Swift’s African Regional Conference (ARC) 2016 will take place from 17-19 May 2016 in Mauritius.
ARC, now in its 23rd year, brings together policy makers, industry leaders and the broader financial community from across the African continent. Typically attracting up to 500 delegates from around 40 countries, ARC is a unique forum for networking, education, discussion and debate.
Next year, for the second time, ARC will partner with Innotribe, SWIFT’s innovation arm, to support the new technologies playing a big role in the future of the financial industry across the African continent whilst providing an opportunity for the local young FinTech companies to gain exposure on a global stage and benefit from expert mentoring.
The Startup Challenge introduces the world’s brightest startups to highly qualified financial service experts, angel investors, venture capitalists, and global leading FinTech and financial decision makers. In 2016, Innotribe will be looking for the best startups from across the continent and will use its network and alumni to help them to develop to the best of their potential.
Sido Bestani, Head of Middle East & Africa, says: “ARC is already a unique event for the financial industry. It brings together participants from across the continent in a very collaborative environment. Hosting the Innotribe Startup Challenge means that 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 in Africa. In the 2015 competition, five of the 49 entrants in Cape Town were taken to Sibos in Singapore and benefited from fantastic exposure, mentoring and networking. It is an enriching experience for every company that enters.”
Since its inception in 2011, the Innotribe Startup Challenge has grown in popularity and success, with over 370 startups applying to the competition in 2015. This programme is now one of the leading global startup competitions and has connected the financial services industry with more than 650 FinTech startups around the world and reached over 4,000 audience members through showcases and networking events.
In 2016, the Startup Challenge will focus on supporting emerging FinTech ecosystems, concentrating its efforts in Africa and Latin America. In addition to partnering with ARC to tap into the high potential of African startups, Innotribe will leverage a similar SWIFT regional event to harness the innovation happening on the ground in Latin America.
“Building on the great success from 2015, we are very excited to partner with the SWIFT African Regional Conference for the 2016 Challenge,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, Global Head of Securities, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute, SWIFT. “Africa is a hotbed of FinTech activity with a lot of untapped ideas, resources and talent. We are eager to see what the 2016 applicants have to offer, and look forward to giving them that much needed exposure to financial institutions.”
Applications to the 2016 Startup Challenge will open in January 2016 with the successful applicants announced in April 2016.