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Tech For Good

The Think Forward Initiative shared their passion for using technology to drive innovation in the space of financial health at the recent AWS Re:Invent 2019 Fair in Las Vegas.
Posted on January 14, 2020

On Tuesday the 3rd of December, The Think Forward Initiative (TFI) had the pleasure to present on the subject of ‘Tech for Good’ at the at Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) annual builders fair, Re:Invent 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. An opportunity to showcase how the partnership between ING, Deloitte and Amazon Web Services is supporting the growth of start-ups focused on improving consumer’s financial health.

Dagmar van der Plas, global lead of TFI, part of TFI’s partner ING, spoke about the Think Forward Initiative’s overall ambition to empower 100 million European people who are struggling financially. She went on to describe how TFI is structured to drive innovation in the space of financial health, through linking academic research with start-ups, innovators, businesses and entrepreneurs. She talked of the success that TFI has achieved by reaching 17 million consumers so far and the ambition to empower 100 million Europeans in the future.

Joep Arends, Accelerator Hub Lead for TFI, part of TFI’s partner Deloitte, focused his talk on one of TFI’s leading initiatives, The Growth Track. The five month accelerator program, helps start-ups, focused on financial health, to scale fast. The program helps start-ups to:

• Define their growth strategy and strategic positioning

• Overcome technology and legal challenges

• Fine-tune the sales strategy

• Scale their operation for growth

Adam Simpson, Enterprise Account Manager at Amazon Web Services, explained further how AWS is contributing to this worthwhile initiative. AWS notably supports the startups who are part of the initiative with the AWS Activate program giving them access to the resources they need to quickly get started on AWS – including credits, training, and support. Adam is one of TFI’s mentors for the Growth Track, and is passionate about supporting the start-ups through providing them with technology consulting that helps them optimize their technology architecture. He also supports them in accessing new services like Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning.

The Growth Track has been such a success for the Think Forward Initiative. The start-ups have benefitted enormously by growing their customer base by 200% through the program. But TFI itself has been able to move closer to achieving their goal of empowering 100 million people make better financial decisions, through 50% of the start-ups implementing new features, grounded in TFI research and insights, to improve the financial decision making of their customers.