Winning at the African Fintech Awards

17 October 2017

The African Fintech Awards

The Finance Indaba played host to this year’s African Fintech Awards and we were excited to be a part of the event and the awards. ThisIsMe made it into the top 3 for the Innovative Banking category and we faced some stiff competition in the form of e4 and NetGuardians. The event was held at the Sandton Convention Center and is known for attracting swathes of finance professionals - a perfect audience for us to exhibit our latest solutions to. If you weren’t able to attend, or if you did attend and would like to gain a view from the perspective of a Fintech startup, read on.

Selection

Banking Innovation
The selection for the awards follows a nomination, voting, pitching, and judging format. We were nominated for the Banking Innovation category and were then able to make the top 3 through a combination of votes from the public and the panel of judges. Upon making the top 3, we were then required to compete in a pitching battle against the other two startups - a genuinely thrilling experience! We pitched last, in front of an audience and a row of judges and then faced the Q&A session which thankfully went well. We found out about our win at the end of the first day and promptly shared the news with our team, back home in Cape Town.

Best African Fintech Award
The overall award for Best African Fintech is an award that we have great admiration for as it speaks to a level of recognition that most Fintechs in Africa aspire to. The overall award is based on an overall score given by the judges for each of the Fintechs that made it into the top 3 for their category. A total of 256 Fintechs were nominated, from all over the African continent. These 256 were then narrowed down into a top 100 and then the top 3 from 6 categories. We were genuinely surprised when we found out that we'd jointly won the overall award for Best African Fintech - we weren’t even near the announcement to receive our award and had to be escorted from our stand to receive the prize. We're honoured to have won and will be doing our best to win it next year.

Networking

The Finance Indaba provides one of the best networking opportunities for business within the financial services space. SAICA recognises the Finance Indaba as an official event for its members which adds to the appeal. Below is a breakdown of the stakeholders that you’re likely to meet at the Finance Indaba:

Fintechs

The Indaba has a dedicated section solely for the Fintechs that take part. You will find companies that focus on payments, trading, regulatory compliance and even an exchange (Zar X) in the Fintech section. It’s certainly one of the more exciting sections within the event as it showcases the future of finance.

Partners/Suppliers

The digital economy allows for, and often requires, a lot of collaboration - the Finance Indaba has no shortage of potential partners and suppliers. The event is filled with thought leaders, decision makers and inquisitive potential suppliers. Similarly, as with the Gartner event, we engaged with potential partners who possess the power to accelerate our growth locally and abroad.

Clients

Our goal was to meet at least 10 new clients and again we were able to surpass this goal as the event catered perfectly to the identity and compliance solutions that we’ve developed.

Thought Leadership

There are many opportunities to establish or increase your thought leadership positioning as a business. From a Fintech startup point of view, you can pitch in the awards and or present in the Fintech dome. From a financial services business point of view, there are presentation/speaking slots open on both days, with additional opportunities to feature in the event magazine.

Conclusion

We entered the event as a featured startup and came away from the event as winners, with more recognition and credibility in tow. The event is perfectly positioned for the financial services sector and does a great job of featuring the future of finance through its African Fintech Awards. Prominent speakers add to the allure, with a professional event organising team flown in from Amsterdam to ensure the event runs smoothly and without a hitch. The Finance Indaba is one of our favourite events on our calendar and deserves the recognition it receives as being the go-to event for finance professionals.

 

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