue to stifle innovation and drive business costs up and productivity down. Ontario’s economy, businesses and consumers at all levels suffer, however, small businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs are the hardest hit.

“Ontario’s crowdfunding requirements have choked off access to capital for SME's across a multitude of sectors – they have also shut out retail investor opportunities. Our members are completely stifled by OSC requirements and this is contributing significantly to Ontario's weak economic performance. “- Anonymous NCFA member

See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change

On behalf of the burden reduction committee at NCFA, we look forward to contributing ongoing input into Ontario’s burden reduction initiatives. Please contact us at any time to discuss further.

 

Sincerely,

 

Craig Asano
CEO & Founder
NCFA
casano@ncfacanada.org
(416) 618-0254

 

Download the full submission (34 page PDF) -> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Ep26-Feb 22: Crowd Raising with Peter-Paul Van Hoeken of FrontFundr

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NCFA Canada | Feb 25, 2019

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

Ep26-Feb 22:  Crowd raising with Peter-Paul Van Hoeken

About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Friday Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Peter-Paul Van Hoeken the CEO of Frontfundr. They chat about crowd raising, drinking your own whiskey and the future of Canadian crowdfunding.  Enjoy!  (Transcript)

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: PETER-PAUL VAN HOEKEN, Founder and CEO, FrontFundr (LinkedIn)

BIO:   Peter-Paul has over 15 years of experience in finance, investment management, and business consultancy. He's held multiple senior management positions with global banks including ABN AMRO Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland in the areas of corporate strategy, commercial and investment banking.

Upon relocating with his family to Canada in 2010, Peter-Paul worked as a consultant for several early stage companies and experienced the challenges that they face in attracting capital. He realized that venture financing was not leveraging technology and in 2013, Peter-Paul founded FrontFundr to address this challenge and take on the opportunity to create the New Capital Market, online and accessible to everyone. Peter-Paul also serves as a Director on the National Board of the Private Capital Markets Association of Canada (PCMA). He is an Advisor of the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association Canada (NCFA) and Founder Member of the Institute for Blockchain Innovation (IBI). Peter-Paul holds a Master of Science in business economics and finance from Erasmus University Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.

TWITTER: @frontfundr, @petervanhoeken

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.

Listen to more podcasts here: Season 1 | Season 2

 


Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan: I have the absolute pleasure of sitting out with Peter Paul.  Peter Paul. Thank you so much for it. Oh, it's said I mean I've been super excited to have you on the show. For those who don't know you Paul is actually the CEO and  Founder of FrontFundr. Peter Paul thank you so much for the now.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken:  Hi Manseeb it's a pleasure to be on your show.

Manseeb Khan: So, for the five or six people that may not know essentially who you are and what FrontFundr is could you just give us a quick rundown of a little bit of your background and a little bit of what FrontFundr.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Sure. Yeah so, my name is  Peter-Paul Van Hoeken and you can find our CEO of FrontFundr. My background is basically in finance. I worked for about eight nine years in banking in Europe relocated to Canada in 2010 and also moved on, moved away from the banking industry more down the entrepreneurial path and started working with small companies help them get ready to raise capital and connected with the prospective investors and so that that time was actually that wasn't an experience a time where I experience how challenging it is for small companies to raise capital and also how we're not using electronic means like the internet and digital technology to facilitate that whole process of connecting early stage companies with investors. So that's where the whole idea about FrontFundr essentially came from. And it was by doing already happening in other geographies like the U.K. Australia is essentially to bring investing in funding and an investment in young companies to bring it online and connect startups with the wider investor community essentially the public and that's called these days often investment, crowdfunding or equity crowdfunding and that is what friends are doing. We're currently Canada's leading online investment crowdfunding platform.

Manseeb Khan: I love your guys approach. I love the other Canadian companies I mean we definitely had some of the other crowdfunding and opening up the borders and just allowing everybody to kind of be able to invest in companies that shows in and of itself it just makes it that much more, the fact that guys are making that much easier and much more accessible and just really simplifying the whole investment process and kind of making it that much more welcoming for everybody. That was also pretty incredible.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Thanks yeah, it's been an interesting journey because the challenge of course crowdfunding is one thing in penetration of crowdfunding It started with Kickstarter and Indie go and those and fund raiser in Canada  is the traditional form. But when it involves Investments and Securities of course it becomes a totally different ball game because then you're dealing with you know securities regulation as well and so to bring those pieces together to you know the regulatory side of it and the technology side and then to  basically launch that the platform has been definitely been in an interesting journey so far but as you say it's very exciting too for us to enable companies to raise capital from essentially from the public right? and to reach out to perhaps their existing customers and anyone that really is excited about what these companies are doing. And I'd like to be part of it now they can actually invest in these companies that for as little as you know a couple of hundred dollars you become a co-owner in a company. So yeah, it's an it's a very exciting phenomenon and it's on the rise worldwide but so. But now also in Canada.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No, I mean I absolutely agree with you. I mean now that startups are on a pedestal. I mean like if you still LinkedIn that long enough you definitely find like five or six companies that you find of interest and the fact that like now you can take it one step further and kind of go like oh hey you know like that company. I'll make up a company like the company that like the bird of Toronto or whatever. Right. Oh, like you love them, and like the CEO has an interesting story. You know hey with FrontFundr you can actually invest like a couple hundred dollars like you said in that company actually support their journey and actually support the vision that's pretty incredible. I'm going to put a pin into you mentioned regulations. I'll put a pin into that for a little bit later. You had an interesting journey. I mean I want to dig into that a little bit more. Could you just give us a little bit more detail of what your journey looked like the trials and tribulations because this isn't your first time at the rodeo and you guys are right now you guys are going through a massive raise. So, could you just talk a little bit more of the journey and everything leading up to the raise and currently what's kind of going on with the raise.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Sure yeah. And it's a very excited to share and share that with the listeners is that we you know we are indeed. And we just launched our own race. I mean you know at the end of the day we are in an early stage company too. And we also need capital to grow. So. So why wouldn't we drink our own whiskey and use our own platform to raise capital. And that's exactly what we're doing. And we've done it indeed before twice already. So essentially listing FrontFundr on Frontfundr so listing ourselves on our own platform and opening it up for the public to invest. And we just launched our third campaign last Thursday on Valentine's Day along the lines of FrontFundr the heart of Canadian business and opening it up for everyone to participate in our company in our you know in our online platform. And for a minimum investment of five hundred dollars. So, we're. Yeah. We're really using our own solution and obviously fully believe in it. And it's exciting. It's also great to be actually on the client side a client's company side of our platform right. So really use our own solution to raise capital for own capital form our company. So, we are very excited about that. And we just launched it last Thursday as mentioned and we will close by the end of March. We will close this raise.

