It’s On: FinLab Launches Fourth Challenge

$250K for each selected startup

The Financial Solutions Lab — managed by CFSI with founding Lab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. — is excited to announce that applications are open for our fourth Innovation Challenge. Selected companies and nonprofits will each receive a $250,000 investment as well as unparalleled access to resources that can help them grow.

For this year’s challenge, we remain focused on identifying new solutions to improve consumer financial health in the United States that have the potential to scale to millions of users.

Financial health comes about when your daily financial systems — how you spend, save, borrow and plan — help you build resilience and pursue opportunities. CFSI’s research shows that 57 percent of the U.S. population — or 138 million adults — have difficulty managing their day-to-day financial lives, establishing a cushion for financial resilience and positioning themselves for financial security and mobility.

Given the diversity of Americans who struggle with financial health, we believe it is especially important that innovative products are available that resonate with broad and diverse populations. We continue to support and encourage diversity in solutions, customer focus, and founding teams.

Diversity in solutions:

We’re keeping our search broad in order to encourage a greater variety of solutions that address all kinds of obstacles on the financial health journey — whether consumers are just starting out, trying to develop a savings cushion, dealing with student debt, facing unexpected medical expenses, or trying to retire without running out of financial resources.

Diversity in customer focus:

Industry research, including CFSI’s, shows that several demographic groups suffer from poor financial health at greater rates than the overall U.S. population. This year, we want to highlight the unique challenges facing a number of communities in our country. We continue to believe technology has the promise to extend and improve financial services in new and truly transformative ways.

During the application period, we will highlight some of the financial services needs of underserved populations across America, as well as some of the solutions that aim to meet them. If you have a product that is leveraging technology to improve the financial health of those that have been hardest to reach, apply.

In your application, please share with us how your product is helping consumers improve their financial health, and how your company will be able to succeed in serving a diverse market.

Diversity in founders and teams:

As an investor and supporter of early-stage startups, we believe that diverse teams simply build better products. By having a more comprehensive understanding of the market, diverse teams are more likely to build products that address the needs of a broad swath of consumers, including those who are historically underserved. And it’s those companies that are more likely to grow and scale to reach millions of customers.

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While seeding the market for a greater breadth of ideas, perspectives and talent takes time, we look forward to speaking and meeting with entrepreneurs to hear their vision for improving the financial health of all people in America.

In addition to those innovators who are building financial products, we also want to find more ways to engage with the broader ecosystem. As such, if you’re a large employer or non-profit who is interested in piloting or distributing some of the Lab’s high-quality financial products, we’re keen to chat.

Finally, if you have ideas and suggestions for how we can do more to promote inclusion in our industry, we’d love to hear them. Please reach out to us at finlab@cfsinnovation.com.

At the Financial Solutions Lab, we believe it’s important to shine a spotlight on the financial services needs of the most vulnerable — and it’s our greatest hope that by doing so, we may spark greater ideas, bigger thinking, action, and ultimately, innovation that can make more people in Americans financially healthy.

Our alumni — who have collectively raised over $250 million in capital since joining the Lab — and are now serving well over 2.5 million consumers in America. Cumulatively, they have helped their customers save over $1 billion, increased countless credit scores, and prevented over 1 million hunger days.

Be part of our next class of outstanding innovators. Apply today.

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