News Release: Toronto, ON, May 22, 2019—Bermuda Premier David Burt turned the spotlight on the island’s innovation community for a sold-out audience of global entrepreneurs in Toronto this week at North America’s fastest-growing tech conference.
Collision, which brought 25,000 delegates, including investors and start-ups, to the city’s lakefront Enercare Centre for its Canadian debut, saw the Premier participate as a guest panellist at a packed #MoneyConf session titled, “Striking the balance between regulation and innovation.” Moderated by France 24’s White House correspondent Philip Crowther, and also featuring Adam Hitchcock of Patch Capital Partners, the discussion highlighted Bermuda’s regulatory agility and world-renowned expertise that has created a respected framework to attract quality fintech businesses.
“[Fintech companies] are now looking at us,” the Premier told the Tuesday session that drew several hundred attendees, “and are talking to our Bermuda Monetary Authority, because they want to be regulated with a regulator that understands what they’re trying to do, in a jurisdiction that is ready now—not one that’s taking the approach of waiting a year or two to ensure structures are in place.”
The Collision showcase was a highlight of the three-day visit by Bermuda’s delegation, comprising government, industry and the Bermuda Business Development Agency. The Premier, accompanied by his Chief Fintech Advisor Denis Pitcher and BDA CEO Andy Burrows, along with other industry and BDA business developmentrepresentatives, also attended meetings with Toronto-based industry groups and fintech entrepreneurs to fly the flag for the island’s emerging technologies sector and develop strategic partnerships.
“For the BDA, this has clearly been an opportunity to continue to showcase that Bermuda is innovative, nimble and agile, that we’re not new to this space in terms of being adaptive and adoptive, and that as a jurisdiction, we are best-placed to facilitate conversations, to get ahead, and to be part of the outcome and solutions,” noted the BDA’s Burrows.
Insurtech accelerator RGAx—a subsidiary of the Reinsurance Group of America that provides technology, consulting and outsourcing solutions to the North American life and reinsurance industries—hosted a private thought-leadership gathering at its downtown Toronto offices for Team Bermuda, with participation by executives from AIG Canada, Berkshire Hathaway, and several insurance-related start-up ventures.
“The idea was to get a number of industry actors together from government and insurance, as well as the start-up community, to really see how industry innovation can move forward,” said host Mitch Ocampo, a software engineer who now heads the Studio Innovation Lab at RGAx. “My role is built on the notion of co-creation and collaboration, so being able to work with Team Bermuda and explore ways in which we can move the industry forward is worth making time for.”
The delegation also held meetings with Accenture, SparkLabs Foundry, the Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC), Toronto Finance International (TFI), the MaRS Discovery District, and Canada’s leading crypto exchange Coinbase, among other fintech-related entities.
“Having Bermuda represented at Collision, as well as the meetings we’ve participated in this week, continues to help promote our jurisdiction—not only in the fintech space, but also in insurtech and education technology,” said Bermudian entrepreneur Coral Wells, founder of ConnecTech and one of the delegation. “We’ve had the opportunity to introduce a few of our Toronto partners to the Premier and the rest of Team Bermuda, and we remain committed to growing the Bermuda technology brand.”