A major bank’s investment vehicle is offering $150,000 to entrepreneurs with projects that could improve the financial wellbeing of small businesses.
X15 Ventures, a fintech firm fully owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), is calling on entrepreneurs and start-ups to submit applications for seed funding and development support for projects that improve the financial wellbeing of micro and small businesses.
The investment vehicle is particularly looking for pitches from “experienced entrepreneurs looking to scale their business” who are focused on improving the financial wellbeing of SMEs.
Fifteen projects will be shortlisted to develop, refine and pitch their ideas to X15’s Innovation Investment Committee during a virtual pitch event, Xccelerate, on 23 July 2020.
The event aims to help bring to fruition projects that help small businesses “bounce back” during the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The winning projects will receive $150,000 of seed funding as well as mentoring and support from CBA partners in technology, risk, cyber, payments and data science fields.
X15 Ventures managing director Toby Norton-Smith said: “Xccelerate 2020 will support Australia’s best start-ups to help small and micro businesses bounce back in 2020.
“Given the economic setback caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are inviting driven, experienced entrepreneurs looking to scale their business or a new business idea. The event is part of our commitment to partner with the fintech community to bring new products and services to market that will benefit primarily retail and small-business customers.”
CBA’s group executive for business banking, Mike Vacy-Lyle, added: “We have hundreds of thousands of small-business customers right across Australia, and we want to help them in whatever ways we can.
“The X15 Ventures Xccelerate 2020 event presents a great opportunity for us to help some of Australia’s brightest start-ups develop solutions that could make a big difference to the lives of small businesses across the country.”
Applications are open until this Sunday (7 June), with the 15 shortlisted entrants to be notified by 15 June.
X15 Ventures was formed by CBA earlier this year in an aim to launch more than 25 businesses by 2024. It has already launched a mobile app for small businesses, which collates data and provides insights around cash flow and performance, and a home buying app that aims to help users track their home buying process and co-ordinate with the different players involved through one platform.
[Related: CBA-owned fintech unveils small-business app]
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