Why Innovate Financial Health?

Why we are launching a startup accelerator for solutions improving the financial lives of Canadians

Elvis Wong
Oct 2 · 3 min read

Applications are now open for Innovate Financial Health’s inaugural three-month Impact Accelerator program. We are seeking four early-stage ventures using technology to improve the financial lives of Canadians, particularly those more financially vulnerable. Find out more here and apply by November 10th, 2019.

Early last year, a few friends and I were volunteering to teach financial literacy to refugees that had recently arrived in Canada. As we went through the workshop content, the idea of setting up an automated savings service came up. One member of my group mentioned that it’s not too hard to save money — “Just tell your bank to withdraw $5 a day from your chequings to your savings account, and you’ll build savings in no time!”. The rest of the group immediately reacted — “Wow, you can save $5 a day? You must be rich!”

For some of you reading this, you may think $5 a day (i.e., ~$150 a month) is not a lot but consider this: 27% of Canadians say they aren’t able to save any portion of their monthly income.

The reality is that it is far too common to be struggling financially in Canada. 38% of Canadians have a savings buffer of fewer than two months and 33% say they are unable to pay their bills on time and in full. These financial struggles are hurting the mental and physical health of Canadians, with 45% agreeing that money worries make them lose sleep at night. (Financial Health Index, TD Income Volatility Report)

Innovate Financial Health founders volunteering in East Toronto

At Innovate Financial Health, we believe that technology can play a critical role in addressing the real challenges that millions of Canadians face each and every day — challenges like avoiding overdrafts, building emergency funds, and finding pathways out of debt while living paycheque-to-paycheque.

While Canada’s fintech ecosystem has been growing rapidly in recent years, few of our ventures have focused on addressing the challenges of financially struggling Canadians. We want this to change.

This is why we started Innovate Financial Health.

Our goal is to provide mission-driven entrepreneurs that are addressing the financial health challenges of Canadians with the resources and support needed to scale their impact across Canada.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that applications are now open for Innovate Financial Health’s Impact Accelerator.

With generous support from our Founding Sponsor, Capital One, the three-month program will start in January 2020 and focus on addressing the unique challenges that financial health ventures may face through a series of multi-day workshops, a curated network of mentors and advisors, and $25,000 in grant capital.

Through the program, we hope to grow sustainable products and services that better the lives of regular Canadians.

We are excited to begin this journey of building a coalition of startups, investors, non-profits, and financial institutions all dedicated to advancing solutions that improve the financial lives of Canadians.

Applications close on November 10th, 2019. Apply here.

Let’s build a more financially healthy Canada together.

Elvis Wong
Founder & Managing Director
Innovate Financial Health

PS: We are always looking for additional mentors, partners, and sponsors to make the program as strong as possible. If you are interested in supporting our mission, please contact us at info[@]innovatefh.com.

Innovate Financial Health

Creating and scaling innovative solutions for financially vulnerable Canadians. Learn more at www.innovatefh.com.

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