Last week the fintech industry gathered online for the eighth annual LendIt Fintech USA conference. This was an event like no other. It was the first ever major fintech event held completely online. While organizing this event had its challenges, we couldn’t have been happier with the way it all came together.
While LendIt Fintech USA 2020 was supposed to be held in New York City at the Javits Center we made the call in early June to switch to a 100% virtual event. So, on September 29 I found myself at a Denver TV production studio, along with my fellow LendIt co-founder Bo Brustkern as well as colleagues Joy Schwartz and Matt Murnane. The rest of the LendIt team supported the event from their home offices.
We decided early on to put a great deal of effort into production. This was not going to a boring Zoom conference, it was going to look more like a network TV show. I think we pulled that off.
Now, on to some of the highlights. We had, in my opinion, our best keynote roster ever and it didn’t disappoint.
Keynotes – Day 1
We kicked it off with Stephanie Cohen, the Chief Strategy Officer of Goldman Sachs. It was interesting timing to have her kick off the show because just that morning she received news that she was being promoted as part of a restructuring within Goldman and will become co-head of the consumer and wealth management division. She is also being talked about as a potential successor to CEO David Solomon.
There were a couple of striking parts of Stephanie’s keynote. One, she said that Goldman Sachs is looking to partnering with fintech companies and in fact, wants to be known as the partner of choice. She also talked about their consumer strategy and their plans to be a full service digital bank. And what really interesting was how she thinks about Goldman Sachs as a platform company where they embed their capabilities with other companies. An example she gave was their partnership with Apple on the Apple Card.