Fintech South 2022 - My First Professional Conference

17.06.22 11:15 PM Comment(s)

This week, Atlanta witnessed the southeast’s largest event dedicated to financial innovation, Fintech South 2022. I welcomed the opportunity to attend and represent Defynance as a market analyst with our Founder and CEO Farrukh Siddiqui.

Produced by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), Fintech South is a global exchange of insights, innovations, and trends fueling the future of the financial technology industry. The event brought together more than 1,500 senior leaders from across the fintech ecosystem, including stakeholders from the payments industry, banking, wealth management, insurance, retail, commerce, government, regulatory, venture capital, startups, technology service providers, and non-profits along with local, national, and international media.


This year, the event was based on three main pillars: Evolution, Responsibility, and Opportunity. Attendees were able to participate in excellent panel discussions on the most trending topics of the fintech industry addressing various upcoming challenges and potential solutions focused on industry growth, innovations, and ways to further enhance customer experience. The breakout sessions were designed to take deeper dives focusing on Payments and Regulations, Fintech and Banking future, Fintech and Gaming, Digital Health + Fintech, Sustainability, and many more intriguing topics. 

Apart from being a source of knowledge sharing and transfer, the event was an excellent hub for networking and making new introductions or meeting old friends and team members to share insights. Everyone was quite excited to get away from their screens and have in-person conversations after doing video conferences for over two years. 

For me, I had an amazing opportunity to connect with our existing stakeholders and meet excellent professionals like Romain Lhéritier, Sarah Woodward, and Susanne Turnbo to name a few. I hope to continue the conversation with them in the future to continue exploring mutually beneficial synergies.  

I also had the chance to visit and learn about the companies in Innovation Alley by visiting their tables.  For instance, I met Jeff Bond whom I should thank for interviewing Farrukh and me about how our work aligns with Conscious Capitalism, a movement he backs. Through his thoughtful questions, he let us explain the purpose behind Defynance, our values, and how we wish to free the American workforce from student debt. 

I have to also mention the Innovation Challenge where Fintech South recognizes innovative fintech startups with ties to Georgia. Selected startups were provided with mentoring and an opportunity to present their ideas to the fintech community and most importantly pitch to their potential investors. In the end, the startup with the best idea was awarded a non-dilutive cash prize of $25,000. 

Our company, Defynance was one of seven Innovation Challenge startups but due to our founder’s prearranged travel, he has not able to pitch live during the judging session, so we didn’t qualify to compete in the top 3.  Farrukh did, however, pitch to investors during day one of Fintech South along with the rest of the Innovation Challenge companies.  Congratulations to Arcum Partners, the winner of the Innovation Challenge! 

Overall, it was a huge learning experience, and I would like to thank Farrukh for presenting me with the opportunity to participate in my first industry conference.  It was a blast and a great learning experience.