Innotribe, Swift's initiative to enable collaborative innovation in financial services, today announced the launch of the Innotribe Startup Challenge 2013, a year-round competition that will introduce financial industry decision makers and early-stage investors to the innovations and emerging companies that are poised to transform the industry.
Competitors will have the opportunity to showcase their new concepts and products that could enable financial institutions to advance the services they bring to the market and differentiate themselves in this increasingly competitive industry.
This year's Challenge is expected to attract hundreds of early-stage start-ups and growth-stage innovators from around the world. The Challenge will include three regional showcases in the US, Asia and Europe. Dozens of industry professionals will select five of the companies as finalists, three start-ups and two growth-stage innovators, at each of the three events to present to the world's most influential financial institutions at Sibos - SWIFT's annual conference - in Dubai in September.
Kosta Peric, Head of Innovation at SWIFT and Co-Founder of Innotribe said: "The Innotribe Startup Challenge is an unrivalled opportunity for the most innovative entrepreneurs & professionals of our industry to engage with senior decision makers from global financial institutions. The 2012 Challenge was a huge step towards bridging the gap between the start-up and wider financial communities, and I know that this will continue in 2013! This year, CTOs and other executives are under pressure to cost-effectively maintain their levels of excellence but are also expected to implement innovative new projects. Collaboration between start-ups and investors to help create products that the whole finance community can benefit from is what Innotribe is all about."
The Innotribe Startup Challenge is open to both start-ups and growth-stage companies established within the last three years delivering technology-based innovations in financial technology, financial services and related fields. To be eligible, start-ups must have a working prototype and less than $1 million in revenue or investment. Growth-stage companies must introduce innovations that have not yet been publically announced.
In 2012, over 400 financial technology and service start-ups applied to the Challenge, with 15 finalists chosen to compete in the final at Sibos in Osaka. Lee Min Xuan, Co-Founder of 2012's top startup winner, PlayMoolah, said: "The Innotribe Startup Challenge has definitely been a catalyst in helping PlayMoolah gain international exposure within the banking circle. We received a lot of interest at Sibos which gave us the opportunity to participate in the critical dialogue on the future of banking, helping to shape the reinvention of banking to one that puts focus back on the customer."
David S. Rose, Founder and CEO of Gust, 2012's top innovator, said: "The Innotribe Startup Challenge was a great experience for Gust, and I would recommend it to any start-up looking to introduce their product to the financial services industry."