Africa’s technology startup community has grown exponentially in the last few years with mobile payment innovation, especially in East Africa. Swift, the parent company of Innotribe expects even greater innovation and a shift away from mobile technology at the 2016 Innotribe Startup Challenge for Africa.
The Challenge, now open for applications, will take place at Swift’s African Regional Conference (ARC) in Mauritius on 17-19 May 2016. This is the second year that Innotribe, is partnering with ARC to bring the Startup Challenge to Africa, showcasing financial technology startups from across the region.
Innotribe Startup Challenge Manager Fabio Maffioli, who is showcasing the 2016 Challenge in Nairobi this week, confirms how much fintech startups in Africa are growing overall, especially outside the mobile payments sector.
“2015 saw a large number of African startup applicants exploring mobile payments, lending, big data and investment management. We hope this year’s entries will reveal opportunities to build on existing mobile payment platforms and that active tech hubs in East Africa will highlight the region’s potential to deliver other disruptive technologies.”
iwiafrica CEO Allan Rwakatungu said of his experience: “Participating in the Innotribe Startup Challenge was incredible valuable, particularly being able to meet not only startups participating in the program, but also large banks and vendors from all over the world, making connections and closing collaboration deals.” Ugandan based iwiafrica was one of the finalists from last year’s competition delivers mobile applications on top of existing mobile wallets to help banks and merchants increase mobile e-commerce.
This year the Innotribe Startup Challenge will focus on emerging fintech ecosystems, supporting innovation where demographic trends, economic growth and regional integration projects are creating fertile ground for new technologies to emerge.
Innotribe will select twelve companies to compete in Mauritius during ARC. The event attracts up to 500 high-level delegates from more than 40 countries, providing the ideal platform for startups to showcase their new concepts and products to Africa’s financial community.
Three finalists will then be selected to attend Sibos, SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference on 26-29 September in Geneva. There the finalists will share the stage with fintech experts and receive a 10,000 USD cash prize each.