Manseeb Khan: I love that you guys a drink your old whiskey. I'm going to put that into the little description. I love that so much. It's interesting switch going from the actually running the platform to actually being on the platform that I mean  kind of funny. It's very interesting yes. Yeah. It is interesting. Like you don't really. It's a very unconventional approach does not many it makes sense like it that makes sense. Hey like if you are a crowdfunding platform you guys are going to raise want to open up the opportunity for everybody that's been following your journey. Because now like startups actually have fans behind them which is really interesting. Right.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Well yes absolutely. It is an interesting experience and it's kind of it's in a way almost a no brainer. And yes of course you're using your own platform right but it's it is indeed an intense experience to be sort of on the client side if you like and use our own platform also. It's a great experience because we've had done it twice before is that the you know as you just mentioned companies raising on our platform you're really going. You're going out there to potentially anyone who wants and invite them to participate in your company, but you need to work on that. Right. So, we always tell our client companies hey you know listing on FrontFundr is nuts. So that's the end all be all. Yeah exactly. You know you've got to support it as a company by you know sharing exciting new stories about your company about progress or milestones or any updates that to show that your company is doing well and growing and the things that people can get excited about. So, you want to share it with your potential investors and that's how you attract investors and then come to the platform. We've got a significant user pays no investor base but it's still always as we like to say. Kind of you know working in partnership with companies on our platform to make a successful raise right.

Manseeb Khan: No, I absolutely agree with you  through. I mean I'm just thinking of  putting your company just on FrontFundr and just like really crossing your fingers and just like saying your prayers and hopefully you're going to hit that target. It's really silly. You definitely have to put in the work into making the company of what you wear.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Yeah. We often say we say look you're not outsourcing your funding to us. Yeah exactly. Yeah totally. Yeah that's it that's it's a great way to put it you know outsourcing your funding so to switch gears. You briefly mentioned regulations, and could you just turn you over to me. All right. My favorite topic. Yeah, I know I figure I figured you'd be the you should be the right person. To talk about it , when people think regulations, they think Peter-Paul FrontFundr.  That's the guy the guy you ought to talk. I mean we definitely had a couple episodes back we talked about the regulatory burden that's currently going in on Canada and you do have you do play a significant role when it comes to the regulation side of Canadian fintech business. Could you just I mean like give us a little bit of you know like again for the people that may not know the work that your kind of doing could you just give us a little bit understanding of the work that your kind of doing when it comes to regulation and express your love for regulation.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Sure. Love and hate. I guess yeah. No, it's. Well you see the fact that we're operating. First of all, we are as FrontFundr and other platforms that are the take on funds from form investors are you know are our investment in any investment business right. And the Securities Industry and that's regulated. And that in itself the fact that the industry is regulated is fine and is actually needed. And then we've seen that in the past with a little note that this is a very challenging industry. It can be sort of tempting and then so there are rules in place to regulate that. And you know  I understand that I support it and certainly for us we are basically have we with FrontFundr or we you know we operate a platform where we enable anyone really to invest in particular particularly early or earlier stage companies right. So, and so that's and because we are inviting the public to not invest in these companies’ early stage or for defense companies but all private companies. It is very important that these investors that may have never invested before and ever since companies understand what they're doing and understand the risks of investing in early stage companies right.  So, and that and regulation supports that and make sure that investors are informed about the potential returns and risks before they make an investment decision. So, the rules and it's been with FrontFundr we've been kind of pioneering this in Canada with several other market participants as well is to explore this new way of enabling companies to raise from the wider investor community. And typically, it was restricted to you know to  Angel investors, VC’s, and other accredited investors so investors whether certain  amount of wealth and that is only around 3 percent of the total population. So, 97 percent of the population has traditionally been looked out for from investing in private companies. Right. Well there is a huge group of course in that audience that 97 percent that do have the may not be accredited but they do have investable assets and they say that they are interested in investing in early stage companies today that they are excited about and think may do very well and they want to get a piece of the action so that. And so, because it's a whole new group of providing regulation is key now the regulation got, I haven't read it in kind of our review security regulations is a provincial matter. So we have provincial securities regulators in Canada and they have introduced rules to support investment crowdfunding in the last few years in Canada but there are some challenges with those rules and for start because we are dealing with multiple securities regulators have multiple rules have been introduced so we've we don't have an harmonized investment crowdfunding rules in Canada and that is challenging because there are differences in the rules to be implemented. They're kind of fragmentized which means that you know in B.C. different rules or different limits or you know ways for companies to raise capital through events crowd from a play I suppose to other provinces. And so those differences are clearly a challenge for both for companies that are looking to raise capital from the right investor community across Canada as well as for investors because investors in one jurisdiction may be able to invest in an early stage company but not in another jurisdiction. And so that said that that does cause challenges and therefore you know clearly we're not we're shoring up, tapping the full potential yet of what investment crowdfunding has to offer and put that in perspective Manseeb even with the fact that in other geography like in the U.K. and now also south the board in the US where they do have a federal investment crowdfunding rules it has already become basically mainstream financing. And so, and so even in Canada we run the risk of falling behind because there are rules that are in place are not being harmonized and therefore making make it difficult for market participants to use when.

