SWIFT adds innovation challenge to African Regional Conference 2015 in Cape Town


SWIFT’s annual African conference will take place 5-7 May 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. For the first time, SWIFT will also host an African round of its global financial technology Startup Challenge alongside the conference

Johannesburg, 9 December 2014 – SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC) 2015 will take place from 5-7 May 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. ARC, now in its 22nd 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 first time, ARC will partner with Innotribe, SWIFT’s financial technology innovation initiative, to bring Innotribe’s fintech Startup Challenge to Africa.

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 the 2015 Challenge, SWIFT Innotribe will have a round dedicated to fintech companies from across the African continent. These will come to Cape Town in order to pitch to investors.

Christian Sarafidis, Head of Western Europe, Middle East & Africa, says: “ARC is already a unique event for the financial industry, creating a collaborative space where participants can gather to share experiences and look for solutions to common challenges. Bringing the Innotribe Startup Challenge to the African community is an exciting step, meaning 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 across the continent.”

Since its inception in 2011, the Innotribe Startup Challenge has grown in popularity and success, with over 280 startups applying to the competition in 2014 – this is a 100 more than in 2013.

“Every year the bar gets higher with many impressive applications from startups coming from across the globe. It is great to see this community using Innotribe as a platform of choice, and allows us to provide them with even greater opportunities to connect with the financial industry. We are eager to see what the 2015 applicants have to offer, and look forward to giving them that much needed exposure to financial institutions,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, Head of Markets Management, Innotribe, and the SWIFT Institute.

The dates for the Innotribe Startup Challenge in 2015, including the addition of a fourth regional showcase in Africa, are:

§  London in April 2015

§  Cape Town in May 2015

§  Singapore in May 2015

§  New York in June 2015

Innotribe will work in close collaboration with Finextra in London, Next Bank Asia in Singapore, and the Bank Innovators Council in New York, and will partner with SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC) in Cape Town, bringing the Innotribe Startup Challenge to another vibrant startup scene.

Similar to 2014, over 500 industry experts, bank decision-makers, venture capitalists and angel investors, will judge the companies applying to the Startup Challenge, ensuring that the semi-finalists selected are addressing current industry issues.

These semi-finalists – 15 companies per regional showcase – get the opportunity to showcase their new concepts and products in front of an audience looking for the best in class and voting for the top 5 companies at the end of each showcase. The 20 companies selected automatically secure their place as finalists in the Innotribe Startup Challenge Grand Finale, taking place at Sibos, the world’s premier financial services event organised by SWIFT. The Finale is their unique chance to convince the financial industry at large to take on their innovative products and services. In 2015, the event will take place in Singapore, on 14th October.

Applications to the 2015 Startup Challenge are now open until mid-February 2015.

Are you a startup with an incredible idea or product you want to present to the financial industry? If yes, click here now to fill in the application form.

The successful applicants will be announced in April 2015.

Each year, Innotribe invites a number of leading financial institutions, technology vendors, investors, government agencies and professional services providers to support innovation in the financial services industry. The sponsors of the 2015 Innotribe Startup Challenge will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information about Innotribe and its Startup Challenge competition, please visit: www.innotribe.com

Source: SWIFT

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