BBVA has opened registrations for its seventh annual global fintech startup competition. The competition focuses on “innovative” startups that are “transforming” financial services, said the Spanish bank.
The competition is also aimed at those involved in ecommerce, user experience, big data and other areas. Last year, BBVA acquired big data startup Madiva Soluciones.
BBVA will award 30,000 euros (£21,400) in prize money to each of the six winners and offer them a two-week “immersion programme” where they will network with BBVA experts and industry professionals in London and Mexico. Six UK startups were selected as finalists in the Open Talent 2014 fintech competition.
“Interacting with innovation ecosystems has always been a priority for BBVA, but on this occasion we want BBVA Open Talent to focus on companies and products that can really be applied to the financial services business or those that are related to pioneering products in the development of the group’s new digital services”, said Gustavo Vinacua, director of innovation centres and open innovation at BBVA.
Last year, Socure, an online security company, raised $4.7 million (£3.1 million) from a round of financing right after winning the US edition of the contest. A finalist in 2013, Kantox, a foreign exchange platform, closed a $6.4 million round of financing, and the winner that year, Traity, an online reputation company, raised $5 million.
Startups will compete in the region where they are registered, with the three regions including the US and the rest of the world, Europe and Latin America. Twenty finalists from each region will be chosen to compete in the finals, where entrepreneurs will present their companies to a jury, which will select two winners from each region.
“We want to build stable, long-term business relationships with these entrepreneurs and their startups, to the benefit of both parties. BBVA can share its knowledge and experience in the banking business, while they can show us a new way of doing things," said Vinacua.