Working in close collaboration with Innotribe, over one hundred judges from across the financial, technology, and investment communities evaluated close to 100 applications received for the third edition of the Startup Challenge in Africa.
The applications came from 16 countries, with South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya dominating the list. The judges assessed the companies on their potential to provide an important innovation to the future of the financial industry, and ultimately narrowed the selection process to this year’s 10 participating startups.
These successful companies all focus on providing innovative solutions for the financial industry in Africa. They will pitch their new products in Abidjan on 17 May, during SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC). The event attracts up to 500 high-level delegates from more than 40 countries and is a unique platform for discussion, debate, and high-level networking for the African financial community. It also represents a great opportunity for the local startups to meet face to face with potential investors, partners and customers.
As a part of the programme, each company selected will receive complimentary coaching sessions with seasoned entrepreneurs who will give them sound advice ahead of the formal pitches taking place on 17 May. These sessions will take place in Abidjan, in group and individually for more in-depth feedback.
“It is a pleasure for us to see the number of African startups applying to our programme growing year after year. Their calibre continues to impress, and there is no doubt they are going to play an important role in shaping the future of finance,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, Global Head of Securities Markets, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT. “The Startup Challenge is an enriching experience for all participating companies. They benefit from expert mentoring and get that much needed exposure to financial institutions. We look forward to collaborating with another bunch of talented startups, and start this year’s journey in Abidjan!”
After the pitches, the audience will vote for the three best startups who will be invited to Sibos, SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference, taking place from 16-19 October in Toronto. The three finalists will have the opportunity to share the stage with FinTech experts, providing great insights on innovation happening in Africa to the financial industry at large. They will also receive a 10,000 USD cash prize each.