With a prize fund totalling £125,000 on offer, the project aims to encourage and reward world-class ideas in financial technology innovation. The fund will be shared between winners and runners-up in two categories.
The “PowerUp” Fintech Award is for financial technology companies that have been trading for less than three years. Applicants should be at minimum viable product (MVP) stage onwards, and judging will be based on originality and innovation as well as on validation and traction.
The winner of this category will receive a prize of £80,000, with £20,000 for the runner up and £10,000 for the third placed entry.
Richard Bogie, Managing Director of News Scotland, publishers of The Times Scotland, said: “We are excited to be working with Royal Bank of Scotland on these awards, which are an excellent opportunity to incentivise the next generation of financial technology pioneers in Scotland. News Scotland is a growing part of the country’s business community, and we are proud to be playing our part in helping to boost this key driver of economic development.”
Ross McEwan, CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Royal Bank of Scotland is delighted to be supporting and promoting the Fintech sector in Scotland with these awards. Scotland has a lot to shout about when it comes to Fintech and it is important that people know about it and celebrate it.”
The “Blue Sky” Fintech Award is aimed at early-stage financial technology businesses or individuals with new ideas. Open to pre-revenue companies trading for less than a year, entries will be judged on originality and innovation and on their potential market impact.
The winner of this category will receive a prize of £10,000, with £5,000 for the runner up. The third placed entry will appear in a special feature on the competition in The Times Scotland and will be offered a place in the Entrepreneur Accelerator programme.
All six finalists will feature in The Times Scotland article and will have a place on the Accelerator programme. Finalists will be asked to attend a dragons’ den-style pitching event at the Royal Bank’s headquarters at Gogarburn, Edinburgh, on Monday 29th October.
The competition will operate on a dedicated website where entrants will be asked to complete a short application form and provide a 150-word summary of what their business does and upload a three-minute video pitch.
Entries will be judged by a panel of experts chaired by Louise Smith, Head of Digitisation, Personal and Business Banking at the Royal Bank of Scotland, with representatives from The Times Scotland, FWB Park Brown, Dell and Fintech Scotland. After selecting three finalists from each category, a final line-up will be announced.
Finalists will be asked to deliver a live, three-minute pitch of their idea or business to the panel, which also includes Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship at the Royal Bank, Greig Cameron, Business Editor at The Times Scotland, Adam Brown of FWB Park Brown, Steven Ingledew of Fintech Scotland, Craig Reid of Dell Technologies and Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE, the Olympic gold medal winning former captain of the Great Britain women’s hockey team.
Judges will make their decisions on the night of 29th October and the winners will be announced.