BBVA tech start-up competition attracts 870 participants

A start-up funding competition run by Spanish bank BBVA and financial technology firm Next Bank has attracted entrants from 56 countries working on 870 technology projects.

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A start-up funding competition run by Spanish bank BBVA has attracted entrants from 56 countries working on 870 technology projects.

The BBVA Open Talent 2014 competition, in partnership with financial technology firm Next Bank, was announced in April. It aims to find start-ups with the "strongest potential to impact and transform the financial services and related industries in Europe and the Americas".

According to BBVA, the countries with the most participants in this year’s competition are Spain, Argentina, Mexico and the US.

In its sixth year, BBVA Open Talent has two categories: New Banking, focused solely on fintech start-ups, and Digital Life, dedicated to general innovative technology-based start-ups. 

This year the number of New Banking entrants has increased by 80 percent, accounting for 166 projects.

Finalists will be announced in the first week of August through the BBVA Innovation Centre website.

Participants will then present in front of a panel of judges at various Next Bank conferences, before final presentations in South America, Europe and North America.

Winners will receive €30,000 (£27,000) to invest in a collaboration with BBVA, and will be invited to participate in training and mentoring as part of the Crash Acceleration Week in New York.

BBVA, the second largest Spanish banking group after Santander, announced earlier this year that it has created a separate function within its organisation to focus on developing innovative digital banking services.

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