Westpac launches its 2019 Innovation Challenge

$50K on offer for start-ups in the 2019 Westpac Innovation Challenge

The Westpac Innovation Challenge has launched today, giving start-ups, scale-ups and entrepreneurs the chance to win $50,000 and professional support to grow their business. The Challenge asks entrants to create a solution using data to solve a business problem specific to one of five different sectors: micro business, energy, insurance, aged care or government.

Now in its sixth year, the Westpac Innovation Challenge explores an emerging opportunity in the business landscape and aims to identify the next generation of businesses that will lead Australia into the future.

In 2019, data in Australia is gaining momentum through the passage of Consumer Data Right legislation and the phased introduction of Open Banking set from February 2020, which will allow consumers and third parties to access data.

Kate Cooper, Westpac Head of Innovation, said: “Data is expected to enable a new wave of product innovation from start-up businesses focused on business solutions and customer experiences across a range of sectors.

“We’re looking for innovative ideas that help businesses which operate in highly regulated or scrutinised sectors overcome unique challenges and deliver value for customers,” Ms Cooper said.

A key part of the Challenge this year will be involving Westpac’s commercial and institutional customers, and enabling a platform for innovative start-ups to meet potential customers and collaborators,” she said.

Five finalists will be chosen to pitch their idea on 4 December 2019 in front of a live audience and a judging panel consisting of:

• Alastair Welsh – Group Executive, Westpac Business Bank
• Dawie Olivier – General Manager, Westpac Next
• Brad Delamare – CEO, Tank Stream Labs
• David Walker – Chief Technology Officer, Westpac Group
• Emma Lo Russo – CEO, Digivizer (CXO Disrupter of the year in 2018)
• Dr. Catriona Wallace – Founder & CEO of Flamingo AI
• Jamie Leach – CEO, Open Data Australia

Last year’s winner of the RegTech themed Challenge, artificial intelligence software scale-up Daisee, has developed an AI product which analyses 100% of customer conversations in contact centres and monitors and evaluates them for compliance and quality. Daisee founder and chief executive Richard Kimber said that since winning the 2018 Challenge, Daisee had moved ahead with commercialising its product with several new clients and will add a number of household name brand customers in Australia by the end of 2019, in addition to launching in the United States.

“Winning the Challenge was great for our recognition in the market and the award has been very helpful in moving our business forward,” said Mr Kimber.

“We’ve also had really positive interactions with the Innovation team at Westpac and great access to key C-suite executives in the bank who have been really supportive,” he said.

Applications close at 11.59pm AEST, Sunday 20 October 2019.

For more information and to apply, visit westpacinnovation.com.au.

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