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PayExpo MENA – Nektarios Liolios, CEO, Startupbootcamp FinTech

1. How does the current MENA FinTech market, including differing regional attitudes and trends, compare to other areas of the globe?

Looking at global trends, we see a move away from payments and lending towards investment and more esoteric Capital Markets solutions. This is not the case in MENA where there is still a big need for payments and lending relevant offerings, with an Islamic Finance twist.

2. What are the key 3 misunderstandings about FinTech?

1. A misinterpretation of the term ‘disruption’, i.e. the assumption that startups don’t want to work with incumbents.
2. The assumption that FinTech founders are young ‘dudes’. The average age of our FinTech cohorts is 38!
3. FinTech success being measured by funding amounts. What FinTech founders are mainly looking for are partnerships!

3. What are you set to discuss at PayExpo MENA?

My session is exactly about the points made in the above question, drawn from the experience of operating FinTech and InsurTech programs in London, Singapore, New York, Mumbai and Amsterdam, all backed and funded by industry players. Startupbootcamp runs 14 international programmes and in five years has invested in over 345 companies around the world.

4. 5 top tips for budding entrepreneurs looking to begin their own FinTech start-up

1. Solve a problem! We see a lot of technology looking for a problem to solve…
2. Don’t do it alone! Surround yourself with people who share the vision and are complementary.
3. Own your tech! Outsourcing to agencies never works for an early stage company.
4. Do it LEAN. A lot of FinTech founders are people with a corporate background who approach this in a very corporate way.
5. Thing about scale from the very beginning.

Nektarios Liolios is CEO at Startupbootcamp FinTech. He will deliver a session on What people get wrong about FinTech at PayExpo MENA taking place at 5-7 December in Dubai.

PayExpo MENA
A wide range of new features and conference streams shaping the future of payments will be unveiled at this year’s PayExpo MENA, taking place at The Intercontinental Festival City, Dubai on 5-7 December.

A full two-day conference pass is $1,299+VAT. Full details are available at:
Complimentary passes are available for those involved with specifying payments solutions at: Retail Banks; Investors and Venture Capitalists, Merchants; Mobile Network Operators, Gaming Executives, Transport Operators, Hotel and Leisure Executives, Start-ups and Non-Government Authorities.

Registration is now open at:

Etisalat is the MNO Partner, The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres is the Retail Partner, Marka VIP is the Online Retail Partner, Bank Dhofar is the Host Bank, The Cribb is the Start-up Incubator Partner and TURN8 is the Venture Capitalist Partner.


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