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.

2021 Challenges

Examples of current real-world payment 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:

Make sure to check out their Getting Started guide:


More challenges coming soon!


Competition Dates 2021

The Formathon is a 3-week virtual hackathon, starting on May 26th, with workshops every Wednesday evening (5:30pm-7pm) and Saturday (9am-3pm). The Formathon concludes with the Finals on June 17th.

Day 1
Wednesday May 26th | 5:30pm-7pm (Orientation & Team Formation)

Day 2
Saturday May 29th | 9am-3pm (Workshop / Team work)

Day 3
Wednesday June 2nd | 5:30pm-7pm (Industry Expert Night / Speed Dating)

Day 4
Saturday June 5th | 9am-3pm (Workshop / Team work)

Day 5
Wednesday June 9th | 5:30pm-7pm (Industry Expert Night / Speed Dating)

Day 6
Saturday June 12th | 9am-3pm (Workshop / Team work)

Day 7
Wednesday June 16th | 5:30pm-7pm (Pitch Preparation)

Formathon Finals
Thursday June 17th | 5:30pm-7pm (Pitch & Award ceremony)

Have Questions?
Join our info session on May 5th!

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

A program with 5 key ingredients that make it unique


An Existing Challenge

A validated problem that organizations are eager to solve. In other words, demand exists, you don’t lose valuable time trying to figure that out.


Team and Talent

Finding good talent and founders made simple. We will help you build a multi-disciplinary and balanced team.


Pre-Fuel Funding

Teams with the best solutions will win a cash prize to take their solution and build it into a startup. Prizes  are $5K per challenge, to be split amongst your team.


Guidance and Resources

Receive continuous guidance, coaching, and resources from Fintech Cadence and experts in the field.



Many say networking is everything. Meet other fellow participants as well as experts and corporate partners.

Participation Cost


Past Formathon Finals



Join our newsletter to get notified about the next Formathon!