FinTech Summer Schools: Get in early on a growing field

EIT Digital Summer School

Finance touches on all aspects of business. The digital revolution has dramatically impacted finance. That's why the relatively new field of "FinTech", which brings together finance and digitisation, is growing dramatically in importance. EIT Digital organizes two Summers Schools on FinTech this summer, one in Budapest and one in Marid.

"FinTech has a direct impact on every facet of the business market", says Prof. Ziba Habibi Lashkari, a professor at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and one of the instructors involved in EIT Digital's FinTech Summer Schools. "The digital tools used in FinTech can be incredibly helpful for our daily financial transactions and corporate financing, but can extend in application to other areas as well."

Given the importance of the topic, EIT Digital offers two FinTech summer schools that provide an overview on the subject, as well as practical instruction in real-word challenges. Participants leave the programme having come up with their own ideas for innovative FinTech solutions, and some have even launched startups based on these ideas. But you don't have to be planning a career in the field to benefit from greater knowledge of FinTech.

"Our two-week programme will be helpful for any learner who wants to work in business, technology, and computer science", Prof. Lashkari says. "This course engages all varieties of participants - undergraduate, extended learning, professional development, and more."

She explains that the programme is important to such a wide range of learners because FinTech goes beyond impacting transactions and also facilitates management.

"A board of directors may need to have fast and easy access to a variety of reports - or may need to make a prediction for the budget of a specific project - sometimes with great urgency", according to Prof. Lashkari. "A FinTech-based system would apply the relevant algorithms and business models needed to provide the board with faster, and more accurate, suggestions, to streamline and improve business planning and decision-making."

FinTech achieves new solutions with "a variety of tools and services - such as artificial intelligence, machine-learning, robotic process automation, electronic signatures, digital onboarding, and more", she explains.

The two EIT Digital FinTech Summer Schools

Taking advantage of EIT Digital's broad network of industrial partners, the two FinTech Summer School courses provide learners with real-world challenges.

"Learners will work individually and in groups to identify the issues, create solutions, and determine the best solutions available to each case study. By working in groups, participants will become accustomed to a greater level of teamwork, cooperative problem solving, professional engagement, speaking and presentations, and overcoming challenges", Prof. Lashkari says. "Participants will work on the case studies with the help of expert coaches. These coaches are not only experts in the FinTech areas, but also have entrepreneurial backgrounds and a strong foundation of knowledge relating to business management and corporate finance."

Theoretical lectures followed by real-world training and entrepreneurial elements are common to both FinTech Courses being offered - the course in Madrid that Prof. Lashkari offers and the other EIT Digital FinTech Summer School course, taking place in Budapest.

The two courses differ somewhat in their goals.

"The programmes are two standalone courses that meet specific and separate needs in the market", says Sergio Balassone, Head of Summer Schools at EIT Digital. "The summer school in Madrid prepares participants to work or lead an initiative in the FinTech sector, taking an approach to the opportunities within the future projection of this industry."

Prof. Lashkari explains that her course in Madrid investigates the potential for expansion of FinTech. "The possibilities are nearly endless", she says. "For example, we have seen growth in digitisation of insurance companies and investment services as well as a growing market in public organisations and within the real-estate sectors."

But as Fintech disrupts industries it also brings in new risks, such as the potential of cyber attacks - the topic of Lashkari's latest book. "We need to first know and understand the types of cyberattacks which may impact FinTech in order to have the ability to make better regulations and avoid the risk of cyberattack-related disruptions", she says.

The other EIT Digital FinTech Summer School, being offered in Budapest, "covers a broad spectrum of technologies to be applied to FinTech: artificial intelligence, machine learning, computational intelligence, data science. During the programme, the participants get an overview of financial services technologies that have innovative potential", Balassone says.

The strength of EIT Digital

Both programmes offer much more than the typical summer course because they are provided by EIT Digital Summer School, which is not just one school - it is an innovation community, made up of universities, research centres and members of industry.

"Participants immerse themselves in real business case studies originating from our Ecosystem made of almost 300 members representing European universities, research institutes, startups and industrial partners", Balassone says.

The impact of this network can be felt even more strongly now that EIT Digital Summer Schools are returning to in-person participation.

"Summer schools are meant to be in-person!" Balassone says. "Quality lectures are important but what is even more important is the interaction with local companies, professionals, mentors and the build-up of the network with several international participants."

The networking definitely adds value, according to Prof. Lashkari. In addition to a memorable educational experience, "this course will also provide a venue for participants to grow their professional networks and foster a greater sense of community between academic and industry partners in the long term", she says.

The learners themselves, including professionals and students, greatly enrich the experience. The cohort includes "the high-skilled students from the EIT Digital Master School coming from 18 partner universities, all of which are European leaders in the delivery of technical and entrepreneurship education", Balassone notes. "Moreover, our Summer schools provide our participants with one of the best European experiences in charming and vibrant cities that are very active in the FinTech sector."

EIT Digital Summer School programmes are open to young professionals, Master's and Ph.D. students, and others who want to deep-dive into emerging digital technologies, learn how to turn technology into business, and eventually launch deep-tech startups.

Find out more about the FinTech Summer Schools:

Prof. Lashkari breaks down FinTech’s potential for commodity pricing

Prof. Ziba Habibi Lashkari from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid is an instructor delivering one of the EIT Digital FinTech Summer Schools. She believes FinTech has a huge impact on every area of business - including commodities like crude-oil pricing. In addition, using blockchain and AI technology, big data corporations are now producing new applications to improve decision-making processes...

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