4 Challenges and One Mission: Redefine the Future of Finance

Today is a very exciting day for UBS. In case you haven’t seen the news, we have launched the UBS Future of Finance Challenge, a competition which is open to entrepreneurs and startups around the world with potentially disruptive technological ideas and solutions to support the transformation of the banking industry. As the executive with responsibility for our innovation strategy I am obviously delighted that we have taken this step. It underlines our corporate commitment to innovation as a key priority of our long-term strategy and more importantly, demonstrates our determination to support and learn from the global FinTech community.

I have said many times before, this is a very interesting time to be in the financial services industry. Technology has the potential to have an immensely positive impact on the sector, whether it is automating, digitizing or evolving the services we offer our customers. However, we know we cannot do this alone. Internally we are embracing the benefits of innovation in many ways through our in-house innovation spaces and the innovation labs we have established in Zurich, London and Singapore.

However, it is critical for us to work in collaboration with the broader FinTech community, because we recognize there is a lot we can learn from entrepreneurs and startups. Hence why we were so pleased to be the first global bank to move into Level39 in London. Ultimately our ambition is to help shape a more open and collaborative financial services industry and to jointly develop new solutions for our clients. We also hope that for those successful participants of the UBS Future of Finance Challenge we can offer a wealth of thought leadership and resources through our global reach. Above all, with our expertise, we hope to provide the opportunity to accelerate and to help you refine your ideas and bring them to fruition.

What does the UBS commitment translate into in practical terms? We are offering the regional and global finalists cash prizes and accelerator places worth over USD $300,000 and over 300 hours of dedicated coaching from UBS mentors and partners. We hope that through our contribution we can help to maintain the momentum of the FinTech startup community.

How do you enter the Challenge? Entries can be submitted by applicants from around the world on our website: www.ubs.com/innovate. The closing date is 23rd September, 2015.

We are looking for applicants to respond to one of four challenges:

  • Challenge 1: The Client Experience Challenge: – How will banks deliver the ultimate client experience?
  • Challenge 2: The Superior Offering Challenge: – How will banks create superior financial products?
  • Challenge 3: The Banking Efficiency Challenge: – How will banks step-change their efficiency?
  • Challenge 4: The Secure Banking Challenge: – How will banks secure their operations and their clients’ assets?


The Challenge is open to entrepreneurs and startups who have revenues of less than USD $3m and have received less than USD $10m in funding. We are also only considering startups which were incorporated on or after 1st January 2010.

A maximum of 15 participants per region will be shortlisted to attend Immersion Workshops in Singapore, New York, London and Zurich, whereupon we will chose 3 regional winners from each region to participate at the Global Final in Zurich on 10th December.

Good luck to everyone entering the UBS Future of Finance Challenge! I look forward to hearing more about your transformative technologies!

p.s. please keep an eye open for the launch event in your region end of August! More info and full details on the competition on www.ubs.com/innovate