Innotribe, the innovation arm of financial messaging co-operative Swift, is to narrow its startup focus to emerging economies and instead operate as a force for driving collaboration around new utility-based services for member banks.
Launched in 2009, Innotribe was created to identify emerging trends in financial services innovation and generate discussions about how these trends could impact the industry. Within two years, the programme had evolved to encompass a global competition for fintech startups, offering participants a chance to parade their ideas before an influential audience of banks and VCs and take home a EUR50,000 prize pot.
For 2016, the startup challenge is going to narrow its focus, concentrating its efforts on emerging fintech ecosystems in Africa and Latin America.
Alongside this, Swift will launch a new 'Industry Challenge' initiative, extending the remit of the Innotribe team to work closely with member banks to identify key business areas that could benefit from collaborative innovation. As a part of this programme, Innotribe will organise business-specific challenges and bring Swift member institutions and internal teams together with vendors and a hand-picked group of FinTech startups to explore potential opportunities for select business areas and work on Proof of Concepts.
Fabian Vandenreydt, global head of securities, Innotribe and the Swift Institute, comments: "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.”