Innotribe Start-up challenge 2013: GO!

Sitting on the floor (carpeted at least) of the Eurostar lounge. All trains delayed, and I miss my jeans and sneakers … But …

… I am very thrilled to announce that the 2013 edition of the Innotribe startup up challenge is now alive and kicking, and application window is now open, until march 3rd, on


There is some fine tuning compared to last year’s challenge, the main change being the fact that we have a single application window for the three challenges (London, Singapore, New York in this sequence) and the grand finale will be in Dubai, at Sibos.

In case one or two out of the 6 billions people on the planet who don t know that, last year Playmoolah won the Osaka grand finale … I am saying this just because I found this cool picture and I wanted to publish it ..


Some numbers of last year: 600 applicants, 300+ eligible, and over two hundred millions dollars generated in buy-out or round one financing amongst the start-ups who attended the three challenges.
200+ online judges (we thank them in advance for helping us pre-screening the companies) and 100+ financial institutions attending the competition.

“And so what?” Some of you may ask, including some of my own colleagues.

As strange as it might sound,the start-up challenge is actually a triple win:

– for start-up it s obvious (I hope): no way they can get visible/talks to so many potential customers or partners in one shot
– for banks it s compelling: no one does the hard job of identifying the best and brightest and and they come over to listen to the pitches and cherry pick the ones closer to their strategy or their needs
– for SWIFT, it does align with its mission of community enabler, positioning Innotribe as the shared utility for innovation, and give the space for a dialogue that would be unlikely to happen without this initiative

This year we have more judges, more banks to reach out to, more PR coverage (I have done two interviews just today about it) so hopefully we are set to have an even more compelling challenge.

You have a startup, in the financial services space, your company is less than three years old? You can apply. Early stage or Innovators, the limit is 1M EUR turnover OR investment.

In the coming weeks dates will be confirmed, we do know already that the first challenge will be in London mid April, then one month later Singapore and mid June New York.

The carpet is more and more uncomfortable, but I m glad I took the opportunity to share this important piece of news ;-)!

Stay tuned


Innotribe Start-up challenge, Osaka calling!

It has been a while since my last blog, and very soon you will get the reason for all that busy-ness (the beauty of blogging is that I can invent words).
As a short preview, I’m super busy in building the next blocks of the Innotribe Incubator, and I do hope to be able to announce it how soon.

Today I’d like to do a little celebration blog for the achievement of the last phase of the Innotribe Start-up challenge.
Like a triathlon, we have now the list of the final 15 (for the Battlestar Galactica followers, this sounded so much as the Final5 Cylons) that will showcase @Osaka during the 4 weeks away Sibos Conference.

Let’s start with the list of the companies, in the two categories, that made to the final pitch:

Growth Stage Start-ups

Gust –
Lenddo –
OpenGamma –
Pendo Systems –
The Currency Cloud –

Early Stage Start-ups

Claveo Software –
DemystData –
Digital Shadows –
Funding Options Ltd –
NestEgg –
P2P Cash Technology­ –
PhotoPay –
PlayMoolah –
Snappay –
XYverify Corp. –

An interesting note is that, in average, 30% of the Innotribe Start-ups who participated in our challenges (starting from Sibos in Toronto last year) have been either funded or – in one case – bought (see Truaxis story ).

So in one year from now, let’s see what happens to this wave.
Let me remind you one again that the Grand Finale of the start-up challenge @Sibos is on Thursday at 1215 PM, and attendance is open to the Sibos delegates.
All participants will be entitled to vote for the winners, and among the early stage pitchers we will issue a 50K USD prize.

Stay tuned!


Wrap up (and link to the video pitches) of NYC start up challenge

Time has come to wrap up the full NYC event, now that all start-up videos are online.
Ok, I should have put the whole list of start-ups pointing each one to a video, but I had no time to do it.
But If you go to the page and you are as smart as a 8YO kid, you’ll find it (tested it with my son)

Great energy, great facilitation, great content. Again.

As a reminder, 10 Early stage pitched for 6 minutes each, followed by 3 min Q&A, and 5 Late stage (called Innovators)
pitched 10 minutes during a “chat room” session (that in a nutshell is a 5 parallel pitches session with the crowd divided in smaller groups).

I reckon more than 30 banks represented, and as many VCs, vendors, and entrepreneurs within the financial industry space.
And a great atmosphere.

So, what’s next:

– Invest in Northern Ireland, one of our delighted sponsor will host an invitation-only networking event beginning of may. Interested to attend? Contact @heathervescent pls!
– We are in full prep mode for Singapore (april 24th) and Belfast (june 14th) our two next competitions: apply now at
– Interested in becoming a judge? Send your motivation letter to … me. You’ll figure how to get in touch I guess

Stay tuned


Ps below, one of the chat rooms, real quality time !



Save the date: Innotribe conference and start-up challenge, 13-14 June Belfast

You probably don t know two things:
– the Titanic was built in 1912 in Belfast
– Titanic is the second strongest brand in the world, after Coca Cola.

Next June 13 and 14, we will organize a pure Innotribe conference, with the European start-up challenge embedded, in the very same place where, 100 years ago, one of the biggest innovation in terms of ships conception was realized. ( and, as everyone says in Belfast, the Titanic “was ok when it left the Irish coast).

The style of the conference will be cool, as well as the content, the people and the format. intellectually stimulating, rich, and carefully designed.

We would like to make an unprecedented networking experience among innovation peers across the financial industry, basically working together for 2 days in an array of technology and non technology topics.
Agenda is close to be finalized, I just wanted you guys to save the date and trust Innotribe to deliver another incredible experience.

Stay tuned, and enjoy the picture of the building, that will be officially inaugurated on march 31st, incidentally my birthday.

Soon the link to subscribe and the agenda.