Manseeb Khan: It seems like a no brainer. I like it this is like another no brainer thing of like hey if we're going to bring companies like FrontFundr or if we are a crowdfunding platform where everyone can because of an investor they should be able to get the same kind of protection know the same kind of rules like have some kind of regulation or regulatory body that kind of monitors it and not make it just like province specific right because like the fact that like I mean again it's probably cause it's very early. I mean you know like Canada has been. I've mentioned this more times than I can  count but Canada has been always traditionally very conservative in the past. So, they're always willing to kind of like hold back on certain things when it comes to  like well certainly when it comes like the regulatory body. So, I mean the fact that you said like the U.K. and the United States having already like rules and regulations they would have the ball rolling. It makes sense. I mean I think Canada is with amazing guys like you and like with Craig from who runs the NCFA here it's you guys are only going to get the ball rolling a lot faster and you guys are going to help bring awareness and it's just a matter of time before we have an overarching regulatory body that kind of covers like all of Canada and like any Canadian or any Canadian investor can kind of just like invest and if see a really amazing company in B.C. like you mentioned they can invest in that or if they see an amazing company in like Iqaluit that they really love they can invest in that as well.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Right yeah. It is it is a matter of time. Absolutely. You know I think what is important and it's rather soon and later we've had these rules, these new investment  rules in place now for over two years so there are clearly you know lessons learned in an experience with how these rules work and what doesn't work. So, you know we have enough informational and experience to  move forward with indeed you know harmonizing the rules. And again I think you know defects we're not necessarily you personally I'm not even asking for necessarily one national regulator which will definitely take much more time but it is more about harmonizing rules particularly this stage of investment crowdfunding because those rules are particularly targeted to our purpose is to is to enable you know startups early stage companies that need financing to grow and thrive. You know the whole point is to provide those companies better access to capital. So, you know root of the fragmented rules currently exist make that difficult and therefore they raise the threshold for these companies to raise capital right. And at the least they're raising the  cost of raising capital for these companies. And again, given the you know the huge potential that we've seen pretty materialize in other in other countries. Is that for these companies to tap this pool of capital. Very significant pool of capital is obviously is important and a huge potentially huge help to these companies to raise capital.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I mean it. And it really opens up like it opens a whole world of opportunity right for these early stage companies knowing that they don't really have to go the traditional route when it comes to investing right. I mean that's kind of why you're seeing a lot of companies now in like pretty much all 2018 you're seeing a lot of companies create their own ICO right because they don't want to go the traditional route of finding angel investors, finding VC's to help fund the company they're like hey we'll just create a coin and we'll just have like our users, our customers and our future customers raise money through that. Right and it just. Yeah. Like the fact that like a lot of early stage companies are kind of locked out of this huge potential market base of money that could really help them. It's kind of silly but like it’s going to be only a matter of time where more companies going to have access to that and just crowdfunding is going to be that much more incredible.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Totally. So, the effort you know you referred early on to initiatives and also with the uncertainly and NCFA taking lead in in promoting you know with burden reduction of regulation and that that that's that will be that will be important and it will definitely help to expedite this process of getting to you know harmonized investment crowdfunding rules.

Manseeb Khan: Yes. And they're just going to get with the I mean harping back on the burden reduction. It's I mean once we once we get that all squared away it's going to give a lot more. It's going to give that much more breathing room. Right. I'll admit that's just one less thing that crowdfunding companies just did just to really worry about  now they can actually focus a little bit more on like you test out your product drink your own whiskey and make it as incredible for investors to come in make it as seamless and just make the best product for the market.

Manseeb Khan: So yeah. So, it's an opportunity for some investment crowdfunding enables companies not only to attract the funding they need to grow but it's also an opportunity for these companies to create awareness around their company and engage with the wider investor provider community by offering an opportunity to invest in their company. So, it's a kind of a combined funding and marketing exercise as well. So essentially by inviting the community to invest in your company you are able to share in the upside, but you also create a whole community of brand champions that literally have an invested interest because they invested in the company to you know to talk about your company and to share in their in their networks right. So, the companies that that do very well on our platform are companies that understand that and recognize the value of going out there to community not only to capital need but also to create awareness around throughout our company.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no I absolutely agree with you. I mean the best of the best kind of brand champions to have would be investors right because they know your product. they know you in and out. They know your story in and out. And the fact that they can kind of show that to their network and just like it just starts spreading out more and more awareness. I mean that's the best kind of PR. More or less than you can really ask for.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Absolutely. Yeah.

