Fishburners will host a fintech hackathon in November

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Jonathan Davey, Executive General Manager of NAB Labs, center left, visiting Fishburners

Startup Space Fishburners will play host to a fintech hackathon sponsored by the National Australia Bank.

Teams will have the weekend starting November the 27th to find a solution to two challenges:

  1. What will the management of money look like in 2020?
  2. Using the data, digital channels, platforms and partnerships which power NAB’s existing financial services business what other adjacent opportunities could NAB support or enable?”

The winning team will receive $10,000 in cash, with the runner up getting $5,000. Entries are on an individual basis, and teams will be formed during the event.

According to General Manager of Fishburners Murray Hurps, 12% of startups are launched through a hackathon, so the event provides a valuable opportunity to bring together different skills and experiences to create something new in the finance space.

As the challenges are not purely technical, and solutions will likely require sophisticated knowledge of finance, the event is targeting participants from “any relevant discipline.”

Asked about the huge scope of the challenge, which requires projecting out more than five years, Hurps says three days is not too little time.

“I find that whenever I’m addressing a challenge, I’ll take up whatever amount of time I have to do it,” says Hurps, “Setting a three day limit on developing a new idea can really help focus people, introduce reasonable expectations, and maximise the energy invested at a critical time in a startup’s life.”

As far as disrupting an industry known for immense regulation and slow iteration, Hurps thinks it is prime for a great leap.

“Sometimes it feels like too much innovation is iterative, particularly in the financial space” says Hurps.

“Disruption rarely comes from small improvements. Rather, it comes from creating new markets that make existing markets obsolete.”

Even though the main sponsor, NAB, is a major player in the existing market, Hurps is quick to warn that there won’t be a bias against disruption. And the teams will be free to commercialise whatever they make. NAB could even become a customer.

“I can’t imagine a better first customer for a startup, and suddenly customer number two becomes a whole lot easier.”

At the end of the weekend, the solutions will be judged by a panel of judges including Hurps and the Executive General Manger of NAB Labs Jonathan Davey.

There are four criteria for the judging:

  1. The problem and solution.
    Has the team clearly outlined the problem they are trying to solve? How well have they presented their idea? Does the idea feel achievable, friendly and intuitive?
  2. Value proposition

    Does the solution have the ability to make our customers’ and/or employees’ lives better? Does it save money, create opportunity, connect customers, partners and employees?

  3. Scalability

    Can the solution scale sustainably to service millions of customers? Can the idea spread into other parts of NAB’s business?

  4. Use of nabAPI (Optional)

    Does the solution make use of the nabAPI to perform a piece of business functionality. Is the use of the API a novel idea or a new approach to an old problem? Is the API being used in a secure manner?

You can check out all the details and find the entry forms on the NAB website.