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The GEMFIN FinTech Study Trip - By Justine Natuplag

April 2023


GEMFIN student, Justine Natuplag, reflects on her main learnings from her FinTech Study Trip to Israel


Fastforward: Israel outside the lens of religion & conflict


Last week, I was hopping around Tel Aviv as part of my course 'Innovations in Fintech'. This is really a rewind of last week but from a view of how Israel (only 75 years old) has hit the fastfoward button in Fintech.


Day 01: A warm welcome from Urs Bucher, Swiss Ambassador to Israel, and Noga Ehrlich the Start-Up Program Manager at the Embassy. We interestingly landed at an unprecedented political time in the country and personally admired the ambassador's tact and elegance on the topic - a lesson on diplomacy.


Day 02: eToro & Capitolis

At eToro, we explored the retail audience and eToro's strategy for consumer engagement and retention, but also touched on the point that large financial institutions are 75+ years old, while most Fintech/Digital banks are 10+ years old. Capitolis is leading the way in capital market optimization as we looked at the needs of institutional clients through their SaaS offering.


Day 03: Team8 & Herzog

This was my favourite day! Team 8 is a VC that is an innovation in itself. In addition to the traditional VC model, Team 8 ideates in-house. Ronen Assia is a partner at Team 8 and co-founder at eToro, and like his brother Yoni Assia (eToro co-founder & CEO), a great selfie guy.

At Herzog, we were met with a warm reception by Managing Partner Gil White and an extensive conversation on #Web3 related regulations with Dima Zalyalyeyev.


Takeaways (with a touch of personal opinion):

◾Israel is an engine for the creation and distribution of fintech products (i.e. the country produces more Fintech products and services than it consumes as a result of its size).

◾ There is a unique agility to the country, which I gather, is a by-product from its youth and its initial economic launching point.

◾ Is there a way for regulation to be more agile in order to move with technological innovation?

◾ Lastly, I fell in love with hummus with pine nuts.


Other locations visited: The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation & The Bank of Israel


This trip was a part of the Master of Advanced Studies in Finance.



Apr 9, 2023

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