“Private and public sector collaborate in Singapore to boost innovation”

Is the fintech industry your calling? Innotribe is the place to be! e27 speaks to Fabian Vandenreydt and Kevin Johnson — the people behind the initiative

If you think you can revolutionise the fintech industry with your ingenious ideas, you need not look further. Innotribe is what you need.

A SWIFT initiative, it aims to bring together innovators, investors, financial industry executives, strategists, banks’ operations and technology leaders, and venture capitalists, to usher in ingenuity and change much needed in the financial service industry. The challenge travels around the world, with three regional events in the US, Asia and Europe.

This year’s challenge for Asia was held at Singapore on May 15. e27 had a brief talk with Fabian Vandenreydt, Head of Markets Management and Core Business Development, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute, SWIFT; and Kevin Johnson, Innotribe Startup Challenge Manager, SWIFT.

At the challenge, Vandenreydt shed light on the leading technologies and challenges in the financial sector, and also how Singapore ecosystem is contributing to its success as a startup and innovation hub.

Prior to this, he led the Product Management Group in SWIFT’s Marketing Division where he contributed to the SWIFT 2015 platform strategy. He was also involved in leading SWIFT’s market strategy and product management activities in messaging and value-added services for the Securities Post-trade group. Vandenreydt has been involved in the financial services industry for more than 15 years.

Johnson is currently managing the Innotribe Startup Global Challenge, and is in charge of the three regional showcases in London, New York and Singapore, as well as the Grand Finale at Sibos in Boston.

He explained how Innotribe Startup Challenge is different from other startup competitions, where it focusses on the key value propositions — coaching and refining the pitch; providing exposure to direct customers; networking with financial institutions; in addition to the potential cash prize to help give a financial boost to the startup. Although a startup might not make it through the Innotribe Startup Challenge showcase, it might still attract significant investments through the exposure Innotribe provides to the startup.

Since joining SWIFT in 2007, Johnson has been involved in the rollout of a collaborative enterprise 2.0 platform for the financial community (swiftcommunity.net), and managed this from a startup stage through to maturity. He has also been responsible for managing a diverse range of projects delivered under the Enterprise Application Solutions Team within SWIFT, and for the delivery and creation of the EA Hackathon and Innochallenge XT Events.

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