Innovation Challenge

Get involved in the Innovation Challenge and develop game-changing solutions for your startup

FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge 2017

Registration Closed

What is it?

The inaugural FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge, an Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) initiative in partnership with KPMG Digital Village, is a 5-week programme for mature start-ups to contextualize and present market-ready solutions that address problem statements in the financial industry identified in the Middle East, Africa & South Asia (MEASA) region.

As a participant of the FinTechAD Innovation Challenge, not only will start-ups receive mentorship from industry experts and will network with leaders of the FinTech ecosystem, they will also be able to explore commercial opportunities in Abu Dhabi and the wider region..

The FinTechAD Innovation Challenge will culminate in a Demo Day, where the finalists will showcase their innovative solutions on 22 October 2017 at the FinTech Summit in Abu Dhabi. A panel of industry experts will select two winners who will have the opportunity to demo at the Singapore FinTech Festival in November.

How does it work?


Submit your application before midnight 25th August 2017. Shortlisted applicants may be contacted for further information and pre-selection demo sessions.

Registration Closed

5 Week Programme

(starting 17 September 2017)

Up to 10 successful start-ups will spend 5 weeks contextualising and enhancing their prototype/solution with mentoring and guidance from industry champions and real Financial Services business sponsors.

Summit Demo Day

(22 October 2017)

At the end of the 5 weeks, start-ups will showcase their solutions at the Summit Demo Day in Abu Dhabi. The top 2 teams will be invited to demo at the Singapore FinTech Festival in November.

Problem Statements

There are 15 Problem Statements that are categorized by six focus areas across the industry.

1. Financial and Investment Management:

Solutions which help individuals to increase their financial literacy and support institutions in gaining a more detailed understanding of their client base.

2. Financial Inclusion:

Solutions that aim to provide individuals and businesses with access to affordable financial services.

3. RegTech:

Solutions that help financial institutions manage their risks better, and fulfil their compliance and regulatory requirements more efficiently.

4. Trade Finance:

Solutions that can recognize, store and authenticate trade finance documents.

5. InsurTech:

Solutions that help insurers with their claims systems and underwriting models.

6. Private Capital Market:

Solutions that enable ease of access to funding and investors.

View the complete list of problem statements here

Who Can Apply?

A start-up that…

1) Has a working solution

Mature FinTech and non-FinTech start-ups with a working prototype and go-to-market strategy. Selected finalists must be able to demonstrate a working solution by the end of the programme.

2) Can demonstrate your ability to execute

Strong company track record, technical ability, and industry knowledge to solve real business problems.

3) Shows business potential

Business model, customer experience, and collaborative applicability to the industry.

4) Has a unique proposition

Proposition is distinct from existing solutions and utilises unique technology.

Why join the Programme?

1. Commercial opportunities

Potential to explore commercial opportunities in the MEASA region with business stakeholders looking for solutions contextualised to their specific needs. Also including the chance to join adoption programmes and collaborative ecosystems (e.g. KPMG Digital Village).

2. Cash stipend

US$15,000 cash stipend for all 10 selected teams.

3. Mentorship

Business guidance and support from leaders in the industry.

4. RegLab

Fast-tracked consideration for admission to ADGM’s Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab) programme.

5. Network

Connect with the FinTech ecosystem in the MEASA region.

6. Provision of Co-Working Space

Throughout the programme duration, participating start-ups are invited to work at the co-working space in Abu Dhabi.



Wai Lum Kwok
Executive Director (Capital Markets), ADGM

Yobie Benjamin
Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Token, Inc

Emilio Pera
Partner and Head of Financial Services in Lower Gulf, KPMG

Tek Yew Chia
Partner and Head of Financial Services Advisory in Singapore, KPMG

Sopnendu Mohanty
Chief FinTech Officer, MAS

Liz Lumley
Global FinTech Commentator, Independent

Sleem Hasan
VC, Privity LLE

Omar Al Mahmoud

Innovation Challenge Partner