Joining forces to create a centre of gravity for FinteCH
We are thrilled to announce that as of February SFTA became an official resident at Impact Hub Zurich.The Colab space at Sihlquai 131 is our new HQ where we will foster collaborations in coming months via the “Tribe” community model. This will not come as a big surprise to those who know us well, because Colab and Impact Hub (before merging) played hosts to our earliest meetups back in 2014. So we are excited to coming home.
While it is technically a small step, via an easy online registration during a meeting the Impact Hub team, it is a big news for both communities. The Association gains a new home and the Hub gets more involved with the emerging Swiss “FinteCH” ecosystem. We wanted to share some insights about what motivated the move, because it sheds light on why this was an important development for everyone in the FinteCH community.
The perfect space for growing startups
Like many new organizations, we are a lean machine, working virtually for the most part or from home, cafes, and other free spaces. While this works, there comes a time when you need a real base of operation. At the same time, being around other motivated entrepreneurs has tremendous value when it comes to sharing inspiration, tapping peers for support, and making valuable connections. More fundamentally, we grew to the point where a physical location was needed. At the same time, we are young and nimble and prefer to leverage a flexible location which allows us to scale and adapt based on our rapidly evolving needs. Put simply, there is no better location than the Impact Hub to find a friendly and flexible working environment.
Locations in Geneva, Zurich, and worldwide in key FinTech hubs
For a national organization like ours with extensive international engagement, another important benefit is the Impact Hub’s global network. We have a thriving community in Geneva led by Vice-President Alexandre Gaillard (CEO of InvestGlass), so it is perfect that the Impact Hub has a location right next to Cornavin Station. Equally important are the Impact Hub’s international locations in FinTech hubs like London, Berlin, Amsterdam, and other thriving startup communities as far away as Sao Paolo, Melbourne, and Tokyo. Whenever we are taking part in the global FinTech community, it’s great to know we have a home away from home.
Shared philosophies make for a good partnership
The principles of the Association are central to how we operate – collaboration comes first, the importance of community building, and having fun in the process. These are well aligned with the principles of the Impact Hub, so it was a natural fit to work together in fostering the FinteCH community. We hope this small step will inspire others to join forces to create a center of gravity where all players can benefit while contributing to the overall ecosystem.
Great mix of residents and corporate sponsors involved
Not only is the Impact Hub at the center of entrepreneurial activity in Zurich, it is a perfect venue to organically set the heartbeat of FinteCH ecosystem. There are already a growing number of startups on site (e.g. Calfor Financial, SoSense, etc.). Add to this new corporate partners like Swisscom, SIX, Credit Suisse, and Axa Winterthur and there is a strong base for creating an inclusive FinteCH epicenter.
Working together closely to foster a world class FinTech hub in Switzerland
Building on what exists in both communities, we plan to make the most of this new collaboration. This will be achieved by getting our hands dirty working alongside and directly with startups, corporates, and other stakeholders. We hope that others will see the value and join the network. Although it is not time to say more just yet, we will be making announcements in the coming months about new programs being launched in 2016 which offer all stakeholders in the ecosystem opportunities to make an impact while realizing benefit.