Let’s continue my sharing of the Fintech world, this time with the – not enough represented, in my opinion – list of Fintech Women I came across in my recent past.
This is a mix of Investors, Bankers, Entrepreneurs and (one) journalist, I could have added many PR experts, focusing on FinTech, but I rather choose not to, reason being the following people evolve in a typically male-crowded environment, and the only thought that comes to mind is that I would love to know more of them.
Claire has one of the most lovely French accents with a perfect English. Beside trying to make English people pronouncing correctly her family name (‘Call me Jane’ is her last option, when it becomes too difficult), Claire is leading with the most open innovation approach the R&D and Innovation department of a very ‘traditional’ UK bank, way more involved in digital and forward thinking than anybody could suspect. We share the advisory board of Bootcamp, and when it comes to start-ups she knows stuff. A lot.
Mariela Atanassova, alias ‘sister’ (to me).
Innotribe co-founder, left SWIFT an year ago and – truly – on of the most brilliant minds I know. She has her moments, a very hard time to say ‘no’ to new engagements even if that means no sleep for few following nights, but she gets it so fast that I always forgive her, no matter what. She is also my impresario, meaning the prefect soundboard for new things. We now designed FinTechStage agenda together, in the middle of a dozen of other commitments she has. I have never introduced Mela to anybody and get a negative (even slightly) feedback.
CEO and co-founder of Inventure, we met for the first time at Sibos last year and again in Money2020 in Vegas. The only representative of a start-up advising the Gates Foundation, extremely knowledgeable in Financial Inclusion matters, and very sharp. Deeply admire her mission and focus.
Italian soul blended in a multi-cultural life, representing the innovation arm of the largest Italian bank in London. Very well connected and experienced in banking, and precious asset for any start-up who wants to deal with the bank she works for. Also in Bootcamp advisory board, not a tech-savvy (she says) but a business-driven mind, and – as well – a dear friend.
Leda personifies the Greek energy with an English allure powered by an incredible fast brain. She is the innovation sparkle (I just introduced her this way in an email and loved it) of the UK operations of a very large US bank. Great start-up mentor, knows payments and securities inside out, and this not even begins to describe how compelling her business sense is.
Anna is the only journalist of this list, but impossible not to mention her when we talk about FinTech. She defines herself a Fintech Geek, since she interrupted her holidays for a day to attend a very important fintech event (ooops, sorry, secret revealed). I am amazed how quickly she became a point of reference in the investors, start-ups and banks eco-systems in such a short period of time. She is from Turin, and no Italian city suits her better: it s the home of the ‘coolness’ and the ‘silent forces’ in Italy, and she totally fits in
Jilliene is CEO and founder of Realty Mogul. Must say, when I first met her pitching at Innotribe (one of the winners) I immediately spot her business sharpness and acumen, it s the kind of CEO you would want in any start-up, and rightly disrupting the real estate crowd-funding market. Great speaker, assertive, vocal, shameless, everything I love.
I just met Melissa in Hong Kong, the only female founding partner of a Fintech Fund (whom I know of) , focussing on Asia-based start-ups. Silicon Valley mind, tons of companies vetted, fast mind, strong opinions, and I am sure (and I hope) we will do business together soon. Melissa’s global view of the Fintech start-up market is an invaluable asset for the Investors crowd.
Vanessa is a key executive of the Venture arm of a global US bank, one of the first (if not THE first one) to build a proper Venture structure. I had the honour to sit in a panel with her at Sibos last year. What I love in a ‘banker’ like Vanessa is that she understands totally the world of start-ups (and beyond) and very effectively navigates between the strategic and the return aspect of the investments, which is the dilemma (or the dichotomy) of may bank-driven funds.
Sam is the co-founder of Anthemis Edge, and it might be due to the Italian chromosomes but in the past two months only many people I get in touch to, in organizing FinTechStage, referred me to her. Samantha is a blended mix of entrepreneurship, strategic advisor and start-up mentor, with a great sense of where the money should go, when it comes to invest. Not to mention she has a great approach to life as well, carefully balancing her career with the family, and I really respect her for this. We stepped into each other in various cities already, and I am glad she is coming to Milan as well.
Duena is a Fintech entrepreneur, with many jobs at the same time, the main one as a CMO of Meniga, a well funded PFM start-up. Also in the board of several companies, NextBank conference agenda planner, and with no doubts very well connected in our world. She is a Misfit in the most glorious way, in this world.
I have met Claire since her beginnings in Level39, when Innotribe became one of its first tenants. Claire is now heading one of the most visible London Fintech Initiatives, Innovate Finance, and very well connected to the several initiatives of the city with regards of this world
Let me know if you find valuable this sharing, especially done it in such an ‘informal’ way… again, this is not a ranking, is not a who’s who list, and it s done in the sole purpose of giving visibility to the people I think are moving and shaking the Fintech world as I see it.
If you want to take this opportunity to let me know who else I should (have) put in this post, feel free as well.