The Innotribe Startup Challenge for 2015 has revealed its semi-finalists for this year. Sixty fintech startups from across the globe — 14 hailing from Africa — have been selected to pitch their new products during the regional showcases in London, Cape Town, Singapore and New York.
“For the second consecutive year, we are thrilled with the record number and quality of the contestants applying to our programme,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, head of markets management, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT — the major banking telecom behind the initiative.
As a part of the programme, each semi-finalist will receive complimentary coaching sessions with seasoned entrepreneurs to give them advice ahead of the formal pitches to a select audience of judges from across the financial services industry.
This year for the first time, SWIFT has included an African showcase as part of its annual African Regional Conference, now in its 22nd year, being held in Cape Town from 5 to 7 May. Ten African startups and four early growth companies from South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Nigeria will pitch to investors.
The African semi-finalists are as follows:
In a media statement Hugo Smit, head of Sub-Sahara Africa, SWIFT, says that he’s impressed by the content’s energy this year round:
In 2014, just 1% of applications to the global startup challenge came from Africa; this year, the continent represents 13% of the total. This is a tremendous achievement in 12 months and a clear indication of the continent’s innovative spirit. Africa has already brought mobile money into the world; it has the potential to deliver other disruptive financial technologies.
“There’s a chasm between how startups and banks practice innovation, and helping our startups understand how to communicate their value propositions to SWIFT’s community helps banks quickly evaluate new technologies and models, and helps our startups identify appropriate partners and investors,” said Mike Sigal, founding executive of the Startup Challenge.
A hand-picked audience of financial services experts, angel investors, venture capitalists, and global bank decision-makers will attend the different showcases and vote for the top five companies of their choice. Across the four showcases, the audience will select the 20 companies who will automatically secure a place as finalists in the Innotribe Startup Challenge Grand Finale, which will be held at Sibos in Singapore on 14 October 2015.
For information on the total 60 startups selected from across the globe, click here.