Platform Calgary CEO Terry Rock said Calgary is quickly becoming known for its upstart financial tech (fintech) companies.
Now, in partnership with Calgary-based Digital Commerce Bank (DCBank), they’re opening up a $250,000, no-strings-attached award for startups in the field.
“There’s a ton of activity and I think it’s great that we have a leading business in the community that said, ‘we want to make a real contribution to making sure that this sticks and that we have a strong fintech ecosystem,” said Rock.
Rock said with the recent success of Calgary-based financial tech companies like Neo Financial and Helcim – along with DCBank – Calgary is poised to be a leader in this rapidly-growing sector.
Fintech companies are primarily those that improve, automate or otherwise provide a financial service. Things like blockchain, crypto, insurance, green finance, carbon trading and regulatory tech are included in this area.
The Digital Commerce Bank Calgary Fintech Award will see 25 startups be selected for a six-week program. They’ll get 20 hours of interactive workshops, panel discussions and expert coaching and advisory sessions.
The top 10 startups will then receive pitch coaching through a series of in-person events.
After that, they’ll whittle it down to five companies that will make their pitch live for the $250,000.
No one leaves empty-handed
Rock said while not everyone wins the quarter-million, all the companies get the value add through the six weeks of programming.
It’s not just about the pitch competition.
“This process is actually going to help those companies get better no matter what that final outcome. That’s what’s really exciting about this,” he said.
“That itself is going to be valuable and have an impact on the Calgary community as well.”
Depending on the stage of growth one of these lucky companies is at, this award could be a massive boost.
Smaller organizations with a great idea and few team members could stretch that capital for months. Others it might just help them get a product built and out to market.
All of the prospective companies are early stage but should have a product that’s already gained some traction, Rock said. This award is for fintech outfits past the idea stage.
Plus, the companies must make a commitment to building their operation in Calgary.
The full application details can be found here.