Financial free zone Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and professional services firm KPMG have announced the launch of the first FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge for start-ups.
The challenge, which is part of the inaugural FinTech Abu Dhabi event in October, will see start-up firms take part in a five-week programme to develop solutions to address business challenges within the financial services industry.
A total of 10 finalists will be selected to develop solutions for industry problems in six areas including financial and investment management, financial inclusion, regtech, trade finance, insurtech and private capital markets.
The group will then showcase their solutions at the October 22 FinTech Demo Day to a panel of industry experts.
During this process, entrants will be offered start-up initiation and mentoring sessions, opportunities to expand into the Middle East, Africa and South Asia financial sectors sector, guidance from experts and regulatory authorities and fast-tracked entry into ADGM’s Regulatory Laboratory accelerator programme, according to the free zone authority.
Firms will also be provided with $15,000 to cover costs associated with travel and accommodation and two winners will have the opportunity to participate in the Singapore Hackcelerator event.
“This is a great opportunity for fintech start-ups to interact with the brightest minds in the industry to leverage the guidance and mentorship of industry experts to come up with solutions to address and solve some of the sector’s challenges and pain-points,” said Wai Lum Kwok, executive director (Capital Markets), Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM.
The application process is now open and start-ups have until August 25 to submit their entry.
Abu Dhabi is among a group of regional cities vying to become the Gulf’s fintech hub.
Both Bahrain and Dubai have announced new regulation this year designed to allow fintech firms greater flexibility in testing and experimenting with new ideas.
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) also launched an accelerator programme for financial technology start-ups in collaboration with Accenture in January.