UBS taps startup community with Future of Finance Challenge

UBS taps startup community with Future of Finance Challenge

Giant Swiss bank UBS has launched a global innovation challenge with cash prizes of $300,000 at stake for entrepreneurs, start-ups or growing companies with ideas that could change the way finance works.

The bank is inviting participation from individual entrepreneurs or young companies with an annual turnover lower than $3m and previous funding rounds of less than $10 million.

"We are looking for disruptive ideas," says the bank on the Future of Finance Challenge page. "We believe a healthy financial services industry should be open to transformation through collaborative innovation. UBS’s innovation teams around the world are already driving new concepts from ideation through prototyping into development. We’re inviting you to join this process by presenting your idea to our teams and then developing it with input and support from UBS."

With a first prize of $50,000, the competition offers the winners a share of over $300,000 cash prizes and support, over 300 hours dedicated coaching and mentoring and a chance to further commercialise and scale their ideas and technologies with help from UBS resources.

The bank is looking at a long list of 60 firms to compete in regional demo days with a final 12 companies being selected to pitch their ideas in Zurich in December.

Oliver Bussman, UBS group CIO, says: "Digital disruption is driving an unprecedented transformation of our industry and radical new technologies present a unique opportunity for a step-change to our client offerings. Fostering an open and collaborative ecosystem between banks, technology firms and start-ups is critical to drive new innovation forward."

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