SWIFT announces today that the Innotribe Startup Challenge for Russia is open for applications. For the first time this year, Innotribe is pleased to partner with the ROSSWIFT (Russian National SWIFT Member and User Group), namely the Bank of Russia, the National Settlement Depository, Sberbank, and Alfa-Bank to organise the Startup Challenge showcase during the International Financial Congress (IFC). Hosted by the Bank of Russia, our general partner for this first Startup Challenge in Russia, the IFC is Russia's largest international financial forum and will take place from 12-14 July 2017 in St. Petersburg.
Fabian Vandenreydt, Global Head of Securities, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT, says: “Russia’s local innovation ecosystem already includes some notable players and has a great potential to further develop a stimulating environment for FinTech startups. Through the Startup Challenge, we want to spotlight innovation across Russia and CIS countries and provide an opportunity for young FinTech companies to use Innotribe’s global network to help them maximise their potential.”
Olga Skorobogatova, Deputy Governor, The Bank of Russia, says: “The Bank of Russia considers FinTech industry as a key driver of digital Russian financial transformation. FinTech is one of the ways of developing competition in financial sector and increasing financial inclusion. The Bank of Russia is an active player and supporter in the field of FinTech, we work in cooperation with market to define the most prospective new technologies and elaborate adequate monitoring and regulatory solutions for FinTech. This is why to be the host for Innotribe Russia is a logical step forward for the Bank of Russia.”
From all applications received, Innotribe will select 10 startups to enter the Startup Challenge programme, showcase their products at the IFC, and receive expert coaching and mentoring. Innotribe will closely work with industry experts, bank decision-makers, venture capitalists and angel investors to select the showcase participants and their strong expertise will also serve to advise and coach the startups prior to the event.
During the showcase, the three best startups will be nominated by the audience as finalists, automatically securing their participation to Sibos, SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference, held in Toronto, Canada, from 16-19 October 2017. They will also receive a 10,000 EUR cash prize each.
Matthieu de Heering, Head of Russia, CIS and Mongolia at SWIFT, says: “It is a pleasure to bring the Innotribe Startup Challenge to Russia, and an honour to be a part of the Bank of Russia’s IFC in St. Petersburg. It would never have been possible without the initiative from ROSSWIFT, in particular the strong support from the four partner institutions amongst its ranks. This is yet another demonstration of the Russian SWIFT community helping build nothing less than the future of the financial industry!”
Roman Chernov, Executive Director, ROSSWIFT, says: “Innovation is of prime importance for the Russian financial community. We are delighted to welcome the Innotribe Startup Challenge to Russia and are very grateful to the SWIFT team, especially the SWIFT Moscow office, for all their efforts to arrange this event within the framework of the IFC, which is traditionally organised by the Bank of Russia in St. Petersburg. We trust that the Innotribe Startup Challenge will promote the development of financial innovations in Russia and neighbouring countries. We wish all the contenders good luck and successful implementation of their ideas!”
Eddie Astanin, Chairman of the Executive Board, NSD, says: “The financial world is entering a new era of digital technologies which may dramatically change the types of financial services and how they are provided to consumers. The strategic task for companies with long-term strategies is to go with the trend, or, even better, to be the backbone for developing these technologies. From this perspective, the Innotribe Challenge in Russia is a great opportunity for startups to demonstrate their talents in the FinTech sphere and to find clients. We are happy that NSD, as a high-tech company, is involved in this SWIFT project in Russia as a partner.”
Applications to the 2017 Startup Challenge are now open until mid-April 2017.
Who can apply? Startups based in Russia, as well as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
The 10 successful applicants will be announced in May 2017. The three winners will be selected on 14 July 2017 at the IFC in St. Petersburg.