Manseeb Khan: So, I mean aside from the raise is there anything that's really top of mind for you that you're really excited about in 2019.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Well I am you know given a view of where we are today and the successes with the investment crowd from what we've seen in across the globe basically it's exciting to see that this in some in some countries it's already case right where it already has become mainstream financing. So, the fact that we've unlocked huge pool of capital for early stage companies. To tap is very exciting. And again, we've got some work to do here in Canada certainly on there on the regulatory side to make to remove unnecessary barriers to and that enables us to also accelerate growth investment crowdfunding in Canada. And so. So, we've come a long way and there is there is more work to be done. But I'm I see 2019 as I in a year where investment professionals from Canada. Can really sort of push through and become you know head towards becoming a mainstream source of financing as well.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No, I mean I'm very excited for crowdfunding to really just be that big be another channel for companies to really grow and to really grow and prosper. I don't know if you can answer this question but so with like after the raise what we can essentially expect from Frontfundr. I mean when people think a raise there's usually a purpose behind it so like say Frontfundr or hits the target and what can investors from Frontfundr can expect afterwards.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Great. Yeah. Oh, great question. Absolutely. We're obviously raising capital because we want to grow it takes the company to the next level. And so, for us that means that we basically know we've proven the concept in Canada. We've closed over 30 successful raises on our platform and we are now really, we already operating from coast to coast but really now at a stage  where we are going to take it to the next level build out the platform nationally and also expand in the let's say the private market. So, we started with smaller capital raises also to prove the concept and demonstrate that it is it is possible to raise funds from the public basically. And now we're going to  expand in terms of you know taking on companies that are still private companies that are in later stage companies that are looking for growth and expansion capital. And so,  we're diversifying into a lot of different stages of development of companies and those companies you know they're there first and then still need money to take it take it to the next to the next level and expand. So, we're bringing on those companies and it also enables us on the investor side of our platform to offer our investor clients you know more opportunities for diversification so they can invest in earlier stage companies that are really in the early days of proven concept to later stage companies typically already generating revenues that will be have a different risk profile. So, it enables investors to create a portfolio if you like in companies in different stages of development so that's on the on the road map. And now that we've proven our concept also going to take front runners and makes leverage terminals getting the word out there. So, promoting fund from there and marketing around our brand we kind of stepped it up. We're going to step up our activities to support companies successfully closing raises so we're going to build out of these companies with them with their campaign. And so that's now those are some key elements of what's what you can definitely expect in the next the next 12 months for us. And I mean ultimately, we are we want to build out our positioning in Canada and we want to make that platform better as well. So, part of the use process also going into further developing our technology platform and essentially making it easier for companies to build their campaigns on our platform and for investors to make the entire investment process as you know as smooth as possible. So those are some key elements of what we're looking to do with the proceeds of this round.

Manseeb Khan: I mean I'm excited to be able to invest in like later stage companies that I think that seems very super enticing that in and of itself I'd like not only can invest in companies very early on but you can actually invest in companies in later on stages to have a little bit more proven track record like that. I'm excited for the for the future of a Frontfundr. So, with that I'm just gonna I'm just gonna wrap it up. Ok. So, what would be the best way for the audience to either reach you Peter Paul or Frontfundr would it be through email, Twitter, Snapchat, like smoke signal, Raven, carrier pigeon what would be the best way  for the audience and potential future investors to reach out to you guys.

Peter-Paul Van Hoeken: Yeah absolutely. So. Well the best way to get in touch with us and learn more about what we're doing is to go to our Web site Frontfundr dot com and all the information is there you can explore you know learn how it works. You can explore investment opportunities obviously also learn about our own capital raise right now. So, I would say that's the best way to get in touch with us. We always also active on Twitter Facebook Linked In and so it's very easy to find us. But I would say visit our Web site and an explore sign up so we can keep in keeping in touch with you and keep you I'll keep you posted on the on what's happening at Frontfundr. And yeah that's the that's the best way frontfundr dotcom.

Manseeb Khan: Thank you so much for staying with me today and I'm super excited to have you back on when you guys close around and start taking on more later stage companies.

Thank you. Thanks, Manseeb thanks very much.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Finally. Canadian Securities Administrators Announce Intent to Harmonize & Improve Crowdfunding Exemption

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Crowdfund Insider | By | Feb 21, 2018

Crowdfunding has been legal in Canada for some time now but in Canada, securities are managed and regulated at the provincial level thus creating a bit of a regulatory mishmash which proves difficult and costly to firms. Issuers must be certain to manage any provincial nuance when raising capital online.

Insult to injury, the specific crowdfunding exemption recognized by various provinces has been used to raise about CDN $2 million in total. In Ontario, the most populous province, there have been zero raises. Zippo. Nada. A complete flop of rulemaking.

The failure of the rules is palpable with long-lasting impact. Innovative, yet risky, young firms struggle for access to capital compelling some firms to look elsewhere or other countries for funding. There is the OM exemption (offering memorandum) which is somewhat similar to Reg A+ in the US; this is the most frequently used funding vehicle. But it is obvious that more needs to be done.

