Enabling Collaborative Innovation

It’s 6 AM in the morning on a Sunday, and I just woke up from a startup dream which I still remember vividly, populated with some unusual friends from my hometown.

One of them presents me a super advanced startup, making some 40M USD revenue, looking to raise some 60 Million in its unicorn valuation, and I could NOT understand what they were doing from a 20 pages docs (in Italian)  I was given.

So here am I again, coaching the guys on how to explain their shit in three sentences, and in the meantime – as in most cases – the brain woke up completely.

And my mind joined three things:

  • The recent news that Geophy raised 33M in an amazing series B round, and every time I see this I can NOT think about Innotribe (cohort 2015, in this case). Everyone thinks of Revolut or Transferwise, but the number of gems Innotribe brought to the attention of the world never cease to amaze me (think of Realty Mogul, just to stay in the PropTech space)
  • “Say what you do in a sentence”…well with FinTechStage what we do is …guess what… ENABLING COLLABORATIVE INNOVATION
  • The evolution of the Innotribe brand. For this, a lazy screenshot is worth a thousand words (sorry there is an intruder but I can’t bother to edit the picture right now, I have to let the inspiration flow. You can easily notice few things:
    • The initial motto is now gone
    • The colours are gone
    • the name SWIFT is now bigger than Innotribe. understandably so. or not.

Yet, idea was and still is awesome. and so was the mantra.



I still remember the day we came up with both the name and the mantra because I was the one who registered it (yes, I sold it back to SWIFT for an astonishing 20 dollars a few months later).

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Enabling Collaborative Innovation

TEN years ago.

It was obvious we were onto something.

This is because, till today, this is what FinTechStage (and the re-branding is ready, will announce it at the Festival in May, with the new name, logo and all) is and does.

In THREE words.

Now everyone and his mum is talking about collaboration between banks and FinTechs, but I ensure you back then…well, I should have recorded some of the conversations we had, or the reaction when we mentioned the startups.

Bankers looked at these kids like an “entertainment”.

Today, they are joining them.

One bank after the other.


Back to FinTechStage and its mission and the Enabling Collaborative Innovation…

More specifically, it is as simple as taking a Format, a Topic and a Partnership and – as my friend David Brear would say in his t-shirts – GSD. (amazing what the team at 11: FS is doing BTW, I have to say that if I had the skills to build a large company – which I don’t, I can only build small ones – that would be my inspiration).


Get Shit Done

That is how we explain all time FinTechStage is NOT an event company, even if what people saw, mostly, was the gathering of the community, the amplifiers, the convening of these Programs. (well, some of them were just events, of course, and they were awesome).


PS In case you wonder, I am far away from criticizing SWIFT (actually quite the opposite) or to stick to the past (quite the opposite as well). SWIFT allowed me to discover my professional mission in life, to build the job I love, and to develop a network of like-minded individuals around the globe (many of them I safely call friends today) with a tremendous co-creation and innovation power.

I will always be there to help, and still think the potential is amazing guys.


So, in summary:

  • Get ready for some FInTechStage re-branding soon
  • I am likely to use Enabling Collaborative Innovation again (after all, I created it and nobody is using it)
  • SWIFT friends, still here to help anytime, sending loads of love
  • Innotribe had at least TWO unicorns in his belly and no less than TEN multi-hundred million dollars startups in the different cohorts. Nobody (say outside China, today) has done better
  • Sometimes Sunday at 6 AM are inspiring


Stay Tuned


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