Q How far along does the idea need to be to enter the competition? And where is the idea expected to be by the end of the competition? Just a concept? working prototype?
A While there is no minimum stage or level of completion that any solutions need to have, it should be noted and taken into consideration that judges will evaluate solutions based on a number of factors, including but not limited to: creativity, potential impact, market viability, solution design, execution (project is demonstrated to deliver intended function), the pitch/presentation & validation (have you vetted the idea with appropriate end-users/customers?). We don't expect to see working prototypes and fully functional products given the time constraints of the competition. The more you can address the factors noted above and the sections of the pitch template, the more well-rounded your solution will be.
Q Will any mockups/wire frames of the solution need to be in the 5-7 minute presentation? Or can that be staged somewhere else?
A All presented material from the team will need to be included in the 5-7 minute pitch presentation. There will also be up to 3 minutes of Q&A from the judges on April 7th.
Q What are the different ways that banks can support the teams that are forming?
A There are a myriad of ways to support the Detroit Fintech Challenge and any team that is participating (i.e. coaching mentoring, submitting a "challenge statement" that is specific to ythe needs and challenges of your institution, contributing data or proving access to datasets via APIs and more). Please see "Ways to Get Involved" at
Q Will solutions have to address/fit exactly one of the challenges?
A Solutions presented by any team should address a minimum of one (1) challenge statement listed at the website.
Q Should corporate partners submit challenge statements?
A Submission of challenge statements from corporate partners is strongly encouraged. It is our hope as well that any challenge statements submitted by corporate partners also will offer the opportunity for progressive discussions with viable solutions that move toward ongoing corporate support of the business idea, potential for co-development, future pilot testing, etc.
Q Should competitors try to address on of those corporate challenge statements over the regular ones?
A The focus of a team on a corporate challenge statement will not have implication or impact analysis from the final judges on April 7th. There is benefit in knowing that there is the opportunity for your solution to be adopted or supported beyond the Detroit Fintech Challenge pitch competition simply due to the fact that there is a potential partner or customer who has expressed interest in attaining solutions to their specific institutional challenges and needs.
Q Will corporate partners be judges?
A Yes, some of the judges will derive from and be represented on April 7th by corporate partners.
Q What API's can competitors tap into? Will there be more to come?
A We hope to make APIs available from CBW, and possibly additional institutions, by Feb 28th.
Q Are the judges going to be ‘testing’ the apps created in a live environment? If the apps work within a test environment is that enough for the judges to give it a high execution score?
A "Execution" from the judges will take into account what the team was able to accomplish in the 10 weeks leading up to April 6&7th. It will also partially evaluate the team’s ability to execute moving forward toward product development, market entry and their scalability. Judges won’t be expected to test solutions in real-time or "live". Also, execution will consider how the "project is demonstrated to deliver intended function".
Q The rules state that the Detroit Fintech Challenge is limited to registered LLCS; informal teams can compete but are ineligible for investment prizes. Should I get a team together and compete just for fun, or should I try to join an existing/registered LLC with a concept I could refine?
A It's completely up to the individual, but that statement is correct: (a) you do not need to have a company to participate or even compete in the Detroit Fintech Challenge (b) a team of at least 2 members is required for participation in the competition, up to 5 team members is recommended (c) in the event he/she competes and wins, a Michigan based for-profit, legal entity will need to be the recipient of any determined prize money / funding (d) whether you compete with a team or participate as a coach/mentor as an individual, we welcome and encourage your participation!