Wanted: Global Startups Focused on Financial Inclusion
The Techstars Fintech Challenge: Financial Inclusion brings together founders, industry leaders, and subject matter experts to further understand key issues faced in reaching the global unbanked and underbanked.

Applications Close: Sept 1, 2021
At Techstars, our mission is to help entrepreneurs succeed—and one of the most powerful ways we do it is by enabling deep collaborations between founders, industry leaders and subject matter experts.

The Techstars Fintech Challenge: Financial Inclusion brings together founders, industry leaders, and subject matter experts to further understand key issues faced in reaching the global unbanked and underbanked. In this equity-free challenge, Techstars and its partners will kickstart collaborations needed to get solutions into the market faster by providing access to new networks, and the exposure you need to get into the market faster.
Key Dates
May 18, 2021
May 18, 2021
Applications Open
Sep 1, 2021
Sep 1, 2021
Applications Close
Oct 4, 2021
Oct 4, 2021
Pilot Workshop
Oct 13, 2021
Oct 13, 2021
Fintech Summit
The Challenge
Bringing Financial Education and Access to the Underserved All Over the World
There are billions of people and millions of businesses the world over who lack sufficient access to adequate financial products and services. This challenge is focused on connecting this global mass of the unbanked and underserved to a world of economic opportunity. Effectively addressing this huge issue requires capabilities far beyond what any single entity or organization can muster and is best approached by bringing the different actors together to devise ways of unlocking opportunity and provide more people with financial tools that have historically been beyond their reach.

Specifically, this challenge is seeking fintech solutions addressing the unbanked and underserved in two specific areas:
Education & Access
How do we increase financial literacy that leads to better understanding of and universal access to digital financial tools? Solutions we're looking for are targeting late adopter and smaller/rural market sectors and providing tools that help build financial knowledge and the informational infrastructure.
Digital Products
How can individuals and small businesses use digital products to save, invest, spend and send money, improving their financial security and creating economic opportunity? Solutions we're looking for could be focused on financial health, lending, payments, insurance, remittances, savings and gamification.
Judging Criteria

Submissions will be chosen by the judged potential impact by a panel selection of fintech experts representing Challenge Partners and Techstars leaders. The submissions will be judged based on:

1. Problem solution fit
2. Scale of the solutions potential impact
3. Ability to implement a proof-of-concept with an enterprise organization
A Challenge Focused on Startups
Startups expressing interest in this Challenge will be considered and reviewed by the Challenge Partners for alignment with potential pilot and business development areas for engagement. The most relevant and innovative startups will receive the following:

Get paired with mentors across our participating partner network (see below). Work with these mentors over several months to scale and implement your solution.

Formal Corporate BU Introductions
Pilot Workshop: Participate in a private workshop with our Challenge Partners on Oct 4, 2021. This is an opportunity to showcase your solution to our corporate partners and work with business units to identify opportunities to work together with the intention of identifying opportunities for pilot.

Techstars Fintech Summit: A handful of startups will also be invited to pitch to the Techstars fintech network including corporate leaders, investors, and others working in fintech innovation on Oct 13, 2021

*note: participation in the Pilot Workshop does not guarantee a Pilot
"As part of our mission to help people achieve a brighter financial future, we strive to bring innovative solutions to those traditionally underserved by the financial system – helping them better manage their finances and achieve their personal goals."

Rob Gillis
VP, Head of Corporate Development
Discover Financial Services

Apply to the Challenge
In this equity-free challenge, we are specifically looking for startups focused on financial inclusion, and bringing education and access to the unbanked and underserved around the world.
Apply Now