Leaders in financial tech gathered at MaRS Discovery District for the Canadian Fintech Summit 2016 this Monday.
The summit saw over 300 attendants and 28 speakers, including Bhavin Shah, the Chief Technology Officer of TouchBistro, a food and drink FinTech app based out of Toronto and New York City. The app offers a POS solution for restaurants to manage their finances and save time: everything from taking orders, to splitting bills, to organizing floor layouts and inventory.
“The best experiences are always those where the consumer applications are integrated with the point of sale,” says Shah, “It completes the experience and provides the restaurant and the guest with the most benefit.” Shah sees TouchBistro as the “heart of the restaurant” in the way it helps the business operate.
The app was founded in 2010 by Alex Barrotti and Geordie Konrad and was named International App of the Year by Best in Biz Awards 2015.
TouchBistro is just one example of the way financial tech has been growing in Canada, and especially in Toronto. Of ten companies that presented at the summit, five were based out of Toronto. In fact, according to an infographic put out by MaRS Discovery District and Information Venture Partners, Toronto has the largest financial service sectors in Canada, ranking third in North America.
“Toronto has bred some of the brightest fintech companies and it’s helping to retain our amazing pool of Canadian engineering talent,” says Shah. Shah feels that the rapid growth in the financial tech industry also gives start-up businesses fintech the opportunity to collaborate and build on top of each other.
“For example with TouchBistro in the restaurant POS space,” says Shah, “we see other restaurant fintech service businesses starting in Toronto which offer complimentary services, and it works well because we can work with them and mutually benefit by providing restaurants [with] a better experience.”
It was the first year for the summit, and while next year’s hasn’t been formally announced, we fully expectthe white-hot fintech space to demand it.