See:  CSA Staff Notice: Update on the Start-up Crowdfunding Registration and Prospectus Exemptions

While regulators have been attentive and listened politely to industry leaders they have proven to be rather tone deaf when it comes to getting things done. Perhaps it is the fear of the unknown, or a blind mission of investor protection, that has compelled the regulators to stymie innovation in the country.

Recently, the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association (NFCA) re-iterated their frustration in a letter addressed to the Ontario government. The NCFA said:

“Compared to Canada’s global competitors, equity and debt crowdfunding is being stifled by a combination of regulatory burden (not just in the capital markets sector) and lack of coordinated government support (financial and otherwise). Our 2000 members tell us that many start-ups are leaving Ontario and Canada and seeking capital elsewhere, while many fail even to get off the ground.”

The NCFA rationally requested harmonized regulations along with common sense improvements – such as higher funding caps to make the ecosystem more viable.

Around the same time, the largest equity crowdfunding platform in Canada, FrontFundr, blasted officials explaining the fix is quite simple and a single phone call away:

“Canadian companies raising capital through investment crowdfunding are forced to jump through the hoops of different (often conflicting) provincial regulations. In Ontario, our most populous province, the situation is particularly bad: the province has no viable crowdfunding rule that actually works.”

See:  NCFA Letter to Ontario Economic Development on Burden (Jan 2019)

But the parochial regulatory perspectives, and policy inertia, that has been clearly evident in Canada may be about to change.

In a Staff Notice published earlier today, the Canadian Securities Administrators or CSA (an association of all provincial regulators) announced their intent to improve harmonization while reviewing current rules:

“Staff (we) of the Canadian Securities Administrators are developing a national instrument with the same key features as the start-up crowdfunding exemption orders, with targeted amendments to improve harmonization and the effectiveness of crowdfunding as a capital raising tool for start-ups and early-stage businesses. Subject to obtaining the necessary approvals, we will publish for comment a proposed national instrument that will replace the start-up crowdfunding exemption orders. We anticipate that the proposed national instrument will not be implemented by May 13, 2020.”

Of course, the devil will be in the details, and it remains to be seen if the Canadian regulators will review the most robust crowdfunding ecosystem that exists in the UK to gain some guidance.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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NCFA | Team FFCON19 | April 16, 2019 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference in Toronto addressed challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and innovators transforming the financial industry TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2019 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA), the non-profit cross-body organization that promotes and supports fintech and funding throughout Canada, closed its 5th annual flagship Fintech and Financing Conference - FFCON - which featured numerous fintech market leaders, as well as industry experts, government officials, and prominent tech investors. "FEARLESS" was the theme for this year's conference, celebrating the boldness and innovative nature of the FinTech industry, where entrepreneurs constantly challenge pre-existing financial systems with innovative new products and services. The conference brought together more than 500 attendees who experienced keynote speeches, immersive learning, workshops, startup pitch presentations and awards, an exhibitor floor, and networking receptions. Key themes explored at FFCON19: FEARLESS: RISK is a conscious choice and necessary to innovate; Digital trust and security are essential for mass adoption; The digital bank and future of fintech is already here; Collaboration and new social (decentralized) models can revitalize markets controlled by incumbents with too much power and no incentive to change; Private-public market ...
Read More
NCFA 2019 Conference Closes with Renewed Focus on Fostering Innovation in Fintech
Business Insider | Dennis Green | March 25, 2019 Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines and make life easier for card-carrying consumers. But a backlash has grown, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have already barred stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures. This could affect the growth of Amazon's physical stores, which do not accept cash. Cashless stores are becoming controversial. See:  Under pressure Amazon plans to accept cash at cashless Go stores Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers. Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US ...
Read More
Cities and states around the country are banning stores from refusing to accept cash, and it's a troubling trend for Amazon
Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019 Rise of the intangibles When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading. Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to ...
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[Report] A New North Star:  Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy
NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy! HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin) BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world. Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here: Season 1 | Season 2 Transcription of Interview Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of ...
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Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov
SEC | April 3, 2019 Bill Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation.  We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities.  Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws. As part of a continuing effort to assist those seeking to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws, FinHub is publishing a framework for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as an investment contract, and, therefore, is a security.  The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset.  Also, the Division of Corporation Finance is issuing a response to a no-action request, indicating that ...
Read More
Statement on “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”
TechDaily | Stefan Palios  | April 8, 2019 To be fearless, you have to set up the right conditions and environment. Taking this perspective to heart, #FFCON19, a conference put on by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association, pondered how to create the right conditions so entrepreneurs can be fearless in their work. From conversations about AI creating fake videos to open banking, the wide-ranging conference detailed that fearlessness comes from using the right tech at the right time, desiring a positive outcome more than wanting to avoid a negative outcome, and putting the right regulations in place. Deep fakes and identifying what’s real Kicking off the conference, entrepreneur Toufi Saliba brought the idea of ‘deep fake’ to the conversation, the premise that artificial intelligence technology can make videos appear to be of certain people. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity “Deep fake enables everyone with a computer to download software to enable you to put someone speaking in a video, saying something they did not actually say,” Saliba explained. While innocently used in gag videos, the negative side is much more concerning. With this technology, said Saliba, hackers and other malicious actors can declare war, pretending to be a ...
Read More
#FFCON19 talked about how to build trust in the 21st century
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Apr 4, 2019 Canada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.” Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies. The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models ...
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Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation
LAST CHANCE FOR TICKETSApril 3 SOLD OUTApril 4 last block of tickets >90%#FFCON19 “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”  Clayton Christensen FFCON19 is here and officially kicks off tomorrow!  Congrats on the 9 pitching finalists announced Some more speakers added! Brady Fletcher, Managing Director and Head of TSX Venture Exchange Jon Medved, CEO, OurCrowd Fred Pye, CEO, 3iQ Corp Neha Khera, Partner, 500 Startups Alixe Cormick, President, Venture Law Corporation Sandi Gilbert, CEO, InterGen and Chair of NACO David Lucatch, Chairman, Pegasus RJ Reiser, Chief Growth Officer, Polymath Keren, Moynihan, Co-Founder, Boss Insights Check out all 50+ speakers here Please meet FFCON’s Incredible Master of Ceremonies April 3:  Chantel Costa    April 4:  Amy ter Haar Look who’s coming to #FFCON19?  JOIN US!   THANKS TO OUR AWESOME FFCON19 PARTNERS!   HOST: PLATINUM: GOLD PARTNERS: SILVER PARTNERS: ...
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Look Who's Coming to FFCON19!  Last Chance to get Tickets
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | March 31, 2019Nine high-growth companies have been selected from inbound applications to pitch live at the 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference: FEARLESS (#FFCON19).These companies will be pitching in three sessions on April 4, to be led by pitch session partner hosts McCarthy Tétrault,  Toronto Starts.and the PCMA.Congratulations to the 9 finalists!BalanceBooknBrunchConsilium CryptoFeedbackFintrosHedgieOwl LabsneedlsVacation FundOne winning company will be selected for the inaugural People's Choice Award, which celebrates an up and coming startup that is the most innovative and most impactful, as determined by the pitch session judges and the crowd.The Conference, to be held from April 3-4, 2019, attracts fintech, blockchain and AI innovators, investors, companies actively raising capital and key decision makers/stakeholders in technology and capital markets from all over Canada and around the world. Click here to view the full program.   The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders ...
Read More
Live Pitching Finalists Announced for FFCON19: FEARLESS

