Entries now open for NTT DATA’s Open Innovation Contest 2018

NTT DATA is excited to announce that entries are now open for its 7th Open Innovation Contest. The competition invites startups from across the globe, in the fintech community and beyond, to submit ideas that overcome specific societal challenges.

Regional contests will be held at 15 locations worldwide, with each heat’s winner earning their place at the grand finale in Tokyo early in 2018. The contest’s overall winner will then receive business development support from NTT DATA over a three month period to help make their idea a reality.

NTT DATA UK will host the London heat with Innovate Finance at Level39 in Canary Wharf. This follows a successful event earlier this year with over 400 entries and ideas ranging from payment systems to new applications for drones. The deadline for this year’s submissions is 10th October 2017 and the competition is expected to be fiercer than ever.  In addition to participating in the Grande Finale in Tokyo, the UK finalist will earn a year long membership to Innovate Finance.

Tom Winstanley, VP and Head of Innovation in the UK at NTT DATA, said: “The Open Innovation Contest is a great opportunity for today’s most exciting tech entrepreneurs and forward-thinkers to channel their energies towards society’s challenges. Whether it is helping a business function more efficiently, a city run more smoothly, or a community unite around collective goals, technology is often the critical first step. We are hugely proud of the competition and very much look forward to having our minds opened by the exciting ideas being submitted this year.”

So, how do you enter? Startups must create a pitch document, and NTT DATA will then review the contributions and handpick the finalists for the UK pitch day in early 2018.

Last year’s overall winner, Barcelona-based Social Coin, is undergoing intensive business development and benefiting from NTT DATA’s investment. The bursary has accelerated its ability to use blockchain technology and deep learning to boost personal, corporate and government impact on society.

In the UK, Everledger, a start-up using blockchain technology to create a digital global ledger to track and protect valuable items such as diamonds, won last year’s London stage, beating 10 other companies.

Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO at Innovate Finance, said: “We look forward to supporting NTT DATA again with this competition and encourage startups, especially those with social conscious business models from our global membership and community to apply. Finalists will get unprecedented exposure as well as valuable support from a major technology giant, which will help the growth and development of their companies in the UK and beyond.”

NTT DATA has expanded the contest to include 15 cities worldwide following a positive response from the global start-up and investor community. Any start-up is invited to pitch their business idea that overcomes specific challenges outlined by NTT DATA, in fields such as FinTech, InsurTech, HealthcareTech, financial inclusion, RegTech, IoT, digital marketing, blockchain, virtual currency, API, personal data, AI, drone, digital archive, BPM, energy, or quantum computing.

Kotaro Zamma, Head of Open Innovation and Business Incubation at NTT DATA in Japan, said, “The Contest 5.0 was a really strong engine to meet up with unparalleled 10 start-ups from all over the world and with 7 start-ups we have started to discuss and work for concrete business development. We continue this project and expand to 15 cities to meet up more various edge-cutting technologies and business and speed up business development in hopes of surpassing 10 billion JPY (about 100 million USD) in annual business by 2020. Now let’s change the world together.”

For more information and how to apply, please contact [email protected].


NTT DATA (TOKYO: 9613) is your Innovation Partner anywhere around the world. Headquartered in Tokyo, with business operations in 42 countries, we put emphasis on long-term commitment and combine global reach and local intimacy to provide premier professional services from consulting, system development to business IT outsourcing.

Since 1967, NTT DATA has played an instrumental role in establishing and advancing IT infrastructure. Originally part of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation, its heritage contributed to social benefits with a quality-first mindset. A public company since 1995, the company builds on this proven track record of innovation by providing novel IT solutions to bring results in greater quality of life for people, communities and societies around the world.

About Innovate Finance

Innovate Finance is an independent membership association that represents the UK’s global FinTech community. Founded in 2014 with the support of the City of London and Canary Wharf Group, Innovate Finance is a not-for-profit with over 250+ members that aims to accelerate the country’s leading position in the global financial services sector by directly supporting the next era of technology-led financial services innovators, whether they be a young startup or an established industry player. This is achieved through curated programmes based on member requirements, policy working groups and promotion through global press and social media.

The goal is to create a single point of access across the sectors to help foster enabling policies, regulation, talent development, business growth opportunities and investment in the UK — and, most importantly, to create a global finance sector that offers services that are more sustainable, more inclusive and better for everyone. For more information visit


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