Toronto-based financial technology (fintech) startup Viviplan has been named the winner of the DMZ-BMO Fintech Accelerator program, earning a cash prize and the opportunity to execute a pilot program with Bank of Montreal (BMO).
The DMZ-BMO Fintech Accelerator program was developed in partnership by BMO and the DMZ at Ryerson University— a business incubator for emerging fintech startups — to support the development of emerging Canadian fintech companies by providing a four-month incubation and mentorship experience.
Four finalists competed for first place on Nov. 15 by pitching their business ideas to BMO executives. Viviplan took home a prize of $65,000 for its pitch on automating high-end financial plans, which are fee-only and designed to make financial planning more affordable and accessible.
Toronto-based Fortuna.ai, an artificial intelligence platform that automates business development, earned second place and a prize of $35,000.
The other two finalists were Typesift and Cinchy, both based in Toronto.
"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," says Andrew Irvine, head of Canadian business banking and BMO partners with BMO, in a statement.
Throughout the incubation period, finalists benefited from free residency at the DMZ, enabling the startups to interact with each other and use onsite resources. Entrepreneurs could also seek advice from venture capitalists and C- suite level individuals.
In addition, the finalists were included in BMO-hosted learning sessions on topics such as macroeconomics and industry insights, regulatory and compliance guidelines, and supplier management.
Overall, participating entrepreneurs accessed more than 60 hours of time with BMO mentors.
"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 elsewhere," says Rona Birenbaum, co-founder and CEO of Viviplan, in a statement.
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