 

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Canada’s financial upstarts are lining up behind open banking, but bigger players may need convincing

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Financial Post | Geoff Zochodne | Feb 19, 2019

Fintech welcomes competition, but big banks seem lukewarm on opening the financial system to third parties

Upstarts in the financial sector say the data-driven concept of “open banking” could inject a healthy dose of competition into Canada’s highly concentrated financial services industry — but it may take some convincing to get the bigger players to embrace the idea.

Last week marked the deadline for submissions to the federal government’s consultation on the framework, which if adopted could allow consumers and businesses to make their financial transaction data available to third parties.

That information is currently controlled by banks and other financial institutions used by the consumer. If that data was portable, however, other parties could potentially use it to better price or tailor products or services, such as an app that would let a customer keep tabs on all of their accounts at various banks through a single dashboard, without violating their bank’s terms and conditions. Open banking could make switching accounts easier as well.

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance Canada said they had received more than 95 submissions for the consultation, the results of which will be made public in a form that is still being determined.

See:  Open Banking: What’s Really at Stake

Among the parties who made submissions in favour of some degree of open banking were Toronto-based alternative lender Equitable Bank and Portag3 Ventures, a venture capital fund backed by Power Corp. of Canada that has invested in fintech companies such as robo-advisor Wealthsimple.

Equitable, Canada’s ninth-largest independent lender, said a framework that supports the idea of customers owning the rights to their own financial data would increase “the competitive intensity” of the banking industry.

Andrew Moor, president and chief executive officer of the branchless bank, said Equitable’s view is people should shop for the best banking services they can get.

“We don’t really think that that’s necessarily provided by one institution,” he said in a recent interview with the Financial Post. “And open banking makes all of that much easier.”

Portag3 Ventures, meanwhile, predicted in their submission (published on its website) that open banking would “stimulate” competition in the sector.

“Facilitating improvement in competition has been a specific driver for Open Banking in the (United Kingdom), Australia and New Zealand,” the submission stated. “Canada lacks a specific focus on competition in regulating financial services, especially compared with the U.K. and Australia, countries with very similar banking sector market structures.”

The current consideration of open banking comes as technology is disrupting industries around the world.

Despite the sea change, Canada’s banking sector has remained under the control of a handful of financial institutions — Portag3 noted that, in Canada, the top-six banks hold 90 per cent of assets “and also dominate in all aspects of retail banking.”

While Canada’s major lenders have spent billions on technology and innovation, including partnerships with upstart financial technology players, they appear to be lukewarm on open banking — or anything that risks opening the financial system to third parties.

Sue Britton, chief executive officer of the FinTech Growth Syndicate, said the types of fintechs that financial institutions are currently partnering with are more business-to-business firms that complement a bank’s operations, rather than compete with it.

See:  Why Open Banking Represents a Seismic Shift for Fintech

“Those types of companies, they’re not partnering with financial institutions,” Britton said in a recent interview. “The primary focus of the Canadian financial institutions is to largely build things themselves and continue to more improve things like the customer experience than the price we pay.”

Nearly all of the big five banks did not respond to questions for this article. However, the Canadian Bankers Association’s submission to the open-banking consultation divided the industry group’s concerns, and potential remedies, into four areas highlighted in the government’s consultation paper: consumer protection, privacy and confidentiality, financial crime and financial stability.

As an example, the CBA said that when more parties are transmitting and storing financial-transaction data, the risk of identity theft increases too. Third parties that store log-in credentials, such as usernames and passwords, could also be more susceptible to cyber-attack if their controls are lacking.

