SWIFT expands Innotribe fintech startup support in Africa

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SWIFT has announced the extension of its Innotribe innovation arm to support innovation in emerging fintech ecosystems such as Africa and Latin America.

The expansion of the Innotribe initiative will see it launch a new initiative that challenges the SWIFT community to actively collaborate and develop utility-based solutions for the benefit of the global financial services industry.

Disrupt Africa reported in October five African startups pitched at the global Innotribe Startup Challenge final, but ultimately missed out on the US$50,000 prize.

The five startups had been selected in May after 14 African companies made it to the semi-finals held in Cape Town. The finalists were Intelworld, Notify, YueDiligence, 2Quins and ZAQ Finance.

Innotribe was initially created to identify emerging trends in financial services innovation and generate discussions about how these trends could impact the industry going forward.

The new Industry Challenge programme will see the Innotribe team work closely with SWIFT member organisations to identify key business areas that could benefit from collaborative solutions.

Innotribe will organise business-specific challenges and bring SWIFT member institutions and internal teams together with solution providers and a hand-picked group of fintech startups.

“SWIFT is about bringing added-value to its customers in response to the fast changing landscape,” says Christian Sarafidis, chief marketing officer at SWIFT.

“As an innovation incumbent, particularly in the areas of real-time payments, compliance and correspondent banking SWIFT has a leading role to play in driving innovation across the SWIFT ecosystem. By expanding the Innotribe programme, SWIFT is taking innovation to a new level, creating more opportunities for all of our customers to tap into the flourishing FinTech environment. These new Innotribe initiatives not only raise the innovation bar for SWIFT, but will help us all move forward together.”

In 2016, the Startup Challenge will focus on supporting emerging fintech ecosystems, concentrating its efforts in Africa and Latin America. For the second year in a row, Innotribe will partner with the SWIFT African Regional Conference (ARC) to tap into the high potential of African startups.

 “The growth of Innotribe’s scope and outreach over the last few years is impressive,” said Fabian Vandenreydt, global head of securities at Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT.  

“As Innotribe grows deeper into SWIFT’s core, it proves innovation is not an after-thought but a real component of business architecture. We need to worry less about disruption and recognise that innovation, in the meaning of adopting a new approach to an existing process or developing a new product, is positive for the industry.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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