BMO, DMZ to launch Small Business Banking Challenge in October

bmo dmz

Ryerson University’s technology accelerator, the DMZ, is extending its partnership with the Bank of Montreal through the launch of the DMZ Small Business Banking Challenge.

“Selected entrepreneurs will receive deep insight and business opportunities to create global companies.”

Set to take place on October 9 and 10, the DMZ Small Business Banking Challenge will include a thought leadership event that will offer insights on industry trends, one-on-one deep dives with BMO experts on specific aspects of their business, and a pitch contest, which will be judged by leaders at BMO.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy and, as part of our purpose at BMO, we are committed to help drive the innovation economy forward,” said Hugh McKee, head of BMO Partners. “We are excited to work alongside the DMZ to identify Canadian FinTechs that are developing innovative solutions and to help them scale and grow.”

The goal of the Small Business Banking Challenge is to identify eight Canadian startups offering solutions in the small business banking sector. The partnership between the Toronto-based accelerator and the bank dates to 2016, when the two organizations launched an initiative to identify and support a Canadian FinTech startup, called the Next Big Idea in FinTech (NBIF) competition.

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A year later, the two organizations extended the partnership to launch a FinTech accelerator, which operates in the same way as the NBIF competition, including a four-month incubation period with six entrepreneurs, mentorship from BMO leaders, and a culminating event where each finalist pitches their technology to a panel of BMO experts. The accelerator program also offers mentoring, workshops, and funding ranging from $15,000 to $30,000.

“With Toronto being an international financial centre, the DMZ is building opportunities for fintech startups to collaborate with financial institutions to leverage a wealth of knowledge and resources,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ. “Through the Small Business Banking Challenge, selected entrepreneurs will receive deep insight and business opportunities to create global companies.”

Applications to the DMZ Small Business Banking Challenge, are due by August 9 at 11:59 PM.

Image courtesy DMZ

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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