Innotribe, Swift's initiative to enable collaborative innovation within financial services, invites financial industry and start-up professionals to participate in the final phase of the 2012 Innotribe Startup Challenge.
These professionals will select the most impressive fintech and financial services innovations to benefit from a unique networking opportunity and compete for a $50,000 prize at Sibos in Osaka. Voting is now open on innotribeStartup.com, Innotribe's bespoke online innovation showcase that presents the most promising competitors and facilitates introductions between those companies and financial industry professionals seeking new ideas and sources of innovation.
Over 400 start-ups and growth stage companies from around the world competed as part of the 2012 Challenge. A panel of over 100 industry experts, including senior innovation executives at global financial institutions, angel and venture investors selected 45 semi-finalists to participate in 3 regional events in New York, Singapore and Belfast earlier this year. 6 of the 45 companies were selected as finalists at those three events, and now the entire SWIFT member community as well as professionals in financial technology and services and the global start-up ecosystem will identify the 9 additional finalists who are best positioned to deliver disruptive or sustaining innovation to the financial services industry.
Mircea Mihaescu, Director, Sberbank Technology Research Center says: "What makes the Startup Challenge so appealing is that it introduces me to extremely high-quality start-ups in a very convenient and time-efficient way. The companies are well vetted by both the early-stage investment and financial services communities. I quickly learn about them all online, then meet the most interesting ones at Innotribe's Showcases or at Sibos. It's a great way to source innovative ideas."
miiCard, which provides identity verification online and in real-time, was voted 'Most Promising Startup' at the Challenge in 2010. James Varga, CEO says, "We've been involved in the Innotribe Startup Challenge since miiCard's inception and have really benefited from the insights, opportunities and support that have come through the Innotribe network. The exposure we've received has helped miiCard get recognised as a global player in electronic identity and verification and paved the way for a number of discussions with innovating financial providers and banks. We have had two very successful funding rounds, the first £500k in September 2011 and the second £1.6 million in April this year and believe every bit of exposure and support we get from the financial services industry, including Innotribe, has helped us in our investment endeavours."
Kosta Peric, Head of Innovation at SWIFT and Co-Founder of Innotribe, notes "The opening of the online voting phase takes the Challenge to a new level in bridging the gap between the start-up and the financial industries. InnotribeStartup.com is a unique platform for discovering original ideas that could shape the development of the sector. The online showcase is available for all to view, however the voting is restricted to qualified financial and start-up industry professionals."