How can fintech startups help Canadians and Canadian businesses address cybersecurity challenges and become more resilient to cyberthreats?


Selected by a jury, the 2nd place fintech startup will win a $15,000 non-dilutive grant, earn a spot in Startup in Residence – Desjardins’s 8-month startup accelerator  – and will be eligible for a potential investment of up to $250,000. 


Selected by a jury, the winning fintech startup 
will win a $25,000 non-dilutive grant, earn a
spot in 
Startup in Residence – Desjardins’s 8-month startup accelerator  – and will be eligible for a potential investment of up to $250,000. 


Selected by a jury, the 3rd place fintech startup will win a $5,000 non-dilutive grant and earn a spot in Fintech Cadence’s Sandbox Program – a program dedicated to coaching and supporting the startup achieve their next milestone(s).

Desjardins and cybersecurity

Desjardins has made great strides in information security over the past 18 months and will continue to apply international best practices. To prevent and detect data breaches, organizations need a wide range of personnel, technical and procedural security measures in place. The security program as a whole—including people, processes and technology—is what helps protect organizations from fraud and information security threats.

How can fintech companies help?

Canadian individuals and businesses are more dependent than ever on the internet to carry out their day-to-day activities. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, this trend has gained speed so that Canadians can work, shop and socialize safely, in accordance with the physical distancing policies issued by public health authorities. However, as devices, information and activities move online, their vulnerability to cyberthreats increases.

According to the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security the number of cyberthreat actors is rising and their actions are becoming more sophisticated. Given the scope of these challenges, a whole range of innovations will have to be deployed to transform our ways of thinking and acting to help Canadian individuals and businesses prevent, detect and respond to cyberthreats.

These ideas—and many others— are some of the potential approaches for making Canadian individuals and businesses more resilient. Some of the priorities include:

– Preventing, detecting and fighting against ransomware
– Browsing and doing business online securely
– Protecting Canadians against online dating and romance financial scams (more info here)

  • Operate a business incorporated in Canada
  • Be registered to participate in the challenge according to the rules set by Startup in Residence
  • At a minimum, have a working prototype of your solution that is ready for launch (pre-marketing)
  • Be in the process of assessing your capital needs and planning your financing (pre-seed or seed)
  • Have at least one of the co-founders working full time in the startup
  • Have growth potential
  • Have a management team made up of individuals who are motivated, collaborative and open to coaching and who have both a business- and IT-oriented profile
  • Start of application period: August 19th, 2021
  • Information session: August 25th, 2021  (5PM-6PM EST)
  • Closing of application period: September 13th, 2021
    • Phase 1: September 16th – October 1st 2021
    • Workshops & Networking on Sept 21st, 23rd and 28th – 4pm-6pm EST
  • Semi-finals: October 4th, 2021 (TIME TBD)
    • Phase 2: October 5th – October 20th, 2021 | Dates and times TBD.
  • Finale: October 21st, 2021 (4PM–6PM EST)
  • Admission to the Startup in Residence accelerator program: 
    November 15, 2021

Meet the 16 that were selected for the 1st phase

The 5 finalists selected

Join us for an evening of pitches, music, special guest speaker and networking!


CYBERDEFENSE.AI develops affordable high-tech cybersecurity innovations, that are resilient, scalable, innovative and that do not require any expertise.


F8th Inc., is developing continuous authentication technologies, to help organizations secure their personal and corporate data by monitoring human interactions with a device.


CYDEF provides organizations with critical endpoint monitoring to confirm no threats have evaded traditional security layers like AV, Firewall and SPAM filter.


BDATA uses blockchain technology to secure device to device, and device to cloud data transactions.


Conatix applies AI to cybersecurity monitoring and detection, first for insider fraud and now for ransomware vulnerability.

Info Videos

Take a look back at our recent Information Session. For any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

An invitation from Desjardins’ CISO: Nicolas Coulombe and providing context to the motivations behind this Call for Applications. Video here.

Play Video


We look forward to reading your application!

Deadline to apply is September 13th 2021 – end of day.

You will be asked to submit your application through F6S. You can submit in English or French.* Once your application is completed, Results and selection will be communicated September 14th 2021.

*To complete your application, please read the Desjardins Rules here