#Finovate Just got back to a somewhat cooler Austin, yes it is still in the high 80’s in late September, from an absolutely awesome Fall Finovate 2014 show. Wow, 70 vendors in 2 days. While I have gone before as an attendee, it was Malauzai’s first time as a presenter. What a cool experience, but more on that later.
We saw some really interesting presentations. My favorites were vendors like CrowdFlower, showing off a big data application, or Linqto demonstrating a video and chat capability. The funniest presentation was without question Misys. They dressed up in costumes of superheroes and showed off their newest version of Online banking, so simple a superhero can use it. We also had some friends and partners there, folks like Virtual Strong Box with their electronic storage and vault product and MoneyDesktop, sorry MX, who launched a new cross-platform dev tool. Geezeo was also there showing off a new business-oriented PFM solution that looks really cool. Our newest friends include folks like Finovera, who is launching a cool adjunct to bill pay and Larky, who has a logo almost as cool as the Malauzai Monkey. Maybe because it is New York based, this falls show had lots of wealth management focused vendors, which was an interesting contrast to a somewhat staid banking set of products. All in all, very cool stuff.
Now on to presenting. It was absolutely terrifying. Malauzai has avoided presenting in the past, as we prefer to keep a very low profile. We changed our tune a bit to launch our newest product, SmartwebApps, an alternative to Internet banking. I present quite a bit but never to 1400 people and never am I limited to 7 minutes. That is usually how long it takes me to thank the sponsors and get my notes in order. It was stressful but exhilarating. As usual, I talked way too long, cutting in to the time of my partner-in-crime, Danny Piangerelli. Danny handled it gracefully by leaving me about 15 seconds for my “close”. And yes, I got “gonged” ie when your time is up they cut your mic and a loud gong noise is broadcast throughout the meeting hall. I am proud to say we were the only ones to receive a gong all morning 🙂 For those who ever consider Finovate, here is some advise. Less content, longer pauses. We severely underestimated how quickly we did our presentations when practicing and reality is, that when you really present, you tend to pause, for dramatic effect of course. Well, we got our message across, so all was well, and only our Director of Marketing was freaking out, JK…
What a great event. Jim Bruene and the folks at Finovate do an A+ job at organizing the event, it is one of the best I have ever attended as a participant or speaker. While this was our first time, it will not be our last. The opportunity to network with other vendors, meet with the press and chat with research analysts was unprecedented. I have never seen so many people who appreciate financial technology gathered in one place, it was quite a buzz.
Next time we present, I promise to be on time and I am thinking of bringing along a Banker with me to present an actual in-market solution. There were a few but not enough, and I think the audience would love hearing from actual users… Here is to a great time in Fintech and congrats to everyone who presented, what a show indeed!!!