Magazine

ECN Crowdcon 2020: Opportunities and Challenges for the European Crowdfunding Industry in the New Decade
From the industry

Feb 5, 2021
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The European crowdfunding industry is merging into a harmonized market - with major implications for how companies raise capital and investors access investment opportunities. The opportunities and challenges this presents were also the focus of the 9th ECN Crowdfunding Convention 2020 (ECN CrowdCon). We give you a behind-the-scenes look at the ECN CrowdCon.

This year, ECN CrowdCon was held digitally due to the ongoing Corona pandemic. Innovestment was also actively represented by our CEO Christin Friedrich, who is also Chair of the ECN Non-Executive Board and moderated the market trend panel on the first day. There were many exciting speakers and a fruitful discussion and exchange of best practices.

ECN CrowdCon is organized annually by the European Crowdfunding Network (ECN) and is the most important conference for the European crowdfunding industry. The 9th ECN CrowdCon was all about the market trends of the European crowdfunding industry, the opportunities of the potential crypto asset regulation MiCA and the impact of the harmonized European regulation ECSP and its implementation in the individual member states.

The topics on the agenda of the 9th ECN CrowdCon:

 

  • „The European Crowdfunding industry – Where do we stand and where are we going?“
  • „MiCA: An new horizon for crypto assets – what does it offer to the crowdfunding industry?“
  • „From Brussels to national implementation – can the industry help 'harmonisation' to thrive?“

ECN CrowdCon offered all crowdfunding enthusiasts an exciting look behind the scenes. The panels featured top-class participants from both the industry and the most important regulatory authorities. Even if the content was partly very technical in nature - for example when it went into great detail about the current legal situation - the panels still offered exciting discussions and a well-founded outlook on future trends in the crowdfunding and crypto sector. 

ECN CrowdCon once again underlined the importance of a constructive dialogue between legislators and market participants. The relationship between the industry and policymakers has grown a lot in the last years of activity at European and national level. Politicians have recognized the need for continuous exchange, as they do not have the market expertise.

"We saw a change at the political level, a generational change that made it much easier to work with policy makers. Now there's a level of understanding of our online-based business models." Jeff Lynn, Chairman of Seedrs

Crowdfunding becomes more important at EU level to provide SMEs with access to capital

In addition, policymakers see the important role crowdfunding can play in providing capital to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In 2018, European crowdfunding platforms provided around €2.2 billion in capital to SMEs. As a result, policymakers have responded with great openness and support for the industry. It plays an important role in the EU Commission's plans to further open SME access to financial markets.

"We have seen a lot in the last 10 years. In the beginning, crowdfunding was seen as a small and unconsolidated market. Now it has grown into a coherent market, which became clear with the harmonization initiative. Now it has become a challenger to traditional funding. We are very pleased with this development and are watching it closely." Armando Melone, EU Commission

The crowdfunding and crypto industries, in turn, are hoping for new growth impulses from the adopted EU regulations. The common denominator among all panelists was this: digital financial instruments - whether crowdfunding or cryptocurrencies - are leaving their niche as alternative forms of financing and are an increasingly important part of the financing landscape for small and medium-sized enterprises.

You can read the detailed event report in our guest article on crowdfundinsider.

All speakers and panelists in alphabetical order:
  • Liza Aizupiete, Managing Director at Fintelum
  • Delphine Dirat, Head of Issuer Policy at French financial regulator AMF
  • Christin Friedrich, CEO Innovestment and ECN-Chairwoman 
  • Greta Gaumert, Chief Compliance Officer at Exporo
  • Michael Huertas, Co-Head for Financial Institutions Regulations at Dentons
  • Nathan Kaiser, General Counsel at SIX Digital Exchange
  • Matthias Klaes, Chief Scientific Officer at ECN
  • Jeff Lynn, Chairman of Seedrs and ECN-Chairman
  • Armando Melone, Policy Officer at the European Commission
  • Pascal Ouvrard, International Development & HR Director at October and member of ECSP working group at ECN
  • Umberto Piattelli, Partner and Head of Financial Services Sector at Osborne Clarke 
  • Ivona Skultetyova, Senior Researcher at ECN
  • Diego Valiante, Senior official at the directorate-general for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (FISMA) at the EU-Commission
  • Hagen Weiß, Policy Officer at the German Ministry of Finance
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