National Bank launching FinTech innovation competition
National Bank is launching a new competition aimed at developing new solutions for the wealth management industry.
National Bank is calling the ‘Innovation Competition’ a large-scale challenge, hoping to bring together Canadian FinTech startups, students, and other teams of individuals in order to create new ideas to help individuals save and manage money more efficiently.
The competition has been created in partnership with Montreal-based startup hub OSMO Foundation and Flinks, a Montreal-based FinTech startup that works with financial institutions, using data to provide better services. Flinks raised a $1.75 million seed round in July 2018, which was led by Luge Capital and National Bank.
National Bank also supports OSMO, dating back to 2013 when the financial institution provided support for OSMO’s technology hub Notman House. Earlier this year, National Bank also provided OSMO with $1 million in order to help the foundation foster collaboration between startups and large institutions.
“National Bank has been working closely with top FinTechs for many years now,” said Louis Vachon, president and CEO of National Bank. “They play a key role in enhancing the quality of our service offer and in promoting entrepreneurship and technology in society at large.”
As the FinTech industry has been changing over the years, seeing more startups entering the market, National Bank has shown interest in investing and developing partnerships. The financial institution was one of Element AI’s first partners, has invested in digital wealth management platform Nest Wealth, and worked with startups like Mobeewave, Thinking Capital, and Breathe Life.
The goal of the Innovation Challenge is to use Flinks API to build a mobile or web-based solution that will help Canadians save more efficiently and better manage their money. Flinks will give each participating team access to its API so they can build their product and access relevant data on wealth and retail banking from a wide range of institutions.
The new Innovation Competition will take place over six months, with applications being accepted until December 20. The Grande Finale will take place on April 30, and finalists will get the opportunity to pitch in front of a panel of National Bank executives, venture capitalists, and tech leaders. Teams will also have the chance to win a $100,000 cash prize, with half provided when the winner is announced and the remaining $50,000 in three to six months, provided the teams submit a business plan and demonstrate “sufficient progress” towards developing their product, according to National Bank.
The be eligible for the competition participants must either be a Fintech startup in the pre-seed or seed stage, university students, or a team of individuals that can include developers and aspiring entrepreneurs.