Formathon logo


Canada’s Biggest Fintech Competition

May 26 to June 17, 2021


The Formathon has 2 tracks:

3-week virtual hackathon where you build a fintech startup or work on a research project.

Startup Track

In the startup track, you build a startup to solve a pressing challenge provided by our industry partners.

Want to build a fintech startup? Form a team (2 to 5 people) and choose a challenge provided by our partners. You will have 3 weeks to build a startup to solve it all while receiving coaching and mentorship from experts. The Formathon also has workshops to help you properly understand the Challenge, design a solution, build your prototype and learn to deliver a pitch.

Research Track

In the research track, you research a fintech challenge and present your findings.

Are you passionate about fintech but are not looking launch your own start-up? Are you excited by research and diving deeper into fintech challenges? Form a team (2 to 5 people) and research a fintech challenge provided by our partners. You will get to present your findings at Demo Day. All participants will receive a “proof of completion” upon satisfying the requirements of the program.

Examples of current inefficiencies:



Canadians currently have limited and cumbersome options to send money to each other: either via physical cash, bank e-transfer, or personal check; each option having multiple inefficiencies and drawbacks. With open banking standards and interoperability capabilities of a real-time platform, new convenient solutions can be developed. Create overlay services to enable P2P transactions to take advantage of open banking and a bank interoperable payments rail.


Another payment type which could benefit vastly from innovation is recurring payments e.g. car finance, mortgage, rent, bills etc. Currently there are two common recurring payments methods: 1) pre-authorized debits, which do not allow for individual payment approvals or easy change of payor bank account, and 2) online banking which requires vendor registration and requires payment initiation for every invoice. With the Real-Time Rail (RTR) Request to Pay (RTP) ability, an overlay service can be created to potentially offer multiple value added features including vendor/payee alias registrations, pre-approved payment limits which trigger automatic payments on invoice receipt with automatic payments routing, and multiple payor bank accounts with notification where further approval/review is required…. the possibilities are endless. 


With today’s current infrastructure, a payment can take up to several days to be processed. This delays projects and initiatives which can ultimately lead to financial loss. With the Real-Time Rail (RTR), invoice payments happen instantly and are automatically reconciled against outstanding invoices. Build a system that takes advantage of the real time APIs and can mark and notify settled invoices.

A business wants to pay an individual some prize money for winning a formathon. The current mechanism is either to send an e-transfer if within limits, or to pay by cheque. Due to these challenges some businesses simply refuse to repay outstanding balances and instead offer credit towards future services. Build a service that businesses can subscribe to that will facilitate automatic and frictionless payments to individuals.



Discover the Payment Canada’s API Portal here:

VIDEO: View our Payments University Series to understand the payments landscape



Examples of current inefficiencies:


Third Party Access

Some fintechs are third-party services and software that enable Banks and FIs to offer additional services and products to their customers. When institutions integrate these software to their main systems it creates a gateway for cyberpirates to have access to very sensitive information. Create a solution that can offer additional cybersecurity to an API-driven fintech.


Crypto and Money Laundering Risks 

Cryptocurrencies have recently gained legitimacy in the payments sector. More and more users are buying and exchanging these currencies and some major institutions have started accepting cryptocurrencies as payment methods. Although the blockchain itself cannot be tampered, the users and exchange platforms that use these currencies are not immune to hacking. Develop a solution that will identify scams and hacker entry points for fintechs in the crypto space. 


Scaling and Implementing New Technologies

As fintechs scale their business, they become a target for cyber pirates and must upgrade their security system to make sure they are not putting their clients’ information at risk. Keeping up with the evolving technology can be costly and time-consuming if these fintech do not have internal skills to do so. Using cybersecurity, develop a product that can help scale-ups identify potential threats and theft entry-points as technology evolves. 



6 data security issues Fintech firms are facing

A Snapshot of 10 Cybersecurity Challenges for Fintech (And How You Can Resolve Them)

Examples of current inefficiencies:

Hourly Wage Earners

The often-tenuous world of the part-time and full-time hourly workers bore the brunt of the severe impact from the COVID-19 pandemic and they continue to suffer from the whiplash caused by the repeated waves of the on-going pandemic.

Gig Workers
Even before the pandemic, demographic shifts were moving many highly educated and experienced professionals from the comforts of full-time traditional employment to short-term contingent or temporary gig or contract arrangements. While these changes were often taken by the professionals to bring added flexibility and opportunities across many different projects and clients, they were also becoming increasingly aware of the potential for gaps and lulls between work – and all this was BEFORE the pandemic that gripped the world economies in March of 2020.

On-Demand Economy
With recent new employment or gig arrangements like driving for services like Uber and Lyft or providing food delivery services through Skip The Dishes, workers are able to build in additional opportunities for income outside of their normal employment circumstances. Many of the participants of the on-demand economy have full-time or part-time jobs and are taking on these shifts to maximize the flexibility for additional income.
Increased Financial Literacy & Inclusion The younger generation are more connected than ever. Thus being, it is an opportunity to take the lead in offering financial literacy through apps and service providers and helping the younger generation to better save and manage their money.



Explore the OBIC website for tools and resources:


Open to all backgrounds

We believe diversity is key to deliver a unique experience and result. This is why we seek out for our 3 H’s: Hipsters, Hustlers and Hackers. 

No matter what your level of experience and whether you know fintech or not, our Formathon is open to all. Fintech Cadence will be there every step of the way to support!

Competition Dates 2021

The Formathon is a 3-week virtual hackathon, starting on May 26th, with workshops every Wednesday evening (5pm-7pm) and Saturday (11am-4pm). The Formathon concludes with the Finals on June 17th. 

*All times are in EST time

Day 1
Wednesday May 26th | 5pm-7pm (Orientation & Team Formation)

Day 2
Saturday May 29th | 11am-4pm (Workshop / Team work)

Day 3
Wednesday June 2nd | 5pm-7pm (Industry Expert Night / Speed Dating)

Day 4
Saturday June 5th | 11am-4pm (Workshop / Team work)

Day 5
Wednesday June 9th | 5pm-7pm (Industry Expert Night / Speed Dating)

Day 6
Saturday June 12th | 11am-4pm (Workshop / Team work)

Day 7
Wednesday June 16th | 5pm-7pm (Pitch Preparation)

Formathon Finals
Thursday June 17th | 5pm-7pm (Pitch & Award ceremony)

Registrations are now closed. Join us for the Finals this Thursday!

Have some questions?

Formathon allowed me to connect with industry experts to really validate our idea. It also carried a weight that allowed us to leverage our experience to pitch our startup idea to accelerator programs. I think it is the best competition in Canada geared towards fintechs

Aws Al-Hasani

It was amazing how we were supported throughout the process. When you are doing a startup everyone thinks that you are alone, but with Fintech Cadence, there was someone helping you every step of the way.

Tolotra Randriamialison

Still want the Formathon explained?

Check out our video that breaksdown the Formathon in terms of value receive, expectations and challenges!

Need questions answered? Contact us below.

Email us with your questions

Past Formathon Finals