Innotribe has opened applications for its 2015 Startup Challenge, with the competition to include an African leg for the first time.
Innotribe – SWIFT’s fintech innovation initiative – hosts the challenge every year, with the intention of showcasing the world’s most promising startups to financial service experts, angel investors, venture capitalists, and global leading fintech and financial decision makers; creating the opportunity for startups’ products to be adopted by the global financial industry.
With regional events set for London, Singapore, and New York, this year’s challenge includes an African leg – to be held in Cape Town; hosted in partnership with SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC).
“ARC is already a unique platform for the financial industry, creating a collaborative space where participants can gather to share experiences and look for solutions to common challenges. Bringing the Innotribe Startup Challenge to the African community is an exciting step, meaning SWIFT Innotribe can help to support and nurture the new technologies that are going to play a big role in the future of the financial industry across the continent,” said Christian Sarafidis, head of Western Europe, Middle East and Africa at SWIFT.
Applications will be judged by a panel of 500 industry experts, bank decision-makers, venture capitalists and angel investors, and 15 semi-finalists will be selected for each region, based on the startups’ unique solution to current industry issues. These semi-finalists will participate in regional showcases, with the audience voting for the top five startups.
The top five startups from each region face off at the Innotribe Startup Challenge Grand Finale – taking place at financial services event Sibos organised by SWIFT – to be held on October 14, 2015, in Singapore.
The Finale is the finalists’ unique chance to convince the financial industry at large to adopt their innovative products and services.
“Every year the bar gets higher with many impressive applications from startups coming from across the globe. It is great to see this community using Innotribe as a platform of choice, and allows us to provide them with even greater opportunities to connect with the financial industry. We are eager to see what the 2015 applicants have to offer, and look forward to giving them that much needed exposure to financial institutions,” said Fabian Vandenreydt, head of markets management at Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute.
Applications close in mid-February 2015, with semi-finalists to be announced by April.
Applications can be submitted via the Innotribe website.