Innotribe and SIBOS roundup
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It's been a hectic but great week at Sibos, chock full of meetings and interactions. The Celent Banking team was well represented and I made the rounds along with Zil and Gareth (see Gareth's blog entry here). I managed to steal away from the traditional Sibos stream for a bit, and participated in several sessions at Innotribe. Innotribe is all about innovation in financial services, a topic I am very interested in and actively cover as an analyst. I also had the privilege of participating as a judge and mentor in the Innotribe $100,000 Startup Challenge (see my blog entry here). After a pre-Sibos voting and selection process, 10 startups were invited to give a 5 minute pitch to an invite only audience of VCs, bankers, and executives. Congratulations to winners Truaxis (formerly known as BillShrink) and GuardTime - they take home $50,000 apiece in prize money. Also a shout out to Mike Sigal for putting together an extremely well run and organized program. The startup competition was but one component of Innotribe. There were a variety of sessions and workshops on top of mind topics and issues including, social media, digital identity, big data, and the future of money. The sessions were designed in a manner to get participants to think out of the box, and collaborate on idea generation and problem solving. Most of the sessions I participated in were quite good and thought provoking. Some were nothing more than vendor pitches that I thought detracted from an otherwise quality event. The audience was quite a diverse bunch - some in suits and ties, others in t-shirts and jeans. Bankers, bloggers, strategists, innovation folks from banks, and a variety of others contributed to the colorful scene. All in all it was interesting, thought provoking, and entertaining. Cartoonist Hugh MacLeod from gapingvoid provided an additional dimension and extremely impressive drawings and charts. Congrats to Peter Vander Auwera and the rest of the SWIFT Innotribe team for putting on a solid event. Outside of the Innotribe bunker, Sibos was in full swing. The booths were as opulent as ever, and I bounced between meetings with bankers and solution vendors. I particularly enjoyed the mobile and tablet demos some of the vendors and banks had to show. I'm presently working on a report on corporate mobile banking so it was timely and relevant. The traditional SIBOS party took place last night at the convention center and it was quite the scene. I found it to be highly entertaining. No, it wasn't the bankers letting loose on the dance floor. As a Canadian, I found the stereotypical depiction of my fellow countrymen to be somewhat odd. Models wearing fur during the fashion show, British flags, clips of hockey games on the TV screens, etc. - you get the picture eh? See you next year in Osaka, Japan.