Innotribe, SWIFT’s attempt to enable collaborative innovation in financial services (FS), has selected its five finalists from the European leg of its annual Startup Challenge to compete at Sibos 2013 in Dubai this Autumn. Three early-stage start-ups in Azimo, Kwanji and Paymandate have been selected, alongside two growth-stage firms in Virtual Piggy and Waratek. All the firms pitched to venture capital specialists, FS industry participants and SWIFT representatives last month at the open day held at Level39 in London’s Canary Wharf, with the winners only now being officially announced.
The Innotribe Startup Challenge in London on 18 April saw 15 of the most promising financial technology and FS start-ups in Europe present their businesses to an audience of dozens of the financial industry’s most influential innovation executives and early-stage investors.
It was the first of three regional challenges to be held in 2013 and will be followed by events in Singapore and New York on 16 May and 13 June respectively. They too will select their winners to go forward to compete for the $50,000 global Startup prize at Sibos 2013. Last year’s winner was Playmoolah, a kids finance programme that allows them to earn, save, invest and donate via an educational website – see report HERE.
The three early-stage start-up finalists from London’s Startup Challenge are Azimo, which has a platform that uses mobile and social technology to reinvent the way that economic migrants send money back to their families in the developing world. Kwanji, which has a product that acts as a facilitator of international commerce, removing the complexities that small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) suffer when making or receiving international business payments; and Paymandate which offers a simple, fast and safe solution to efficiently manage online mandates and contracts with end customers.
The two growth-stage innovator finalists were Virtual Piggy with a global payment enabling service that facilitates the online spending of under eighteens and young adults in a parent-approved manner; and Waratek, which has made a breakthrough in solving a specific problem affecting the future use of Java as the industry moves towards higher levels of infrastructure virtualisation and private clouds.
Commenting on the competition, Matteo Rizzi, a co-founder of SWIFT’s Innotribe, said: “London was a great start to the 2013 Startup Challenge with Level39 in Canary Wharf acting as the perfect host. All the pitches were of the highest quality and the finalists can be proud of their achievements. We wish them the best of luck at Sibos.”