The grand finale, Startup Challenge @ Sibos Dubai

Dubai is just around the corner, and the sleepless nights as well, as part of the package.

The startup challenge will be one of the focal points of a very busy Innotribe week.
I am sure you are familiar with the program, if not you can find it here

Many times I have been asked “why” and “why SWIFT” … About engaging with startups in this way and dedicate resources of the cooperative to something that – apparently – has little to do with SWIFT business.

Saying “SWIFT is a community first and foremost” (few of you would remember who said this) is something that – personally – has driven my work of the past 6 years (out of the 12 I spent in this company). It started with, and continued with Innotribe.

It s what I called the platform groundwork.
It s about provide the financial community with the right Eco-systems, adapted to the world we live in, to share what s good to share. Let me explain myself better: the startup challenge give the best perspective on what type of disruption are coming into our space, and this (if you take the side of the community) HAS to be common knowledge. Many banks are not equipped to see this, many others entered this space with their venture arm, trying to grasp the opportunities that every disruption engenders.

This is why we do the startup challenge. This is why it s free (unlike many other events where companies pay to pitch) and UNIQUE in this field.

We are proud to announce the outcome of our three regional challenges (brutally copy pasted from the Sibos article, in case you missed it)…

The six growth-stage innovator finalists are:

GIEOM, a product that interconnects banking operations providing information on business processes, screen simulations of IT systems, e-books of regulations and business performance.
Quantum4D, visual analytic software that allows users to access large-scale data systems, and construct, edit and explore interlinked 3D arenas and workspaces intuitively.
The Entrepreneurial Finance Lab, an automated service that has helped companies and lenders in more than 20 countries to identify high potential, credit-worthy entrepreneurs based on a psychometric system, while reducing their default rates and risks.
Virtual Piggy, a global payment enabling service that facilitates the online spending of under eighteens and young adults in a parent approved manner.
V-Key, a liquid defence micro-vm to protect mobile applications against cyber-attacks.
Waratek, a solution that solves a specific problem affecting the future use of Java as the industry moves towards higher levels of infrastructure virtualisation and private Clouds.

The nine early-stage startup finalists are:

Azimo, 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.
Growth Intelligence, automatically generates qualified time-sensitive sales leads, tracking the performance and activity of every business in the economy in real time.
P2P Cash, a secure mobile platform that lowers money transfer cost to zero by using SWIFT standards to allow cash to be sent or received from any mobile wallet or bank account worldwide.
PassportFX, a regulated clearing service for central and commercial banks.
Pocketbook, an application to manage personal finance providing a single view on spending.
Realty Mogul, an innovative web platform that allows investors to browse, screen and sign rare real estate opportunities that have been historically difficult to access.
Twikey, a simple, fast and safe solution to efficiently manage online mandates and contracts with their end-customers.
XYverify, a virtually “invisible” mobile payment authentication solution that protects consumers, merchants and financial institutions from identity theft and transaction-related breaches.
z-crd, a modern secure and scalable cloud-based international transaction system that cuts out middlemen, reduces transaction costs and offers services currently unheard of.

As I said, this Sibos will be special for me, as I will sail to other seas as of … Sibos itself, staying very close to startups and innovation in the financial sector, leaving the Innotribe team but keeping the brand in my hearth as something that – and I am measuring my words – opened my mind in making me understand what I really want to do, and which type of air I need to breath.

Innotribe is there to stay and grow, for a very simple reason: it does not belong to SWIFT anymore. It’s the community, and the movement around it, that makes it living. I will never be proud enough to have put my grain of salt into it.

More than ever, stay tuned


Singapore challenge, another informal chronicle

Singapore, Orchard Hotel, here we are again.
The asian leg of the startup challenge (painting this animal as a strange three legs one) was again a great success.

We were not distracted at all by the nearby Orchard Tower, we stayed focus, and deliver what we can call a great event, even covered by BBC Asia (see the pic if you don’t believe it, with an unusually blushing Nektarios acting like a pro in front of the camera!)


Given the dozens of articles in the press mentioning that, you all should know by no that these are the results of the challenge:


you add a .com after all of them and you have their website (this is me lazy and not willing to embed the link… Sorry, my energy Is slowed down by a almost broken ankle in a volley tournament just after landing from Singapore).

