Brussels, 6 November 2012 - Innotribe, SWIFT's initiative to enable collaborative innovation in financial services, announced that PlayMoolah and Gust have been awarded "Top Startup" and "Top Innovator" respectively, in the Innotribe Startup Challenge final held on November 1, 2012 at Sibos Osaka.
PlayMoolah won the title of "Top Startup" with innovation in real financial education for children and parents. As "Top Startup" of the Challenge, PlayMoolah has won the $50,000 prize. Gust won the title of "Top Innovator" with innovation in the sourcing and managing seed and early-stage equity investments.
Both companies have been recognized by the SWIFT member community and senior innovation executives of global financial institutions, angel and venture investors as the most promising startups likely to deliver new services that will shape the development of the financial sector.
Lee Min Xuan, Co-founder, PlayMoolah said: "Winning the Innotribe Startup Challenge has been a huge validation of our work in making financial education fun for families, and we are encouraged that the banking community is starting to consider the critical importance of engaging their young customers through digital experiences. The money will definitely be used to improve our product to make it even more fun and educational for kids. The Innotribe Startup Challenge has definitely been a catalyst in helping PlayMoolah gain international exposure within the banking circle and being at Sibos also gave us the opportunity to participate in the critical dialogue on the future of banking. We hope to build PlayMoolah into a global brand that represents a healthy and positive approach to money, and will continue to expand our digital experiences on the web, tablet and mobile, helping the next generation prepare and shape the future of finance."
"In selecting Gust as the Top Innovator for 2012, Innotribe has confirmed our vision of a single, comprehensive, global platform for early-stage equity financing, integrated with the world's existing banking and investment institutions" said David S. Rose, Founder and CEO of Gust. "We very much look forward to working with SWIFT and its members to continue deploying the Gust platform in support of the entrepreneurship and innovation economy around the world."
Over 400 early-stage startups and growth stage companies from around the world competed as part of the 2012 Challenge. A panel of over 100 industry experts, including senior innovation executives at global financial institutions, angel and venture investors selected 45 semi-finalists to participate in 3 regional events in New York, Singapore and Belfast earlier this year. 6 of the 45 companies were selected as finalists at those three events and a further 9 were selected via Innotribe's bespoke online showcase.
Kosta Peric, Head of Innovation at SWIFT and Co-founder of Innotribe said, "The Innotribe Startup Challenge 2012 was a huge step towards bridging the gap between the start-up and the financial industries. Since its inception the Challenge has grown in popularity and success. A number of previous participants have gained exposure and secured funding from senior professionals in the banking industry and I am proud to have given PlayMoolah and Gust the opportunity to do the same. PlayMoolah and Gust succeeded against a high-caliber of opponents and I have no doubt that we will see the businesses become huge successes. The Challenge is really gaining momentum and we look forward to working with more startups in 2013."
The Innotribe Startup Challenge was sponsored by Sberbank, Invest Northern Ireland, Cisco and Guidewire Group.
To be notified of the launch of the 2013 Challenge, register for the Innotribe Startup Challenge email list at http://www.innotribestartup.com/.
Launched in 2009, Innotribe is SWIFT's initiative to enable collaborative innovation in financial services. Innotribe presents an energising mix of education, new perspectives, collaboration, facilitation and incubation to professionals and entrepreneurs who are willing to drive change within their industry. It fosters creative thinking in financial services, through debating the options (at Innotribe events) and supporting the creation of innovative new solutions (through the Incubator, Startup Challenge and Proof of Concepts (POCs). It is through this approach, the Innotribe team at SWIFT is able to generate a platform that enables innovation across SWIFT and the financial community. For more information, please visit http://www.innotribe.com/.
SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, products and services to connect more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in 212 countries and territories. SWIFT enables its users to exchange automated, standardised financial information securely and reliably, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating operational inefficiencies. SWIFT also brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest.
For more information, please refer to our website http://www.swift.com/ or contact:
Paul Bowhay / Claudia Coleman
Tel: +44 (0) 207 426 9400