Brisbane’s inaugural FinTech Startup Weekend has just been completed with 11 teams pitching their new products to a panel of judges on Sunday night.
From the 47 ideas pitched on Friday night, the participants converged on 11 and formed teams to research, build and validate their idea in just 54 hours. Run by Next Money Brisbane and held at Suncorp’s George St offices, “the weekend was further proof that there is a strong FinTech community in Brisbane with the skills and vision to change the future of banking and finance in Australia” said Josh Callaghan, co-lead of Next Money.
Brisbane’s own Steve Baxter from Shark Tank dropped in on Saturday to give the teams a few quick pointers along with six other home grown finance and startup mentors. The judging panel was made up of four heavyweights of finance in Brisbane including Scott Hartley (CEO of Sunsuper), Monica Bradley (Founder, Purposeful Capital), Alex Blauensteiner (GM, Business innovation at Brisbane Marketing) and Marek Kowalkiewicz (PWC Chair in Digital Economy). After listening to a 5 minute pitch from each team followed by an opportunity to ask them specific questions they were tasked with determining the winners. “The sophistication of the concepts was remarkable and quality of tech surprised on the upside. The New World city is once again punching above its size” says judge, Monica Bradley.
First place went to Kids Bank, an app that helps put the fun back into saving by incorporating savings goals in an attempt to capture the ‘pocket money economy’ which Commonwealth Bank estimates as $1.4 billion annually in Australia. Daniel Sciberras from Kids Bank says “It was very challenging, but very exciting, and a great way to meet like-minded people. I have definitely made long-term connections, and as part of the winning team, we are now taking our idea further, something I hadn’t even contemplated before the weekend.”
Second place went to Bank Switch which is a solution focused on making it easier to move direct debit payments between banks. After a number of strategy pivots the team discovered that moving direct debits was the single biggest pain point for customers, preventing them from taking up better product offerings from other banks. Third place went to Boom whose solution is an international aggregation service for credit ratings to give recent arrivals to Australia the same access credit as those with an established Australian credit history.
Next Money is a worldwide community focused on reinventing finance through design, innovation and entrepreneurship. The Brisbane chapter runs regular free events via their meetup group and is open to anyone interested in furthering finance in Queensland. “This event and our others are not possible without the support of our amazing sponsors” said Mr Callaghan. Sponsors of Fintech Startup Weekend include Suncorp Group, Just Digital People, Sunsuper, Mullins Lawyers, Fintech Australia, Amazon Web Services, River City Labs, Brisbane Marketing, Advance Queensland, Thoughts Drawn Out, ThoughtWorks and Yodlee.
More information about the weekend and be found at http://www.up.co/communities/australia/brisbane/startup-weekend/9042 or on twitter using #fintechswb.
Next Money Meetup can also be found at : http://www.meetup.com/NextMoneyBRI/