InnovFest 2013, a three-day event on innovation and enterprise-related activities will see industry players, entrepreneurs, SMEs and innovators come together, network and learn from one another. This will be their fourth edition after their last event in 2012 which played host to over 600 participants from a total of 15 countries.

Innotribe Startup Challenge

Sponsored by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), Innotribe will be holding the Asian leg of its annual Innotribe Startup Challenge in Singapore this May 16 held in conjunction with Innotribe Startup Challenge. Set at the Orchard Hotel, the competition aims to foster innovation in the financial industry and provide the most promising entrepreneurs with the opportunity to expand and grow with consultation and funding from SWIFT. This also works hand in hand with SWIFT’s initiative to enable collaborative innovation in financial services.

A total of 15 startups and innovators have been selected to compete in this Asian showcase and pitch their original business ideas to a panel of angel groups, VCs and decision makers. The winners will then go on to compete with their counterparts from New York and London in the grand finale at Sibos, SWIFT’s annual conference in Dubai come September 2013.

The ideas coming from these semi-finalists have to keep practicality in mind to address the important gaps within the financial technology sector. Matteo Rizzi, co-founder at Innotribe said that the London showcase has set a high standard for this year’s event. He added, “It’s great that we’re holding the Startup Challenge at InnovFest amongst top entrepreneurs from around the world who are looking for the new players in the market. InnovFest is indicative of the need for innovation in Asia and is an ideal location for the showcase.”

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) will also be working with SWIFT to be their supporting partner in Asia for the Innotribe Challenge. Andrew Khaw, senior director of the industry development group for IDA, said that the event will serve as a platform for technology companies and financial institutions to bring innovation closer to infocomm-enabled products and services. “We expect the coming together of the best creative technology minds to lead to new solutions, which can transform the financial sector further.”

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Last year’s Challenge has also seen startups securing contracts with global financial services firms like its growth-stage winner, Gust, receiving more than US$12 million in investment and another tech startup, PlayMoolah, working with OCBC Bank after winning the early-stage startup category. PlayMoolah’s co-founder Lee Min Xuan also shared that they have pitched to more than 100 banks in Osaka, Japan, and that has led them to gain confidence in their product, an online financial literacy game built for children and parents.

Looking through this list, we see Echelon 2013 finalist TradeHero in the “early-stage startups” category. The real world mobile stock market control game aims to “empower ordinary individuals to make profits from financial markets without any capital needed.” Innervative Learning is also in the list with Oikonopolis, a financial literacy game focusing on the economy and personal financial management in Singapore. To be deemed eligible, these startups must own a working prototype and make less than US$1 million in revenue or investment. Growth-stage startups do not disappoint either, with Greenpost, the online bill aggregator and V-Key, a mobile security service setting the stage with three other startups.

Here is the list of this year’s semi-finalists:

Early-stage startups
Innervative Learning
Pin Payments
YFind Technologies (Private Limited)

Growth-stage innovators

Image Credit: IntelligentHQ