5 Countries leading the way in Fintech Investment (Computer Business Review)

Computer-Business-Review-logo_620x350The Computer Business Review CBR released today an overview of the five regions investing most in FinTech. Who would have guessed? :) Interesting nevertheless.

5 countries leading the way in fintech investment

Why most Fintech-Startups will fail but there is no Fintech-Bubble

I find this very much worth reading.


How IT could change (and save?) Ukraine

Kyiv – Maidan Square. Source: primetour.ua

In my last assignment, I was fortunate enough to get to know Ukraine and its people. Its been an interesting time – when I was there first, their cleptocratic „President“ Yanukovych was in power and you could sense in the capital Kyiv that people were unhappy with the way things went. Corruption was everywhere in the public life. Billions simply disappeared in construction for the EU soccer championship and other projects – very much in the public eye. The Elite secured the access to the money, which was something the people of Ukraine hoped to have overcome with the Orange Revolution in 2004. Plus they opted for democracy and freedom and a western lifestyle back then – things which the regime was step by step taking away from them again under Yanukovych. My understanding is, having been there and then, that this were the reasons why the people of Ukraine removed Mr. Yanukovych from power.

My contact to the Ukraine was through Software Development – and I learned that it is a very strong market for near-shoring and outsourced M&A. Software Developers enjoy a very high reputation in the society and a much higher salary than the monthly average of  EUR 417. They are the hope of many as they are well educated, well paid and want an open society and peace – and if only because that is what secures their jobs. These people have and had no interest in going back in time – they stand for the principles of the Orange Revolution today. They are peaceful, dedicated and hard-working for their future.

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EU is getting serious with Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2)

I am curious what will actually result from this. Will the EU be right and make it easier for new business models, allowing a better, cheaper, more consumer focussed payments market in Europe? Or will it create a large number of „skins“ on existing business models – fancy looking front-end based on the same old back-end the banks have relied on for so long? And when so many new players will have it easy to enter the market-space, will that make things better for the consumers? Or more irritating and confusing? I am not convinced that the PSD2 will actually make things better – or cheaper. Only different. It will force traditional players to re-think their business models. Also I am not sure that opening access to bank accounts (or transaction accounts of other form) to new players, basically allowing them to tap into expensive infrastructure and relationships built over long time and with large budgets, is a good idea necessarily. That much I have learned in my life: there is no such thing as „free“, there is a price. And its going to be paid somehow, by someone. I suspect it will be the consumer – as its always been – just maybe in a different way, through increased account fees for instance. Like interchange regulation in various markets have made the transactions cheaper (for the merchants), the goods no cheaper to buy (for the consumers) but the annual fees for card-holders much higher. Well, we shall see.

EU Parliament Press Release about PSD2

Airy gewinnt Hamburger Vorentscheid für den Invention Gründerpreis


Gratulation an Peer-Arne Böttcher, Helge Knickmeier und das ganze Airy-Team: Sie haben gestern Abend die regionale Hamburger Vorauswahl für den Invention-Gründerpreis ganz klar für sich entschieden. Nun geht es ab nach Berlin, um dort am 5. November abzuräumen! Die Daumen sind gedrückt.

Der Invention Gründerpreis ist ausgelobt von Die jungen Unternehmer und Die Welt.

Was ist Airy? 

Pflanzen reinigen die Luft. Die NASA hat herausgefunden: Dies geschieht über die Wurzeln. AIRY ist der weltweit erste Pflanzentopf, der das Wurzelwerk auf natürliche Weise belüftet. Daher nimmt Deine Pflanze in einem AIRY achtmal mehr Schadstoffe auf als in einem herkömmlichen Topf! Die Folge: Gute Luft. Und das lohnt sich, denn Kopfschmerzen und Müdigkeit braucht kein Mensch! Klick aufs Bild für Infos.