7th European ICT Awards. And the winners are… Written by Michael Renotte on May 19th, 2016

On the occasion of ICT Spring Europe 2016, one of the most influential conferences on the European agenda, taking place on 10 & 11 May at the European Convention Center of Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 1,500 professionals attended the Networking Cocktail and over 600 of them took part in the European ICT Awards Dinner, on the first evening of the convention. The winners of the European ICT Awards were announced during the Dinner, in the presence of the Minister for Finances, Mr. Pierre Gramegna. These awards aim at rewarding the best practices in the ICT field. 4 awards were attributed by the jury: European CIO of the Year (Ann Hellenius), Future FinTech Star (Particeep), European startup of the Year (FundRecs) and European FinTech of the Year (NUMBER26).

 

ANN HELLENIUS, EUROPEAN CIO OF THE YEAR

Ann Hellenius, CIO of the City of Stockholm,holds a master of science in economics and has over 18 years of experience of being a leader. Prior to working in the city she founded and was the CEO for a management consulting company. She has also worked as a management consultant for Ernst & Young and Cambridge Strategic Management Group.

 

“The digital development will influence our way of living”

Ann Hellenius started working in the City of Stockholm in 2011 where she was responsible for the digital transformation for better education in the Schools of Stockholm. Since May 2015 she is the CIO for the City of Stockholm.

 

As CIO, Ann Hellenius is responsible for leading the digital development of the City of Stockholm in order to ensure that it is utilized in the best way to create efficient, coherent and sustainable operations and to procure and provide city-wide IT services. Internet of Things and Innovative solutions for the smart city is high up on the Agenda. Furthermore Ann Hellenius handles the city’s development of IT from an organizational context where digitization opportunities are applied to help the citizens in their everyday life.

 

Transforming the traditional IT department

To guide, lead and support the digital transformation of the city Ann Hellenius found it necessary to transform the city’s traditional IT department into a department for digitalization. The role of the department thus changed from a department that merely functioned to serve other departments’ digital needs into a department that supports other departments in their respective digital transformation.

 

Whilst digitally transforming the city objectives such as cost-efficiency and high it-security must be met. As an example of this Ann is also leading one of the biggest public procurements in Sweden which includes digital workspaces for 40,000 employees and 130,000 pupils.

 

“Stockholm is growing fast. In the years to come we are building new smart residential areas with environmental profile where innovative eco-technology is developed. The digital development will influence our way of living. For example will the use of open data and the progress of internet of things and the use of green technology bring new opportunities for our citizens and make Stockholm one of the smart cities of the world”, Ann Hellenius told IT One.

 

Ann Hellenius, European CIO of the Year 2016

 

Stockholm’s ambition is to become the world’s smartest city

The City of Stockholm has the world’s largest open broadband fiber network and super connected citizens. With a usage rate of 94% the city places fourth highest in the world and almost four times as many connected devices per person than the rest of the world. The city also has developed a mobile app for its citizens and visitors to send immediate feedback or concerns regarding the city’s environment or traffic situation with over 86,000 requests during 2015. The City of Stockholm has the ambition of becoming the world´s smartest city by 2040.

 

Developing collaboration methods locally and nationally

Ann Hellenius drives this transformation and emphasizes in her leadership that digitalization and new technology create new opportunities in our society, both for a better way of life and for economic growth. In addition, she stresses the need for developing working methods for collaboration within the city’s organizations but also regionally and nationally with other public and private organizations. Ann Hellenius and her staff are currently developing a smart city strategy together with the citizens of Stockholm in order to reach this objective.

 

FUNDRECS, EUROPEAN STARTUP OF THE YEAR

FundRecs was founded in 2013 in Dublin, Ireland, when the company founders were approached by a large bank to develop a new reconciliation platform for its Fund Administration unit. With over 25 years operational and technology experience between them, the team are building a platform to transform how data is managed, processed and leveraged by the Funds Industry.

 

An efficient, powerful and cost effective reconciliation software

Taking the latest technology and approaches from the best loved consumer software applications, the FundRecs team are combining consumer user experience and interfaces with enterprise accuracy, security and availability. The team at FundRecs believes that the software we use in day-to-day business activities should be as well designed and easy to use as the consumer applications we enjoy every day in our personal life. By combining ease of use with powerful processing, flexible data import and key industry knowledge, FundRecs has set out on their mission towards developing the most efficient, powerful and cost effective reconciliation software available.

