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Illuminate Universe, Fintech Learning

Hi everyone! My name is Hugh Guan and I am a Grade 8 student at Upper Canada College. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate X MidtownTO’s regional conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned about. For fintech, since I am really new to this area as I am in grade 8 and just learning about the economics and financial in this world, I am really learning a lot. First of all, the concept of Fintech, I now understand, is short for Financial technology, and those are advanced technologies that are currently replacing human work for more accurate and faster calculations or actions. Examples are such as AIs and MLs that can help in answering questions and calls in banks, big data calculations, or AI calculations that many humans would easily make errors on.

I also successfully understood Sal Naran’s applications of the fintech concept to the world. For example, using banks as an example, banks in Canada, due to a long term of developing, aren’t really pushing for a change.

The first speech was from Alina, the principal and CEO of illuminate. She talked about her story, what caused her to found Illuminate, and she discussed the program of illuminate as an over introduction. From this speech I learned how you have to stand out with something impressive in any application. Then from Sal, he discussed Fintech and also his experience with it. Due to his experience about money lending and mortgage solutions because of his job background. I learned mostly about how there is currently a technology revolution in the financial services industry, and how the way we invest, trade, lend money will be different due to improvements in technology.

All these stories I learned about will act as experience for me in my future, and these basic technical facts about money lending and Fintech will also help me learn more about this area in the future. So this will be very helpful for me! Overall, I enjoyed the overall different things I learned, and how many of the regional lead and Alina for making this conference interactive and interesting! I am really looking forward to coming to more of these conferences. I was also able to receive some really good advice from Sal which I think I will definitely use in my future. These advices are to think big, which could really help me widen my view and think of the best decisions and solutions. I have to hustle, which means that I have to execute my plans. Listen and learn, which is the basics of success, and a few more advices which I really appreciate.

Our next keynote speaker was Razor Suleman, someone successful who sold his first company for 113 million dollars. He talked about his experience with 3 of his companies, the first being selling sports card. He would play around with supply and demand between Canada and America to earn money. Buying it first in Canada, and then selling it in America because the prices were lower in Canada. One thing I really learned is that it's good for your first company to have a low cost and to keep the full property by yourself before you are very successful with your company. That is because you can have a board of directors when you sell part of this company to others, which can result in them taking control. His second company he started was during university, it was a small business to sell university clothing. Razor made it clear that you need to have passion for what you are doing in your company or else you are likely to not be successful. His speech was very inspiring and he really encouraged me to work hard and try to be successful.


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