Entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale-up businesses are invited to enter Westpac’s 2018 Innovation Challenge for the chance to win $40,000 and professional support to grow their business.

Themed RegTech, this year’s challenge asks entrants to create a technological solution that helps companies comply with regulatory obligations and deliver improved customer outcomes.

Westpac Group Executive, Strategy and Enterprise Services, Gary Thursby, said, “Businesses are operating in an environment of heightened regulatory scrutiny.”

He said technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence have the potential to significantly shift the nature of how we use technology to support and enhance compliance with new and emerging regulatory obligations.

“We’re looking for the next big idea about how these innovations can reduce regulatory costs, improve efficiencies and better meet customer needs,” Thursby said.

Five finalists will be chosen to attend a boot camp at Westpac to prepare for the live pitch in Sydney on 3 December 2018. The judging panel consists of leading industry experts, including Deborah Young, CEO The RegTech Association.

Now in its fifth year, the Westpac Innovation Challenge aims to identify the next generation of leaders and inventors, connecting them to the opportunities that will turn their big ideas into a reality.

All previous winners remain in business today, using the Innovation Challenge to drive their businesses into successful enterprises.

Last year’s winner Evan Wong, co-founder and CEO of fintech company Checkbox Technology, said his business has gone from strength to strength.

“The Westpac Challenge really put us on the map for the first time and allowed us to connect with many of our target customers. We’ve now secured $1.7 million in funding and doubled our staff numbers to expand the business in different markets,” Wong said.

Applications close at 11.59pm AEST, 4 November 2018.

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