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FinLab sets $3 million competition

Goal is next-generation fintech products to support underbanked communities

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FinLab's going to give $250,000 each, plus advice, to developers with winning ideas. FinLab's going to give $250,000 each, plus advice, to developers with winning ideas.

A joint effort of JPMorgan Chase and the Center for Financial Services Innovation is seeking to encourage development of fintech aids for Americans’ financial health, and is putting up $3 million in its fourth such annual challenge to get things moving.

Financial Solutions Lab, or “FinLab,” the name of the five-year Chase-CFSI venture, says that this year it is “particularly interested in products developed by entrepreneurs of color, women, and people with disabilities, and designed to meet he financial needs of often overlooked populations.”

Each winning team will receive a package of $250,000 in capital; professional assistance from Google and other organizations; strategic guidance from FinLab’s advisory council; and resources from CFSI and Chase.

FinLab said in a statement announcing the competition that:

“Applicants to the Challenge are encouraged to share how their products can help consumers improve their financial health, how their company or nonprofit will succeed in serving a diverse market, and how their teams reflect this diversity. Despite improvements in recent years, all-women teams of entrepreneurs received just $1.9 billion of the $85 billion total invested by venture capitalists last year and only an estimated 3% of the venture capitalist workforce is black while only 4% is Hispanic or Latino. The FinLab believes that diversity among leaders and teams also leads to more inclusive products and services with the potential to scale to millions of customers.”

Interested parties can apply by April 11 here.

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