When Fabian Vandenreydt took over management of SWIFT's innovation programme at the end of 2013, it placed him at the heart of the fintech sector - a position recognised by the Financial News inaugural power list of the most influential and innovative individuals in emerging financial technology in Europe.
Already Head of Markets Management at SWIFT, Fabian's experience covered payments, securities, foreign exchange and trade finance. His appointment to Innotribe helped cement the Innotribe mission: to connect financial technology startups with SWIFT's 10,500 member community. Fabian and his team work with the fintech industry to facilitate innovation that can be integrated to the core of SWIFT, and to foster a valuable network of startups that are forging new paths in the financial services landscape.
Innovation is a key factor in the evolution of businesses and organisations as they seek to develop solutions to a variety of ever-changing issues facing financial institutions. Running throughout Sibos, SWIFT's annual conference, the Innotribe programme gives a taste of current innovations that are already impacting the future of the financial industry. Trying to build bridges between core and non-core, between disruptors and incumbents, between the Innotribe sessions and the rest of the Sibos conference, this year's agenda will explore the fringes of the fintech ecosystem and focus on crypto-currencies, network effects and innovation capabilities.
The Innotribe Startup Challenge underpins this, by connecting the Fintech startup ecosystem and the financial community. Launched in 2011, this year-round programme features three regional showcases in Europe, Asia and Americas where more than 150 mentors and coaches, global innovators and investors, and financial industry executives and experts, gather for fast-paced company pitches, networking, and discussions on emerging trends and innovation opportunities. 45 companies participated to this year's competition and as part of Sibos, the Grand Finale will regroup the 15 most innovative companies identified during the showcases and confront them to some 7,000 decision makers and topic experts from financial institutions.
In an industry that is wary of rapid change and closely tied to the traditional ways of doing business, Financial News promotes the integral role of innovation in the fintech sphere by way of publishing articles such as the "Fintech 40" piece in which Fabian features. The individuals profiled on the list are implementing innovation in a way that influences and impacts the European capital markets specifically. Through initiatives such as Innotribe, SWIFT is part of this push for innovation, which brings further value to the SWIFT community along with the rest of the financial services industry.