“We believe open banking can enhance the financial services landscape for Canadians,” a CBA spokesperson said in an email. “Along with the benefits it could provide, key risks should also be addressed.”

Even if there are concerns around security, the banking sector is still preparing for whatever form of open banking may come.

A report published in January by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers included a section featuring Bank of Montreal CEO Darryl White, whom the study said saw open banking “as an exciting development for Canada.”

“If we can figure out how to solve for security, transparency and control, we can have an open banking system in this country that could work very well, in my view,” White is quoted as saying.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

US News | By Ben Luthi | Apr 12, 2019 Apple Pay is secure and convenient, as long as you use it correctly. No payment method is entirely safe from fraud. But Apple Pay provides cardholders with several layers of security that can protect against some common forms of credit card theft. If you want to try Apple Pay, knowing how it works is important as well as how your credit card information is safeguarded and what you can do to stay protected while using it. What Is Apple Pay? Apple Pay is a mobile wallet for Apple devices such as iPhones and Apple Watches that allows you to make purchases in stores, in apps and online securely without handing over your credit card information every time. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity In a store, the mobile wallet uses near-field communication technology – it allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data – to transmit your card information. You just need to verify your identity with the Touch ID or Face ID feature, then tap your device to the store's card reader to process the payment. To keep your information private, Apple Pay ...
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NCFA | Team FFCON19 | April 16, 2019 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference in Toronto addressed challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and innovators transforming the financial industry TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2019 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA), the non-profit cross-body organization that promotes and supports fintech and funding throughout Canada, closed its 5th annual flagship Fintech and Financing Conference - FFCON - which featured numerous fintech market leaders, as well as industry experts, government officials, and prominent tech investors. "FEARLESS" was the theme for this year's conference, celebrating the boldness and innovative nature of the FinTech industry, where entrepreneurs constantly challenge pre-existing financial systems with innovative new products and services. The conference brought together more than 500 attendees who experienced keynote speeches, immersive learning, workshops, startup pitch presentations and awards, an exhibitor floor, and networking receptions. Key themes explored at FFCON19: FEARLESS: RISK is a conscious choice and necessary to innovate; Digital trust and security are essential for mass adoption; The digital bank and future of fintech is already here; Collaboration and new social (decentralized) models can revitalize markets controlled by incumbents with too much power and no incentive to change; Private-public market ...
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NCFA 2019 Conference Closes with Renewed Focus on Fostering Innovation in Fintech
Business Insider | Dennis Green | March 25, 2019 Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines and make life easier for card-carrying consumers. But a backlash has grown, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have already barred stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures. This could affect the growth of Amazon's physical stores, which do not accept cash. Cashless stores are becoming controversial. See:  Under pressure Amazon plans to accept cash at cashless Go stores Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers. Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US ...
Read More
Cities and states around the country are banning stores from refusing to accept cash, and it's a troubling trend for Amazon
Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019 Rise of the intangibles When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading. Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to ...
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NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy! HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin) BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world. Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here: Season 1 | Season 2 Transcription of Interview Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of ...
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Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov
SEC | April 3, 2019 Bill Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation.  We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities.  Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws. As part of a continuing effort to assist those seeking to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws, FinHub is publishing a framework for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as an investment contract, and, therefore, is a security.  The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset.  Also, the Division of Corporation Finance is issuing a response to a no-action request, indicating that ...
Read More
Statement on “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”
TechDaily | Stefan Palios  | April 8, 2019 To be fearless, you have to set up the right conditions and environment. Taking this perspective to heart, #FFCON19, a conference put on by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association, pondered how to create the right conditions so entrepreneurs can be fearless in their work. From conversations about AI creating fake videos to open banking, the wide-ranging conference detailed that fearlessness comes from using the right tech at the right time, desiring a positive outcome more than wanting to avoid a negative outcome, and putting the right regulations in place. Deep fakes and identifying what’s real Kicking off the conference, entrepreneur Toufi Saliba brought the idea of ‘deep fake’ to the conversation, the premise that artificial intelligence technology can make videos appear to be of certain people. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity “Deep fake enables everyone with a computer to download software to enable you to put someone speaking in a video, saying something they did not actually say,” Saliba explained. While innocently used in gag videos, the negative side is much more concerning. With this technology, said Saliba, hackers and other malicious actors can declare war, pretending to be a ...
Read More
#FFCON19 talked about how to build trust in the 21st century
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Apr 4, 2019 Canada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.” Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies. The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models ...
Read More
Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation
LAST CHANCE FOR TICKETSApril 3 SOLD OUTApril 4 last block of tickets >90%#FFCON19 “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”  Clayton Christensen FFCON19 is here and officially kicks off tomorrow!  Congrats on the 9 pitching finalists announced Some more speakers added! Brady Fletcher, Managing Director and Head of TSX Venture Exchange Jon Medved, CEO, OurCrowd Fred Pye, CEO, 3iQ Corp Neha Khera, Partner, 500 Startups Alixe Cormick, President, Venture Law Corporation Sandi Gilbert, CEO, InterGen and Chair of NACO David Lucatch, Chairman, Pegasus RJ Reiser, Chief Growth Officer, Polymath Keren, Moynihan, Co-Founder, Boss Insights Check out all 50+ speakers here Please meet FFCON’s Incredible Master of Ceremonies April 3:  Chantel Costa    April 4:  Amy ter Haar Look who’s coming to #FFCON19?  JOIN US!   THANKS TO OUR AWESOME FFCON19 PARTNERS!   HOST: PLATINUM: GOLD PARTNERS: SILVER PARTNERS: ...
Read More
Look Who's Coming to FFCON19!  Last Chance to get Tickets
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | March 31, 2019Nine high-growth companies have been selected from inbound applications to pitch live at the 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference: FEARLESS (#FFCON19).These companies will be pitching in three sessions on April 4, to be led by pitch session partner hosts McCarthy Tétrault,  Toronto Starts.and the PCMA.Congratulations to the 9 finalists!BalanceBooknBrunchConsilium CryptoFeedbackFintrosHedgieOwl LabsneedlsVacation FundOne winning company will be selected for the inaugural People's Choice Award, which celebrates an up and coming startup that is the most innovative and most impactful, as determined by the pitch session judges and the crowd.The Conference, to be held from April 3-4, 2019, attracts fintech, blockchain and AI innovators, investors, companies actively raising capital and key decision makers/stakeholders in technology and capital markets from all over Canada and around the world. Click here to view the full program.   The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders ...
Read More
Live Pitching Finalists Announced for FFCON19: FEARLESS

