Posted by Tim Williamson on Mon, Jun 15 2015

All Posts by Tim Williamson

Singapore’s buzzing FinTech start-up scene is a great backdrop for Sibos 2015

Photo for Singapore’s buzzing FinTech start-up scene is a great backdrop for Sibos 2015

This year Sibos and the finale of the Innotribe Startup Challenge will be in Singapore. Their arrival couldn’t be more timely.

If you are looking for FinTech and exciting banking innovation, the Lion City is just the place for you. Singapore has emerged as an Asian hub for start-ups, FinTech and design.

Head down to the city’s innovation hub at OneNorth, and you will find an innovation corridor that is alive with start-ups (and VCs), all neighbouring the vaunted INSEAD Asian campus.

In April Startupbootcamp FinTech announced the 10 participants in its Asia accelerator programme after a roadshow that took in 12 cities around APAC. The weekend-long selection process brought together start-ups, industry, financiers and government to hear some genuinely outstanding ideas.

On the corporate front, regional banking powerhouse DBS recently held its first megahackathon, bringing employees and start-ups together to create innovative solutions for the next generation of banking. The final was judged by its far-sighted CEO Piyush Gupta who will be opening plenary address speaker at Sibos in October.

And as if to demonstrate their commitment to innovation, DBS followed up with a Blockchain Hackathon. The first such event held by a major bank in Asia.

In May, Singapore hosted Next Bank Asia. Next Bank is a global banking innovation and design conference series which has held events from Bogota to Barcelona. Think TED of banking and you’ll have a flavour of what Next Bank is about. Again this year it hosted the Asia leg of the Innotribe Startup Challenge and the quality of ideas showcased at the event was truly fantastic.

Next Bank founder, Singapore-based Australian banker, blogger and designer Rob Findlay announced its plans to expand as a forum for FinTech in Asia and will this week be delivering his innovation message at Next Bank USA in New York ( I urge you to get down there if you can.

Even London Mayor Boris Johnson couldn’t resist the lure of Singapore and visited in October with a UK FinTech delegation. So what is the special sauce that is making Singapore such an attractive FinTech destination?

Firstly Singapore is based in one of the most dynamic growth regions globally. The ASEAN economic block of South East Asian economies encompasses some 620 million people in some of the fastest-growing economies. VCs looking for the next China are scouring ASEAN markets such as Indonesia and the Philippines for emerging talent. And on the tech front huge talent centres such as India are just on the doorstep.

The government in Singapore is also extremely proactive in supporting and developing innovation in a start-up friendly environment.

Singapore is not on its own. Hong Kong is also promoting FinTech innovation, as are other cities in the region ranging from Seoul to Sydney. There is a lot of cross fertilisation of ideas and resources.

But in an entrepreneurial part of the world, Singapore is emerging as a standout in developing an innovation ecosystem which promises to deliver some exciting new FinTech developments. All in all it adds up to an exciting and vibrant backdrop to Sibos and Innotribe when they come to Singapore in October.

I, for one, am looking forward to it!

Fintech, Innovation, Sibos, Singapore, Technology Solutions,
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