I had a chance to visit the esd2019 conference in Katowice in May. It was a two days event for us full of interesting sessions about different aspects of technology and finance. On Tuesday I was joined by our CEO Lukasz with whom we explored different sessions and Lukasz got to catch up with his old friends. I personally enjoyed listening to different topics including digital marketing, fintech, international growth, AI and much more.
In digital marketing, the speakers were telling how highly targeted marketing campaigns need to be these days in order to be effective and give some ROI.
AI talk was talking about super computing and how back in the day a person had to travel to Stanford univ. in California. To be able to access such a powerful computing system. Nowadays, a person can find one in much easier than back then. Related to AI, the speakers were talking about more accurate data and how sharing private information in this space is still a debate. They were also talking about how AI could replace people’s work in the future. MS was mentioned in the talk and how they were dealing with AI in one of their projects.
One of my favorite talks was the fin-tech talk where experts were talking about the changes in the industry and how nontraditional banks are becoming like banks because they have the customer data needed to be like one. This leads to a situation where traditional banks are being challenged by competitors that did not exist before. In the session, experts were talking about ING bank vs. Revolut which is a bank that's fully online. They were talking about the regulatory issues in this topic and why none want to get a banking license because it would increase their obligation to follow regulation by quite a lot. One of the most interesting examples was the Apple Credit Card issued by Goldman Sachs, an American conglomerate bank. As of today, more than 10M people have applied for this credit card which is unheard phenomenon. The speakers were also talking about fees and markups and how Revolut is still not profitable but should be someday.
During the international expansion talk, the speaker was talking about how companies should think “start with why” talk. Then what and how. This is classic Simon Sinek talk and still relevant. They were also talking about use of external help. They said that take all the help you can and then select those whom bring you value the most which makes sense.
Another big topic in the conference was the use of money in the start up world. How to find investors or VC and pitch to them. ESD had some workshops and start up challenge for some rising companies but I did not witness anything in the topic.
Overall, I must say that I enjoyed the conference from an educational point of view as there were companies to whom we could have maybe sold our services but did not do this time. I am looking forward to the next year’s conference as it should be also interesting.
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