Desjardins FINTECH & CLIMATE challenge

in partnership with Fintech Cadence

powered by Startup in Residence


How can Canadian fintech startups help society address the challenges of climate change and support a just transition to a low-carbon, more sustainable, resilient and inclusive model?


1st place: $25,000 | 2nd place: $15,000

+ Admission to Startup in Residence and potentially receive up to $250,000 investment from Desjardins

3rd place: $5,000

+ Fintech Cadence Sandbox Coaching Support

Desjardins and climate change

Climate change is taking a heavy toll on the environment, society and the economy, and this can affect people’s physical, mental and financial health.

Since 1990, we’ve been taking action to protect the environment and mitigate climate change. We recognize the urgent need to act—and act fast—in response to the challenges that climate change poses.

In late 2017, we made a number of commitments toward achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees. These commitments included achieving operational carbon neutrality, focusing our infrastructure investments on renewable energy projects, and reducing the carbon footprint of our own investments.

We stepped up these commitments in 2019 with a new target to reduce GHG emissions under our operational control to 20% below 2018 levels by 2024. In 2020, we became the first financial institution in North America to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance and issued what NGO Reclaim Finance called one of the world’s most robust coal exit policies.

Learn more about our commitment to the climate and the environment.

In 2021, we renewed our climate strategy, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality (net zero emissions) by 2040 in our operations, procurement and lending, as well as our own investments in 3 key carbon-intensive sectors of the economy: energy, transportation and real estate.

We’ll achieve this ambitious goal through the support and engagement of all our employees, managers and directors, and through the joint efforts and progress of our partners in the financial sector and Canadian society.

Learn more about our 2040 climate strategy

How can fintech companies help?

Given the magnitude of these issues, it will take a great deal of innovation to transform the way we think and act to support the financial sector and its clients, whether by raising awareness, measuring impacts, analyzing climate risk or developing financing solutions for green projects.

These are just some of the ways fintech companies can support a just transition to a low-carbon, resilient economy.

eligibility criteria

To have been incorporated in Canada.

To have a working prototype that is ready for launch (pre-marketing).

To be in the process of assessing capital needs and preparing for the financing (pre-seed or seed).

Have at least one of the co-founders working full time in the startup.

To have growth potential.

To have a management team made up of individuals who are motivated, receptive to coaching, collaborative and who have both a business-and IT-oriented profile.

To have registered to participate in the Challenge under the rules promulgated as published.


The Fintech & Climate Challenge is an 8-month program featuring mentoring sessions, workshops and pitches to support participants in growing their businesses.

• Challenge Launch: April 29th

• Information session: May 20th

• Closing of application period: May 31st

• Program launch: June 3rd

• Phase 1 Workshops & Networking: June 8th and June 10th

• Demo presentation: June 11th

• Semi-finals: June 14th

• Phase 2 Workshops & Networking: June 15th and June 8th

• Finals: June 22nd

• Admission to the Startup in Residence incubation program: July 12th