A grand prize of $50,000 is on the line for the mobile application developer who successfully creates the next personal finance app for mobile devices. Entrants may also have the chance to win more than just cash, with access to professional advice and key data resources also among the possible prizes. The key goal of the competition is for someone to create a mobile application that helps people to better manage their personal finances.
According to the competition’s website, “one in four Americans is underserved by financial services,” and more than 92 million would rate their personal finance knowledge at a C or below. The hope is that this nationwide competition will inspire some truly helpful mobile apps to make it easier and more effective for people to get a handle on their finances. The world is surely going in a more digital direction, so it makes sense for personal finance to go that way too (as long as things remain as secure as possible). The FinCapDev Competition looks to inspire exciting developments and to nurture a network of American innovators, software developers, investors, financial service groups, and nonprofit organizations.
The FinCapDev Competition invites socially-minded visionaries to create and submit proposals for mobile apps that achieve one of two things, if not both. The mobile apps entered in the contest should either make it easier for Americans to make smart financial choices and/or give more efficient access to financial services. The competition has several phases, including Phase I, the Qualifying phase, which runs from October 2012 through December 2012. Phase II, the App Development phase, runs from January 2013 through May 2013, and finally, the Final Presentation and Awards Ceremony takes place in June 2013.
Developers can create their apps for the Android platform or Apple devices. The second phase of the competition actually finishes with contestants uploading their applications to the Android Market or AppStore. In the final phase, the app development teams share their app creations with a judging panel comprised of investors, major industry contacts, and visionaries in the tech and financial fields.
The FinCapDev Competition received sponsorship from the Doorways to Dreams Fund (D2D Fund) and the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), among numerous other sponsors and supporters. The total investment from the sponsor reached $200,000 to go toward the prizes, with half of the investment being distributed as startup cash to all the teams whose app design proposals progress past Phase I of the competition. The other $100,000 encompasses a $50,000 grand prize and additional prize money to be distributed accordingly. Contestants reaching the second phase of the challenge also receive access to special webinars related to mobile technology, mentorship from product engineering and design advisors in the financial services and technology field, and even an evaluation license to use the Yodlee “Software Development Kit” to create additional mobile consumer apps.
To be eligible, all developers on the team must be at least 14 years of age with parental or guardian consent if younger than age 18, and the team leader must be a United States Citizen or legal permanent resident. Participation in the form of development teams is encouraged. For more information on this competition, check out http://www.fincapdev.com.
If you could build a mobile app for personal finance, what would it do? Leave your thoughts in our comments below.