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Kickstart Accelerator's "Mission to Sibos"

“This year’s Sibos is Fintech’s coming of age, evidenced by youngest Fintech companies ever seen at a Sibos, and the huge interest and time freely given by all experts and executives during our Office Hours 2016. The feedback from both the startups and the experts has been outstanding.” – Eric van der Kleij, Special Advisor, Kickstart Accelerator

Sibos is one of the largest and internationally renowned financial services conferences held annually, organised by SWIFT. 2016 took Sibos to Geneva. This had us thinking – what if we could bring our startups together with the c. 10,000 executives, representing the titans of the financial services industry? So after two months of planning, as well as the generous support of some of our Global Partners, we formulated a bold and ambitious plan, our ‘Mission to Sibos’.

Below, Swisscom’s Digital Lab as part of a tour of EPFL’s campus and visits to some of our Global Partners’ innovation branches on Monday 26th September:

And Credit Suisse’s Innovation Lab:

Sibos kicked off for KSAcc when Eric van der Kleij shared the Innotribe Stage with Fintech influencers Alexandre Gaillard, Brigitte Baumann and Johann Gevers. The group educated the audience about Fintech Hubs in Switzerland. To fully immerse the audience into the uniqueness of the accelerator space in Zurich, Eric was helped by the amazing visual design team at Sibos!

A core part of our Mission to Sibos was ‘Office Hours 2016’ in collaboration with Innotribe. We managed 40+ meetings in a space of 2 days! Some of our companies also got the opportunity to meet with journalists.

Day 2 begins… …for the Mission to Sibos Team!

“Beware the Temptation of Technology!” – Futurist Gerd Leonhard speaking at the Innotribe in his session Man and Machine: The Future of Technology and Humans. A thought-provoking talk analysing the evolution of technology and its impact on human behaviours. Ultimately we must recognise that there will always be a human role to play and the real question is how comfortable are we with the change?

Technology is exponential, while humans are linear, as such our lives will change more in the next 20 years then they have in the last 400 years. We will witness the end of dying. Or at least our grandchildren will live to be 100-150 years old and may in fact never die but ‘upload’ themselves onto a cloud. And as such in 2050 there will be one computer with the power of all human brains!

Gerd closed with this advice for being a successful business: “is about staging experiences, for humans this means: value, trust, relationships with a layer of technology to support this e.g. Facebook owns no media, uber owns no cars, air bnb owns no rooms, they are all providing a [superior user] experience. Finally, that websites and apps will become obsolete, if we look at Amazon echo, a speaker which is permanently listening in your living room and will act on/recommend goods and services, it already has, 3m users in the U.S. after only a few months!

Some of our startups tell us of their Sibos experience: “Our first meeting at Sibos resulted in a planned proof of concept!” – Marcos Monteiro, CEO – Veezoo

“At first sight, Sibos is overwhelming – impressive stands, 1,000s of delegates and panels featuring CEOs of multinational corporations… however, if you know where to start and where you want to get to, it becomes much easier to navigate. The Kickstart team did a great job connecting us with all the right people right from the moment we arrived at Sibos”. – Jānis Graubiņš, Co-Founder – Notakey

“The amazing Sibos provided us with an intimate audience with many investors and advisors who gave invaluable feedback on our business model, in particular how to make us a more attractive prospect for European investors. We talked to a range of companies about some fascinating topics including risk control, online payments, credit management and blockchain, all very insightful discussions to help us improve our products and services in Europe.” – Juliette Xu, COO – Surong360

We brought Vlado Petrushev Founder & CEO of Minebox (Smart and Connected Machines) along for the ride and asked how Sibos was for him? ‘Excellent! I had a great time with the Fintech vertical and I learned a lot about the finance industry from them. Some fantastic news, as a result of an introduction by one of the KSA team, Minebox is now a Partner company of Cloud28 (an open community of Cloud Service Providers, Cloud Resellers, System Integrators and government entities dedicated to accelerating enterprise cloud adoption across Europe, the Middle East and Africa)!’ Mission successful! David Bufka from EY joined the Kickstart team at the conference, he told our team, "The ‘Mission to Sibos’ exceeded our expectations. The startups from the Kickstart Accelerator were introduced to EY’s global Fintech leaders and our clients at Sibos, where valuable contacts were made to further international cooperation." Sascha Gysel from UBS, another one of the sponsoring companies of the Mission to Sibos, emphasised: “We are very glad to have supported this unique opportunity for the start-ups, as there is no better place to meet banking industries leaders.”

Katka Letzing, Kickstart Accelerator’s Fintech Program Lead summarised our Mission to Sibos: "It was great to see our startups connecting with big ecosystem players at Sibos, as well testing their business models and getting feedback from the network of corporate partners, investors and many others."

The question left for Katka and the Kickstart Accelerator Team is where our Mission is next year?

A huge thank you to the following Partners who made our ‘Mission to Sibos’ possible: Credit Suisse, EY, Raiffeisen Switzerland, Swisscom & UBS.


18 Apr 2024


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