Help select the 2012 Innotribe Startup Challenge Finalists!

Help select the 2012 Innotribe Startup Challenge Finalists!
The online Finalist-selection round of the 2012 Innotribe Startup Challenge is now open at http://innotribestartup.com. The Challenge introduces the world’s most promising FinTech and Financial Service startups to a global community of over 9000 financial institutions, investors and influencers actively investing in innovation. Over 400 of startups from around the world applied to participate in the 2012 Challenge, and dozens of expert judges (Disclosure: I am one of the judges) selected just 45 Semi-Finalists to participate in the regional Showcase events in NYC, Singapore & Belfast earlier this year. Six companies were selected as regional Finalists, and now you and other financial industry and startup ecosystem professionals can select the other Finalists who will be invited to Sibos, the world’s largest event for financial industry professionals, to meet with top banks and financial institutions and compete for a prize of $50,000. The Challenge website has been updated to feature quick-read competitor profiles, pitch videos of all the semi-finalists, and new networking features, so you can get to know all the Semi-Finalists and vote for (or contact) your favorites in just a few minutes. Voting is open until September 23rd at http://innotribestartup.com, so please come help select the most promising FinTech & Financial Services startups of 2012.

Applications Open for the $50K Innotribe Startup Challenge

Applications Open for the $50K Innotribe Startup Challenge

I’ve recently agreed to serve as a judge for the 2012 Innotribe Startup Challenge. The event provides an opportunity for FinTech and Financial Service startups and innovators to meet potential investors, customers and partners from financial institutions and FinTech investors. See the bottom of this post for info on how to receive an invite to the event.

Sponsored by SWIFT (www.swift.com), the Innotribe Startup Challenge (http://www.innotribestartup.com) fosters collaboration between emerging FinTech and Financial Service innovators and SWIFT’s member community.
  • Applicants to the Challenge enjoy online exposure and introductions to hundreds of potential partners and customers from SWIFT’s member community, as well as investors and other members of the startup ecosystem.
  • Semi-finalists, selected by a panel of expert judges, are invited to one of three regional Challenge Showcases (New York – Feb 8, Bangkok – Apr 25/6, and Belfast – late June), to pitch and network with a hand-picked group of 40-50 investors and financial industry decision makers.
  • The 15 most promising companies from across all three Challenge Showcases, as selected by qualified decision makers and investors from across the SWIFT community, will be invited to present at Sibos, SWIFT’s annual financial industry trade show. Sibos (www.sibos.com) will take place this year in Osaka, Japan in October 2012.
  • One or more early-stage winners selected by the Sibos audience will share in a $50K in cash prize.

The Challenge is open to companies working in financial technology or technology-enabled financial services (no consulting or outsourcing) such as payments, securities, trading, social media tools, big data/data analytics, security, identity, b2b or b2b2c mobile, small business apps & services &/or IT infrastructure. Early-stage applicants must be less than 3 years old with less than $1M in combined revenue and investment in the last 12 months. Later-stage applicants may be of any maturity level, but the products/services they submit must still be ‘under the radar’. Applications for the February 8th NYC Challenge Showcase are due by January 13, 2012. To learn more and apply, please visit http://www.innotribestartup.com. Special invite for Celent Clients: Please contact me if you are a banker and would like to attend the Innotribe Startup Challenge. Celent has been granted several passes to the events and we can share these with interested individuals (banks only please).

Get Ready For The Innotribe $100K Start-Up Challenge

Get Ready For The Innotribe $100K Start-Up Challenge
It’s that time of the year again. The time when the beautiful summer days start to make way for CONFERENCE SEASON. While this may sound like impending doom, it’s actually a fantastic time of year. Sure, the travel can be gruelling, but there are some great events this fall that I urge you to attend. An event that is quickly approaching is SIBOS. I have been a SIBOS regular for a number of years now, and this year SIBOS takes place in Toronto, Canada. There are several different session tracks at SIBOS, but only one of these is fully dedicated to innovation. Innotribe is known as “the incubation zone for new ideas.” Peter Vander Auwera, Innovation Leader at SWIFT, describes Innotribe as, “SWIFT’s initiative to foster collaborative innovation in financial services – through debating the options (at Innotribe events) and supporting the creation of innovative new solutions (through incubation).” The Innotribe session I am most excited about is the $100k start-up challenge. I will be participating as a judge and mentor. It’s an opportunity for startups in banking, payments, securities, trading, social media, big data, security, identity, mobile, small business & IT infrastructure to introduce themselves to over 9,700 banks and corporations, and win one of two $50K prizes. 10 finalists will pitch to an invitation-only audience at Sibos on September 21, 2011 in Toronto. Startups must apply by August 14, 2011 on http://www.innotribestartup.com/. The full list of Innotribe sessions at SIBOS can be found here. I look forward to seeing you all at the conference! Please contact me if you would like to meet at the event.

Financial Technology Startups 2010: Giving Banks a Run for Their Money

Financial Technology Startups 2010: Giving Banks a Run for Their Money
On May 11, I attended the Finovate conference in San Francisco (see my quick take here). A slew of startups presented their wares to an enthusiastic audience. Out of the 36 firms that presented, a few stood out to me. I decided to pick my top 10 and produce Celent’s second annual financial technology startups report. The report examines and analyzes the startups – a short profile is provided for each company/product as well as Celent’s impressions. I am sure you are all curious to know who we selected to include in the report. Here is the list of firms in alphabetical order along with a link to their Finovate video demo:
Congratulations to all firms selected!
If you would like to read the report, please click here (subscription required).

Finovate Spring 2010 Roundup

Finovate Spring 2010 Roundup
On Tuesday, Red Gillen and I attended Finovate in San Francisco. The conference brings together a slew of fintech startups as well as a handful of established players. Thirty six companies showcase their wares in 7 minute demos. Sounds like a short time frame, but if done properly, is more than enough time for a firm to pitch their product. The event was well attended and I was very pleased to see quite a number of financial institutions in attendance. I attended last year as well, and was disappointed by the number of banks present. Perhaps travel budgets are better, and/or maybe banks are attempting to increase their emphasis on innovation. The majority of the 36 demos were lackluster but there were a few standouts. I plan to profile my top 10 in an upcoming Celent report. The report will single out the innovative startups that Celent believes will have an impact on the banking space and/or the consumer market (many of these startups bypass the bank channel and market their products directly to consumers). Here are some of my selection criteria:
  • Realistic business model (I was surprised at how few of these firms actually had a business model)
  • Innovation and new product development
  • Potential for the solution to be sold by banks
  • Potential for the solution to fill a void in the market
The audience did have their favorites, and were asked to pick their top 4. The best in show awards went to (in alphabetical order) Bobber Interactive, Expensify, oFlows, and Wikinvest. On a related note, I enjoyed the live tweeting at Finovate. It was great to hear what the folks around me were thinking as the presentations were taking place. Click here to check out the Finovate Twitter feed.