 

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Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.

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Crowdfund Insider | | Feb 20, 2019

The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017: 

“We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.” 

Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.”

At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving.

Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.”

See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive

Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found that only 18% of their funded pitches are led by females or a joint team which includes a female.

As well as being hard to believe in this day and age, this status quo also makes terrible business sense.

Businesses largely led by women do better than male-dominated ones. And this isn’t a new discovery.

Multiple studies have shown this, and just recently, a report from US accelerator Mass Challenge found that for every dollar invested, a company founded by men generated 31 cents – compared to 78 cents produced by start-ups with women on the board.

Truss says she wants to see more women starting up businesses to “supercharge economic growth”. Whether our economy can be “supercharged” given the uncertain times we face, I’m certain that investing in female-founded or female-led businesses is one of the smartest things investors can do.

Endemic sexism

I understand the raising investment challenges start-ups face, particularly female-led start-ups, because I’ve experienced them first-hand – both in my identity as an entrepreneur in my past business, and now in my investment consultancy role – and I would say there are a few factors at play.

Firstly, investment is not really an industry many women tend to enter. It is viewed as a bit of an old boy’s club and has a reputation for not being female friendly. People don’t tend to want to go to a party that they’ve pointedly not been invited to or where they will be in the minority.

There is also an unhealthy dose of old-fashioned sexism still at play here.

See:  Slowly but surely, women are changing fintech

I’ve been to several board and investor meetings at investment and law firms across the city and on more than one occasion people assumed I was there as the PA or the stand-in receptionist. Not the person presenting in the boardroom to the partners of the firm. I’ve also recently been in an office filled with men whose artwork on the walls included paintings of naked women!

The gender bias of the industry is also causing a vicious circle which is contributing to locking female founders out of investment. There are very few female investors in the UK, and at the same time, investors tend to invest in sectors that they know or intrinsically “get” which makes good, solid sense. Yet if all the investors are male it makes it that much harder for female-led and female-focused businesses to secure investment.

Female-led brilliance

But in the two years of raising £18 million for businesses of all sizes, including those with female founders, I have seen flashes of brilliance from the female-led camp – both in terms of women getting behind investment propositions and in how women are turning the situation to their advantage.

We recently managed The Baukjen Group’s crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. The brand, built on its premium Isabella Oliver maternity range and its contemporary womenswear offer, is understood by women. Its wife and husband founding team also offers the gender mix which we have found works incredibly powerfully for investors. Their raise achieved the highest number of female investors ever to invest in a company via crowdfunding – 77% of investors were women, compared to an average of 31% (Crowdcube.) It showed that women are ready to invest, and with a more democratic crowdfunding platform, they are able to play a bigger role and respond to brands they believe in.

While a lack of confidence and reticence in their approach to equity raising is holding female founders back, it is also driving them to approach investors with a more thorough and robust style.

See:  Women & Minorities in Regulation Crowdfunding: High Success Rate Despite Low Representation & Lower Funding Levels

We have found in our experience with businesses that women tend to get down to the numbers, hard facts and proof-points much quicker than men when seeking investment. Female founders should play on this trait – especially when pitching a product that male investors wouldn’t intrinsically understand.

When Trinny Woodall pitched her beauty brand to investors, she knew that women would love her brand and would recognise the benefits of her make-up and the pain points it solved. However, looking around the room she recognised that she was pitching a female-focused product to a room full of men. So instead of pitching her product, she pitched purely the numbers, the margins, the market and the size of the opportunity.

In contrast, when we are dealing with an all-male founding team it can take us weeks to cut through the bravado, whereas women often take a more grounded approach – setting forth figures and projections plainly. The irony of this is that women are less likely to pursue investment in the first place, and when they do, are less likely to ask for what they need. This is a problem.

The solution? Education

One of the biggest solutions to the inequality of raising investment is around education. Female founders can be wary of investment because they view it as taking on debt but there are different forms of funding and it’s important to understand what funding actually means for your business. Equity funding is not debt and you won’t owe investors that money. You do have an obligation to do your best and use that funding wisely, with the aim to give a return but if it all goes wrong, investors lose their capital and know the risks involved.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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