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Start-ups 12 Aug 2019

BBVA unveils the first 2019 Open Talent finalists

BBVA has today unveiled the first set of finalists in the eleventh edition of BBVA Open Talent – the world’s biggest fintech competition.

More than 800 start-ups from across the globe have entered this latest edition of BBVA Open Talent, with 90 countries represented. From that list 56 have now been provisionally shortlisted as finalists, all of which come from BBVA’s core operating countries.

Among the entries seen this year were new ways to protect digital identity and DLT secured payment systems, as well as short term insurance solutions and experience management platforms.

Entries also came in for innovative solutions like P2P hiring for cars and motorbikes, KYC (know your customer) cloud-based solutions for smaller businesses to minimise fraud, and an app that monitors how sustainably someone lives their life and rewards them financially for taking positive action.

There were also business focussed entries, like a digital intermediary for B2B mortgage brokerage, crowd-sourcing investments into products and a virtual prepaid loyalty scheme for dedicated vegan businesses.

“The quality of submissions to the competition this year has been outstanding, and it shows the breadth and depth of the fintech sector globally”

A second shortlist of entries at a global level is now being produced, and will be announced in the next few weeks.

The first set of finalists will now be invited to a pitching session in front of BBVA decision-makers in their home countries. The winners of these pitching battles will subsequently be flown to BBVA’s global headquarters in Madrid, Spain, for the final showdown at the BBVA Open Summit against up to a dozen other promising startups.

Fintech accelerator program

As well as prize money of up to €100,000, the winners and runners up in BBVA Open Talent 2019 can join the bank’s accelerator programme, as well as apply for a spot on BBVA’s Proof of Concept program.

For the first tranche of finalists selected, five come from Argentina, eight from Peru, six from Turkey, four from Paraguay, 10 from Spain, 10 from Mexico, 10 from Colombia and 3 from Uruguay. Further finalists from the USA will be selected in the coming days, while the global submission finalists will also be decided in the next few weeks.

Commenting, Ainhoa Campo – head of BBVA Open Innovation – said: “BBVA Open Talent is our way of finding the most innovative solutions and businesses on the planet and driving them forward, working together to foster growth and bring new products and services to our customers and colleagues.

“Once again the quality of submissions to the competition this year has been outstanding, and it shows the breadth and depth of the fintech sector globally. We have selected what we believe are the best ideas around and the ones that best fit the needs of our customers and clients, but the sheer number of ideas being built out there shows the strength of this sector.”

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