 

“As a startup, the partnerships that we have formed with Mitsubishi and Capita Asset Services have allowed us to build a world class system solving a multitude of problems. Our cloud based software allows the user to process, enhance and reconcile data without the assistance of developers through a simple interface”, explained Alan Meaney, CEO & co-founder of FundRecs.

 

Alan Meaney, CEO & co-founder of FundRecs

 

Through advanced algorithms and a complex file parsing engine, FundRecs gives the user the tools to handle complex files and match large volumes of data without the normal requirement of developer involvement. The technology allows the user to receive files in any format (PDF, CSV, SWIFT, XML etc.). The files are then formatted and the data enhanced as required using a powerful rules engine, creating a template for that file all through a simple UI. FundRecs’ solution then allows the reconciliation of that file with any other files.

 

The elimination of software development changes the cost model

“Traditional file parsing and reconciliation software require that information be hard coded to parse a file and then to allow the reconciliation process to take place. An example might be the reconciliation of the Banks file with that of a Broker. This approach works as long as the data does not change. In a world where change is the only constant this approach is short lived. A change to the structure of the data will stop conventional systems in their tracks”, Alan Meaney said. “We are turning users from data hunting and gathering, to analyzing and reporting. This in turn allows quicker and more accurate decision making, adding far greater value than mere data processing. The exclusion of developer involvement also dramatically changes the cost model”.

 

FundRecs is currently being used across 3 continents in 5 countries. Virtually any financial institution that receives and processes files or reconciles data sets will benefit from using the Fund Recs system. The same is true for financial institutions that suffer from low quality data.

 

PARTICEEP, FUTURE FINTECH STAR

Particeep helps worldwide firms, banks and asset management companies to operate their digital transition quickly, with agility and at a lower cost, while maintaining their existing information system.

 

Particeep is the first French SaaS solution available in white label that dematerializes the management of funding operations online. With Particeep’s customizable and modular technology, any organization can now create their own financial product distribution platform or crowdfunding platform.

 

Particeep’s objective: leading the market

“By 2020, 1000 billion US dollars of financial flows related to project funding will be processed online, according to Forbes. Our objective is clear: becoming the greatest company in the world and the technological standard of paperless financial services related to online project funding and investments”, said Steve Fogue, CEO of Particeep.

 

Steve Fogue, CEO of Particeep

 

Accelerating the digital transformation of financial services

Trusted by the finance innovation cluster, Bpifrance, the frenchtech, the french entrepreneurial network, Frenchweb, Point Nine Capital and Challenges, Particeep is part of the top players of French SaaS market and disrupts it with a ready to use, turnkey, modular and connected technology which simplifies the management of funding operations online, sharing and the use of financial data as business opportunities.

 

NUMBER26, EUROPEAN FINTECH OF THE YEAR

NUMBER26 is Europe’s first mobile bank built for the digital age. Launched in 2015, it is one of Germany’s most successful Fintech startups, having raised over €12 million from investors such as Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Earlybird Ventures and Axel Springer Plug & Play. Founded in early 2013 by Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal, NUMBER26 has acquired more than 160.000 customers in just 13 months and processes more than one million transactions per month. NUMBER26 currently employs a team of 140 people in Berlin working towards defining what banking should be.

 

Banking for the digital age

NUMBER26 offers a fully-fledged bank account with MasterCard and Maestro Card, which can be handled completely on the smartphone. NUMBER26’s goal is to reimagine banking from the bottom up easy, fast, and appropriate for the digital age. The account goes along with the user, without any paper forms or processing fees. Intelligent algorithms automatically categorize all expenditures and neatly display them in an overview within the app. NUMBER26 is available for Android, iOS, and desktop.

 

“Our bank account is made for everybody who uses a smartphone. We are especially popular with customers between 18 and 35, although more and more older users open an account. About a third of NUMBER26 customers are over 30. It’s only a question of time until these age groups discover the advantages of mobile banking. It took several years, for example, until people of all ages fully integrated WhatsApp or Facebook into their daily routines. In the end, we are a great fit for everybody who is looking for simple and transparent banking”, Valentin Stalf, Founder and CEO, told us.

 

Valentin Stalf, Founder and CEO of NUMBER26

 

A Fintech Hub

In the long run NUMBER26 will monetize on the products it builds around its bank account. Customers will soon be able to use the best banking products (saving product, investment, insuring, etc.) directly within the app. What differentiates NUMBER26 from the traditional banks is a belief that there are many great companies who are creating unique products in banking. In the future, NUMBER26 customers will be able to pick and choose the best products with just one click and full cost transparency – not unlike a market. In other words, a Fintech Hub.