Westpac Group, in conjunction with accelerator BlueChilli, is offering $40,000 to the Australian startup that can create the most useful and disruptive business solution for its SME and commercial real estate customers.
“The Westpac Innovation Challenge” is an opportunity for Australian startups to develop new ideas to help the bank’s business customers. The winner of the round will receive $40,000 cash to develop their idea and a six month placement in BlueChilli’s startup accelerator program and the potential of further investment opportunities.
BlueChilli founder and chief executive officer Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin says it’s a great opportunity to advance the development of new business services in the marketplace.
”We want to boost startups that use technology in smart ways in order to expand the services available to professionals and consumers within their industry,” he says.
The challenge is open to Australian residents who either have an existing early-stage venture or a new concept that can help Westpac’s business customers prosper and grow.
Westpac general manager commercial banking Alastair Welsh says the company is looking for ideas that could potentially transform their real-estate customers’ businesses.
“Westpac, like our customers, knows that innovation and entrepreneurship are the engines of growth and vital for sustained performance in a rapidly changing, digital economy,” Welsh says.
The challenge launches one week after the opening of Westpac Group’s new innovation centre – The Hive – and is part of the bank’s effort to deliver innovative products and services to its customers.
There will be future challenge rounds which focus on solving business problems for other Westpac business customers from various industries.
Commercial real estate was selected as the first area for the challenge as it is a rapidly growing part of the Australian economy and a key focus area for the Westpac Retail and Business Bank.
Applications close at 11pm on Sunday, October 19. For more information and to apply, visit the BlueChilli website.