Applications have opened for the SWIFT Innotribe Startup Challenge for Africa, with three fintech startups to secure US$10,000 each and the chance to showcase their products in Switzerland.
Disrupt Africa reported in December SWIFT announced it will host the Innotribe Startup Challenge for fintech startups for the second consecutive year in 2016, with the Challenge to form part of SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC) held in Mauritius in May.
Applications to the second edition of the competition are now open – here -, and remain open until March 18.
12 companies will be selected to receive expert mentoring and will compete in the event at ARC; and three finalists will be selected to attend SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference, Sibos.
At Sibos – to take place in September in Switzerland -, the finalists will showcase their innovative products on stage to the conference, and will receive a US$10,000 cash prize each.
“With a billion-plus population, an emerging middle class, fast economic growth and a high expansion of both internet access and mobile penetration, Africa is a hotbed of fintech activity with a lot of ideas, resources and talent still to uncover,” said Fabian Vandenreydt, global head of securities at Innotribe, and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT.
“Through the Startup Challenge, we want to spotlight innovation playing a role in the future of the financial industry across the African continent and provide an opportunity for young fintech companies to use Innotribe’s network and alumni to help them develop to the best of their potential.”
The second edition of the competition is slightly different than the first, as Innotribe has decided to focus on emerging fintech ecosystems – Africa and Latin America each having a dedicated competition -, as opposed to last year’s global remit.
At last year’s event, five African startups were selected to compete in the global finals, after 14 African companies made it to the semi-finals. The five African finalists were Intelworld, Notify, YueDiligence, 2Quins and ZAQ Finance.
The five African startups pitched at the global finals, but ultimately missed out on the US$50,000 prize, which went to United States (US) startup Hyperledger.