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SWIFT to host Innotribe Startup Challenge for Africa

SWIFT to host Innotribe Startup Challenge for Africa

15 December 2015

SWIFT’s annual African Regional Conference will take place 17-19 May 2016 in Mauritius. For the second consecutive year, SWIFT will also host an African round of its financial technology Startup Challenge alongside the conference.

Johannesburg, 14 December 2015 – SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC) 2016 will take place from 17-19 May 2016 in Mauritius. ARC, now in its 23rd 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 second time, ARC will partner with Innotribe, SWIFT’s innovation arm, to support the new technologies playing a big role in the future of the financial industry across the African continent whilst providing an opportunity for the local young FinTech companies to gain exposure on a global stage and benefit from expert mentoring.

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 2016, Innotribe will be looking for the best startups from across the continent and will use its network and alumni to help them to develop to the best of their potential.

Sido Bestani, Head of Middle East & Africa, says: “ARC is already a unique event for the financial industry. It brings together participants from across the continent in a very collaborative environment. Hosting the Innotribe Startup means that 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 in Africa. In the 2015 competition, five of the 49 entrants in Cape Town were taken to Sibos in Singapore and benefited from fantastic exposure, mentoring and networking. It is an enriching experience for every company that enters.”

Since its inception in 2011, the Innotribe Startup Challenge has grown in popularity and success, with over 370 startups applying to the competition in 2015. This programme is now one of the leading global startup competitions and has connected the financial services industry with more than 650 FinTech startups around the world and reached over 4,000 audience members through showcases and networking events.

In 2016, the Startup Challenge will focus on supporting emerging FinTech ecosystems, concentrating its efforts in Africa and Latin America. In addition to partnering with ARC to tap into the high potential of African startups, Innotribe will leverage a similar SWIFT regional event to harness the innovation happening on the ground in Latin America.

“Building on the great success from 2015, we are very excited to partner with the SWIFT Africa Regional Conference for the 2016 Challenge,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, Global Head of Securities, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute, SWIFT. “Africa is a hotbed of FinTech activity with a lot of untapped ideas, resources and talent. We are eager to see what the 2016 applicants have to offer, and look forward to giving them that much needed exposure to financial institutions.”

Applications to the 2016 Startup Challenge will open in January 2016 with the successful applicants announced in April 2016.

For more information about Innotribe and its Startup Challenge competition, please visit:

About Innotribe
Launched in 2009, SWIFT Innotribe is about innovation and connecting people, networks and ideas. We bring together global innovators and investors, strategists, and influential decision-makers from leading financial institutions across the globe, providing them early insights into innovations that could disrupt current business models and create new opportunities for new ones. Through the Startup Challenge competition, we bridge the gap between the startup ecosystem and the financial service community.

For more information, please visit  or follow us on Twitter: @innotribe and Linkedin: Innotribe.

SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, products and services to connect more than 10,800 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate customers in more than 200 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, visit or follow us on Twitter: @swiftcommunity and LinkedIn: SWIFT

For more information, please contact Atmosphere Communications.
Mandy Kojetin
Tel: + 27 (0)11 250 7940 (switchboard)
Tel: + 27 (0)83 626 8072