The 2015 New Finance and Venture Incubator Summit went off without a hitch, and featured numerous presentations by big name management and investors. These industry leaders delved into the future of investment and finance via topics such as Big Data, the “Einstein Paradox”, efficient incubators, and more. Below are highlights of the most jaw-dropping presentations.
1. Alibaba Vice-President Tu Zipei – Big Data Motivates Financial Innovation
Alibaba, along with other leading corporations, is working on a totally new concept of lending money called “Cloud Finance”. Cloud Finance uses Big Data from numerous different industries to analyze the feasibility of giving a loan to someone (along with how much) by judging their buying habits, income, etc. One of the most significant uses of Cloud Finance is in investment. Currently, there is a platform in the United States called Kabbage, which decides on how much money to invest in a company based on shipping data from UPS (logistics), which is a good indicator of how well the business is doing (the more you sell, the more you ship out).
Zipei also talked about the future of e-currency, which has already replaced nearly all paper and coin money in Switzerland. Half of all American bank branches will close by the 2020’s due to the switch to electronic currency.
Other uses for Big Data that Zipei described are both interesting and scary at the same time: In the future, big data will be used to determine how fast you move through security through the airport, allow you to obtain a visa without having to submit any materials, how much you pay for car insurance based on your habits, and what products are marketed to you based on your previous social media posts and purchases. Alipay has already begun to roll out instant credit checks and online visa application services, so the future is not far away at all.
Zipei concluded by calling for more wearable smart objects to be produced and worn in China. Devices such as smart shoes, watches, shirts, etc., will all be able to interact with the internet, and extract more information from users to simplify their lives. Imagine a platform such as Beacon, which uses data from your phone to show your picture and previous purchase history to the cashier at any store you walk into.
This is what Alibaba believes to be the future of Big Data, New Finance, and store-user interaction. China is a great testing ground for these innovations due to its large population and a willingness to keep trying new things. Expect Hangzhou to be a key region in leading this new movement.
2. Paypal Founding Investor Peter Davison and “The Einstein Paradox”
Peter Davison began his presentation by describing how Einstein was first “found out”. As a young man, Einstein attended university, but only studied what he had passion for, which negatively affected his grades. After graduation, he reluctantly began work as a clerk in a patent office in Germany. During his time at the office, a man named Max Planck came across some of Einstein’s papers and thought they were amazing. He flew to Germany immediately to try and find the scientist, who he had mistakenly thought was a distinguished professor. Little did he know, Einstein was just a clerk at the time, and had trouble finding the then 26 year-old, even walking past him a few times in disbelief. Everyone knows what happens to Einstein after this event.
In Peter’s years as a startup investor, he has tried to put together a formula in trying to find out which companies have a higher chance of succeeding. He looked at the most successful startups and found two things – 1. the CEO is usually from a top school, and 2. the crazier the idea, the more successful the company can be.
But he also stated that this is not a rule, and Einsteins do emerge from the crevices sometimes. He urged that China create the conditions for companies to succeed, while also leaving some room for future Einsteins to prosper.
Interested in Attending Events Like This?
Sign Up for our newsletter to be informed of the latest & greatest startup, networking, and investment events in Hangzhou!