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Anna Friedrich, Head of Marketing und Communication bei collectAI und Fintech Lady © collect Artificial Intelligence GmbH

"We want to give strong women a stage"

Fintech lady of the first hour and Head of Marketing and Communication at Otto subsidiary's collect AI: Fintech expert Anna Friedrich talks to Hamburg News

“Fintech Ladies” from all over Germany are due in Hamburg for the second time after a successful start during the Fintech Week 2017. Founders, specialists and executives in the financial sector will again converge on the city to network and exchange ideas. Those expected include Anna Friedrich, co-organizer, and Head of Marketing and Communication at collectAI, a start-up for digital receivables management. Apart from that, it also acts as mouthpiece for HamburgAI, a local network for AI enthusiasts. Hamburg News spoke to the fintech specialist about the proportion of women in the industry, Hamburg as a fintech location and smart decisions using AI.

Hamburg News: The “Fintech Ladies” (FTL) are partners of Fintech Week and have been firmly rooted in Hamburg since 2017. What does the network aim to achieve?

Anna: The FTL organisation was founded 2016 by Christine Kiefer in Berlin. I support the team organization in general and brought the community to Hamburg in 2017 – after Berlin. Today, we are also active in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Vienna. The FTL is a community for women working in the fintech industry and deals with digitisation and innovation in the financial sector i.e. staff of start-ups, banks, insurance companies, financial service providers, law firms and consultancies. In many technical and financial fields, the share of females in the fintech sector is still low*, especially if you look at the management positions that are filled. We want to change that actively – but not by denouncing the situation. We focus on giving strong women a stage, opportunities to network and support each other and to use synergies. At the same time, of course, change can only take place with the help of male colleagues.

Hamburg News: The Fintech Ladies will be hosting two events during Fintech Week. What are they about?

Anna: Fintech Week is presently our partner for a nationwide meeting and featuring the *Fintech Stories and the Fintech Ladies Dinner formats. At the Fintech Stories, women from the industry talk about their career and their company. This year, for instance, the event begins with a keynote by Dr. Manuela Rabener, co-founder of Scalable Capital, which conquered the Robo Advisor market quickly and now manages more than 1 billion assets. By the way, male viewers are absolutely requested and are welcome. The Fintech Ladies Dinner is a networking event where we gather 30 leading ladies of the Fintech scene in an exclusive setting. It’s more about personal conversations and direct exchange.

Hamburg News: How do you rate Hamburg as a fintech location?

Anna: For us, life in Hamburg unfolds mainly in neighbourhoods near the Elbe or Alster and offers a great environment for work and private life. In reference to the financial industry and innovators in the fintech surroundings, Hamburg is well established – the relevant banks and providers of financial services are settled here. Tech enterprises such as Google, Dropbox, Facebook, Snap as well as e-commerce giants like “Otto:“ and About You are key employers. This is important for the many graduates from the surrounding universities, but also attractive for new (tech) talents from Germany and abroad. Hamburg also offers ideal infrastructure in terms of local public transport, long-distance rail traffic, and the proximity of the airport is unbeatable. This provides a high degree of flexibility for commuters, business trips, business partners and relevant events in the industry.

Hamburg News: What is the business idea behind collectAI?

Anna: CollectAI has set itself the goal of digitizing the entire value chain in Claims Management. Our software platform offers end-to-end services such as payment links, e-bill, dunning, collection and the possibility of business process outsourcing for one or all of these areas. The AI in our name is not simply decoration: our technology automates processes and ensures smart decisions based on Artificial Intelligence (AI/AI). In concrete terms, this means that consumers are addressed via the appropriate channels (SMS, emails, letters with QR code, etc.) at the ideal time of day and in a tonality adapted to their profile.

Hamburg News: You are also an ambassador for HamburgAI community. What does the network stand for?

Anna: CollectAI has taken over the sponsorship for HamburgAI, i.e. since May 2017 we have built up and expanded the community independently. Every three months, around 100 AI enthusiasts from start-ups, agencies and universities meet regularly to discuss use cases and the latest developments in the field. *_sb/pb_

Many thanks for the interview, Anna!

Interview by Sarah Bischoff

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