Vibes in the room were great.


And feedback from the startup and the crowd was touchingly great. Smiles everywhere, energy, willingness to help, great team. I believe our highly technological promoter score tells the same 😉


There is no time to rest, New York is just behind the door, and we are full speed to deliver the last regional challenge.

Special mention to Nektarios and Ioana, to whom goes the vast majority of the credits for the organisation and the production of the challenge. Ioana celebrated her 30th birthday in Singapore, and I learned it will stay memorable!
Nektarios kept everything in order, dealing with a million glitches that nobody saw and this is exactly the reason why this teamwork is truly grand.

Finally, a piece of artwork: Ioana spent some jet lagged hours in playing with her iPhone 5 (that we, miserable old iPhones 4 users looked with envy) and here’s the result:


Please take good note of the frame 😉

With that, New York is calling. We have work to do!

Stay tuned


Why you should come to Belfast on June 13th and 14th at the Innotribe conference

Why you should come to Belfast?

– For the Innotribe networking experience.

Personally, I’ve attended more than 100 conferences (including 10 Sibos) and the challenge stays the same. Main reason why people come is to network, and very few conferences are designed for it.
You certainly meet up with people you know already, in a single place. But what if you could meet NEW people around topics you are INTERESTED in?
This is what we will plan for Belfast, and topics will be around mobility, payments, innovation processes, new currencies, product Innovation, customer services, and many more.
“how”? You should trust Innotribe for that. And if you only google us, you should perceive the difference.

For the quality of the speakers and their accessibility

A speaker usually speak then go. The more senior, the faster he/she goes.
At Innotribe, the speaker share first and then work TOGETHER with us and the audience to share more, in the Innotribe Labs.

Here’s a preview of some of the speakers already confirmed, in random order

• Steve Van Wyk, Global CIO, ING
• JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist, Salesforce
• Matthias Kroner, CEO, Bank Fidor
• Kartik Kaushik, Head of M&A, CITI
• Neal Livingston, MD, Europe, RBS
• Gautham Jain, Head of Client Access, Standard Chartered
• Linda Mc Laughlin Moore, Head of Securities Services, JPMorgan
• Andrew Davis, Head of E-channels, HSBC
• Dan Marovitz, CEO, Buzzumi
• Laura Merling, Head of Growth Strategy, Alcatel-Lucent
• Thierry Touchais, Executive Director, International Polar Foundation
• Tony Fish, Founder, AMF ventures
• Javier Perez Tasso, Head of Products and Services, SWIFT
• Peter Vander Auwera, Innovation Leader, SWIFT
• Danny Moore, Founder, Loughshore investments
• Chris Skinner, CEO, Balatroid Ltd
• Anthony Thomson, CEO, Metrobank
• Kosta Peric, Head of innovation, SWIFT
• Mircea Mihaescu, Head of Innovation, SBERBANK

For the richness of the content.

This conference has four type of session:
• Innotribe Chats: 30 min, sharp, inspiring, interview like type of session, with a great speaker and a provocative “journalist”
• Innotribe Workshop: the famous “Labs”, interactive, designed, human interaction inspired, on a give topic, preceded by a panel or a talk
• Ignite talks: one person on stage, short talk, eyes opener, out of the context thinking, a breath of fresh air for your brain
• Pure networking session: we are in process of design this one, it will be (also) outside of the conference centre, something totally new

For the Innotribe Start-up Challenge

This, alone, is a reason to come over. We will open up the stage to the 10 best early stage financial industry start-ups and the 5 brightest grownups after an online selection made by over 100 judges in the Innotribe network. You will have the possibility to give your vote, and select the two winners of a ticket to Sibos in Osaka, where the grand finale will take place to win the 50K.
More on this on

For the beauty and the charm of the location.

I have been fascinated by the Titanic Building, its story and the multimedia experience you can make in the Titanic museum. More info in the site or in my blog

How to register?

We have an early bird price of 665 EUR (30% discount) before may 15th. Regular price after that will be 950 EUR.

Why do we charge?

Because this is a self-sustained event, and we do it through sponsorship and delegate fee. And there is a lot of value we deliver.

To register, go to

Stay tuned