Every year NTT DATA holds an Annual Global Innovation Business Contest to find start-up companies to invest in. This year the competition is travelling to 10 cities around the world, with the first event that took place in London, and where 11 shortlisted start-ups made their pitches on innovative solutions. Among them were the following:
1.Wirex (formerly E-Coin) – a global blockchain personal banking platform with Bitcoin debit card
It is a cloud-based hybrid personal banking platform that offers bitcoin debit cards, remittances, and mobile banking. Wirex allows users to link bitcoin wallets to Visa and MasterCard debit cards in up to three fiat denominations (dollars, pounds sterling, and euro). Wirex can be accessed from desktop and mobile banking app Wirex app. Wirex’s two-way debit cards with the ability to both buy and sell bitcoin accepts account top up and loading via bank transfer, PayPal and many types of alternative payment methods (APMs).
2.GIPStech – affordable indoor localisation technology
The company has developed an outstanding set of technologies -encompassing a state-of-art inertial engine, geomagnetic fingerprinting, sensor fusion and radio frequency mapping- able to bring precision in indoor localization and navigation, reliably and without infrastructure installation need.
3.CityFalcon – personalised financial news feed
Personalised Financial News Feed powered by machine learning & crowd-curation. Leverage 100+ financial publications and Twitter, to increase user’s trading and investment returns.
4.OvalMoney – an app that improves personal financial literacy, tracking and savings
Company’s vision is to create a simple financial solution for everyone, who speaks to the new generation of workers, with flexible income, variable expenses and limited access to financial products. This solution helps tracking of everyday expenses, and encourage savings based on personal life habits. Oval partners provide bank-level security with unlimited guarantee on the savings account, no hidden fees and full control over privacy.
5.Money Mover – powerful and intuitive payments platform
It is the online currency exchange and global payments service dedicated to SMEs. Money Mover aims to make international money transfer an asset rather than an inhibitor for SME growth by empowering businesses to make global payments and international money transfers quickly, at pre-defined rates and with transparent pricing. Its online platform offers real-time exchange rates, accurate quotes and global payments functionality that integrates with existing SME applications and bank products.
6.DreamQuark – an AI platform that develops through deep machine learning to analyse large datasets
DreamQuark envisions to help professionals benefit from the latest advances in machine-learning to create more intelligence from their datasets. The company’s goal has been to combine different algorithms to benefit from the different characteristics of these algorithms and create analyses that can easily generalize. DreamQuark embed these algorithms, first trained on specific datasets, into innovative applications for insurance, financial services and healthcare professionals.
7.TallySticks – an invoice financing portal leveraging blockchain technology
Tallysticks is a revolutionary invoicing software. It leverages the functionality of blockchain to share a common record of immutable invoice-related data for all parties to transparently edit and update. Ultimately, the shared information thread, together with software automation, streamlines the purchase order to invoice to payment workflow processes. The company’s ultimate goal is to build an invoice financing marketplace to close the $2 Trillion global SME funding gap by offering affordable financing to SMEs around the world.
8.Everledger – a global, digital ledger that users blockchain to track and protect valuable assets
Everledger is a global startup that uses the best of emerging technology including blockchain, smart contracts and machine vision to assist in the reduction of risk and fraud for banks, insurers and open marketplaces. Its grand aim is to be a provenance platform for a variety of high value and luxury goods – diamonds, watches, art, Louis Vuitton handbags, things that are identified through some kind of serialized way of identifying that product.
9.eMemory – a digital legacy platform to share and protect personal documents
eMemory is a digital platform dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of personal and collective memories. Through guided archiving procedures the user loads and label their digital files (text, images, video, audio and more) in “Memory boxes” of their own personal space and establishes the legacy through a clickable padlocks system (Padlock System), where red lock means the total deletion of the files after death, the yellow lock allows you to choose from a list of people (as of a certain date, wishing for a certain period of days) in legacy files, while the green lock makes available, also by a certain date and wishing for a certain period of time, to the whole community.
10.Sedicii – a secure authentication and personal data protection & privacy tool
Sedicii has developed and patented a technology based on the Zero Knowledge Proof Protocol that eliminates the transmission, storage and exposure of private user data during authentication or identity verification, which reduces identity theft, impersonation and any fraud resulting from the identity theft. Sedicii, adheres to the “Right To Be Forgotten” regulation and enables users to continue to consume digital services without sharing or exposing their private data. In essence, it means they can reclaim and control the use of their identity.
11.RiskSave – an online Robo-Advisor solution to enable intuitive decisions and make saving
Founded by experienced risk managers, it’s a new form of finance, using technology where appropriate to manage risk and cut costs for investors. The software uses techniques developed at leading hedge funds and investment banks and then refined and tailored to the small saver. It is aiming to be the lowest cost solution for savers large and small.
The winning pitch was by Jessica Ferguson from Everledger, who focused on using the Bitcoin Blockchain as a platform for provenance and combating insurance fraud. It’s starting with diamonds, with a view to expanding into all sorts of luxury goods — such as high end watches, designer handbags and fine art — so basically high value items whose provenance might otherwise be reliant on paper certificates and receipts that can easily be lost or tampered with.
As judges stated, the blockchain-based project-winner definitely emphasizes the excitement around blockchain and its potential as a technology. From their point of view, this case study showcases that blockchain is actually applicable (what is rare). Alsoit is very important, that the start-up is CSR-focused.
Everledger will now have the chance to pitch at the Grand Finale in Tokyo on 15th March with NTT DATA covering the travel expense for two people. The Grand Finale winner will receive from NTT DATA a three-month in-kind contribution worth $30K for the development of their proposed new business.
NTT Data is a leading IT service provider and global innovation partner headquarted in Tokyo, with business operations in over 40 countries. Company’s emphasis is on long-term commitment, combining global reach with local intimacy to provide premier professional services varying from consulting and systems development to outsourcing. The NTT DATA open Innovation Contest has been hosted at the company’s headquarters for the last 5 years. For the first time, this years’contest is global with local contests in 9 countries. Previous winners: Doreming Asia, Ixis research and Bankguard PTE LTD.
editor-in-chief, Future magazine
Photo reportage is here