This program is now over.

Desjardins' fintech challenge

in partnership with Fintech Cadence

powered by Startup in Residence


How can we help Canadians reach financial empowerment?


WIN 25,000$

+ Admission to Startup in Residence


Financial emergencies can happen to anyone and come at any time. They can be the result of family illness, job loss, urgent home repairs, or a weather event like a major flood”, explains the Canadian government.


Today, a large number of Canadians are worried about the impact of the current COVID-19 on their personal finances. In a situation of uncertainty, financial emergencies can be stressful and cause considerable human and financial hardships. It is crucial that everyone obtains the help and quality advice needed in order to better manage their budget, savings and debt in order to be protected against the unexpected, especially during a pandemic. Progressing towards financial empowerment means learning to better manage personal budgets and making sound financial decisions, while protecting your personal data.


Faced with these challenges, fintechs can bring solutions to help Canadians.

Challenge goal

The Fintech Challenge aims to support entrepreneurs in order to propel them further in their product development and give them the maximum chance for a successful collaboration with Desjardins. “Desjardins continually seeks feedback from members and clients. As soon as the pandemic struck, we took action to provide assistance and reassure members and clients that we’re committed to doing everything we can to help them get through these challenging times and manage their finances. Desjardins intends to continue playing an active role in the socio-economic recovery of our communities,” said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group.

Additional information

Financial empowerment is the ability to manage daily life in a sustainable way and achieve set goals. It includes:

Making informed choices
Managing income and expenses
Saving money on set objectives
Using credit to meet certain needs
Being protected when facing unexpected situations
Acting safely with personal data

To participate in the Fintech Challenge, the startups must be working on at least one of the above scenarios by providing financial technological solutions that improve personal finance management, planning financial goals, automating savings, learning about online brokerage and investing, and financial education as a whole.

Additionally, the Fintech Challenge is looking for startups that work on the uptake of responsible investment. This can include educating consumers on responsible investing, categorizing & measuring impact of investments and providing opportunities to invest responsibly.

eligibility criteria

Be a team of at least 2 

Have at least one founder or employee who is technical

Have an MVP that has yet to be launched or already have an MVP launched and have initial sales

Be an incorporated entity

Desire to be propelled by an early stage investment

Seeking to collaborate with Desjardins through Startup in Residence incubation program

Fill in the Application Form


The Fintech Challenge is a 4-week program that includes mentoring sessions, workshops, pitch practices, internal Desjardins VIP meetings as well further tools and resources to be able to collaborate with Desjardins.


Applications open: September 10, 2020

Info session: September 24, 2020

Applications deadline: October 7, 2020

Program: October 15-29, 2020

Product demo deadline: October 30, 2020

Semi-finals: November 10, 2020

Grand finale: November 18, 2020

Startup in Residence Kick-Off: January 18, 2021