BMO Financial Group and the DMZ at Ryerson University Announce Fintech Accelerator Winners

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TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2017 – BMO Financial Group and the DMZ at Ryerson University have announced the winners of the “DMZ-BMO Fintech Accelerator” program. Launched in May 2017, the program has operated with the goal of fostering Canada’s top financial technology startups looking to expand, through an exclusive four-month incubation and mentorship experience.

The DMZ-BMO Fintech Accelerator program followed the success of the 2016 partnership between the bank and leading North American university incubator, and culminated last night with four finalists pitching their ideas to BMO executives.

Of the four finalists who had the opportunity to pitch their ideas in front of the judges, two winners were named:

First Place: Viviplan, automating high-end financial plans at an affordable price, prize of $65K

Second Place: Fortuna.ai, an artificial intelligence platform that automates business development, prize of $35K

“We are so impressed with the talent of these entrepreneurs, which has been amplified by their time within the Fintech Accelerator program,” said Andrew Irvine, Head, Canadian Business Banking & BMO Partners, BMO Bank of Montreal. “We look forward to continuing to work with the winners and exploring how we can couple their technologies within the bank’s existing systems and platforms to enhance the customer experience and deliver more industry-leading solutions to market quickly.”

“Over the past four months, BMO has worked with our startups to offer a valuable perspective on the Canadian and global financial services industry,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ at Ryerson University. “Partnerships and innovation are key to building fintechs of the future, and we look forward to seeing how the winners will work with BMO to help improve the way Canadians bank.”

Throughout the incubation, the finalist entrepreneurs benefitted from:

  • Free residency at the DMZ, allowing startups to interact with each other, attend other DMZ events in the space and utilize the resources on site
  • Access to conversations with venture capitalists and C-level individuals to advise and help them grow the foundation of their business
  • Inclusion in BMO-hosted Learning Sessions on macroeconomics and industry trends and insights, regulatory and compliance guidelines, and supplier management
  • Over 60 hours of BMO mentor time

“This has been one of our greatest surprises given the caliber of the competition in this year’s DMZ-BMO Fintech Accelerator,” said Rona Birenbaum, co-founder and CEO of Viviplan. “The DMZ’s commitment to building bridges between BMO and the best-in-class fintech startups has helped us further develop our product and accelerate our growth in an amount of time that would’ve been impossible anywhere else.”

About BMO Financial Group
 
Established in 1817, and currently marking its 200th year of operations, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $709 billion as of July 31, 2017, and more than 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

About the DMZ at Ryerson University
 
The DMZ at Ryerson University is one of Canada’s largest business incubators for emerging tech startups. It is the top-ranked university incubator in North America and third in the world, and helps startups succeed by connecting them with customers, advisors, influencers and other entrepreneurs. Since launching in 2010, it has incubated 312 startups that have raised $391 million in seed funding and have fostered the creation of 2,962 jobs. For more information about the DMZ, visit www.ryerson.ca/dmz

For further information: BMO Media Contacts:
 
Matthew Duffin, matthew.duffin@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996
Michelle Agnelo, michelle.agnelo@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996

DMZ Media Contact:
 
Ahmed Saleh, ahmed.saleh1@ryerson.ca, (647) 622-8674

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