FinCapDev Competition Launches to Drive App Ideas from Design to Build to Market
BOSTON, MA - (October 2, 2012) - The D2D Fund and the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) announced the launch of the Financial Capability Development Competition (FinCapDev, http://fincapdev.com), a challenge that will facilitate the development of innovative mobile technologies designed to increase consumer access to high quality, fairly-priced financial products and services. FinCapDev is an open, nationwide call for app design proposals that will encourage positive financial choices and behaviors that align with financial goals. In addition to bringing high-impact apps to market for consumer use, the competition will create an ecosystem of American innovators, technology companies, software developers, financial service firms, investors, and nonprofits working to foster innovation in new mobile tools.
FinCapDev is a complementary competition to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s MyMoneyAppUp Challenge (also administered by the D2D Fund and CFSI). It provides the space in which MyMoneyAppUp competitors—as well as those who did not participate in MyMoneyAppUp—can take their personal finance app ideas from concept to a fully marketable, working app. The Competition is made possible by the financial support of the Ford Foundation, the Citi Foundation, and Omidyar Network. Additional FinCapDev project partners providing generous technical and professional support include Capital One Financial Corporation, Citi, Dell Social Innovation Challenge, Facebook, H&R Block, ideas42, MasterCard, and Yodlee.
D2D Executive Director Tim Flacke noted, “Use of mobile devices is ubiquitous and growing, especially among younger Americans and those underserved by the mainstream financial services industry. The FinCapDev Competition will accelerate development of useful tools that promote financial capability in ways that fully leverage technology.”
Contestants working individually or as a team can submit their FinCapDev proposals from October 2, 2012 through December 10, 2012 by registering and completing an application at http://fincapdev.com.
“Financial inclusion is a critical component of national, community and household economic security, yet too many working Americans lack access to mainstream financial products and have low levels of financial capability,” said Jennifer Tescher, President and CEO of CFSI. “Mobile technologies have the potential to close the financial capability and access gaps. Smartphones can help consumers gain access to products, information, and tools in a timely, personal, and recurring way, helping them to make smart financial choices through a channel that offers unprecedented convenience and flexibility.”
Shortly after the call for submissions is closed on December 10, 2012, a panel of high-profile judges representing the technology, venture capital, financial services and higher education sectors will assist the competition organizers in reviewing and scoring proposals. Finalists will be chosen based on the following criteria:
- Innovativeness of the idea
- Likelihood of improving users’ financial access and/or capability
- Concept feasibility
- Potential for sustainability
Those selected as finalists will proceed to building their app and utilizing FinCapDev resources provided, including: access to expert advice from the technology and financial services executives, startup cash, various technology resources and more. Finalists will have a chance to win one of five cash prizes totaling $100,000, to be awarded in June 2013 at an app demonstration event hosted by CFSI and the D2D Fund.
The Financial Capability Development Competition (FinCapDev, http://fincapdev.com) is a nationwide $100,000 challenge to develop new mobile apps to help working Americans make smart financial choices and get better access to financial services. In addition to bringing approximately six high-impact apps to market and available for consumers use, the competition will create an ecosystem of American innovators, technology companies, software developers, financial service firms, investors, and nonprofits to foster innovation in new mobile financial tools.
About the Center for Financial Services Innovation
The Center for Financial Services Innovation is the nation’s leading authority on financial services for underbanked consumers. Since 2004, its programs have focused on informing, connecting, and investing – gathering enhanced intelligence, brokering and supporting productive industry relationships, and fostering best-in-class products and strategies. CFSI works with leaders and innovators in the business, government and nonprofit sectors to transform the financial services landscape. For more on CFSI, go to http://cfsinnovation.com or follow on Twitter at @cfsinnovation.
About the D2D Fund
Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund strengthens the financial opportunity and security of low and moderate income consumers by innovating, incubating, and stimulating new financial products and policies. Operating at the intersection of the private, non-profit and public sectors, D2D incubates and promotes practical applications with social impact that might otherwise lack a champion to nurture and bring them to market. D2D was incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization in 2000 and is headquartered in Allston neighborhood of Boston, across the street from Harvard University’s recently opened Innovation Lab. For more on D2D, go to www.d2dfund.org
Cynthia Hunt, Senior Vice President, CFSI