Wednesday, 21 August 2019 12:57

Westpac opens $50,000 innovation challenge

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Fifty thousand dollars is on offer in the 2019 Westpac Innovation Challenge which gives start-ups, scale-ups and entrepreneurs the chance to win and provide them with professional support to grow their businesses.

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 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.

Announcing the competition on Wednesday, Westpac notes that 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.

“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.”

Five finalists will be chosen to pitch their idea on 4 December 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.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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