The numo Fintech Challenge is a university

innovation competition to generate new ideas in

the field of financial technology. In this competition University of Chicago students will create and pitch ideas for the chance to win cash prizes.



Thursday November 9th, 5 PM @ Polsky Exchange North



Ideas will be judged over two rounds based on their creativity and novelty, technical sophistication, and business merit.



There will be three winning numo

Fintech Challenge teams. Check out the prizes and judging criteria below!


people MAX PER team

Teams of 1-5 can submit their fintech focused ideas for a chance to win cash.  At least one person must be a current University of Chicago student.

About us

numo turns emerging technologies and great ideas into software products and companies in the financial services technology space otherwise known as "fintech". We work with a variety of universities, companies, and individuals to source ideas and we have several models for partnering on the build out and commercialization of products.


Visit us at

About the Fintech Challenge

The competition is intentionally very open ended - we are interested to hear any great ideas related to fintech. Guidance on particular topics of interest at numo right now can be found below.


We are looking for ideas that are innovative, solve for an impactful problem in the financial services industry, and have the potential to be built into products that have the ability transform the fintech space.


Initial submissions require a business plan and can be supplemented with additional content in the form of a video, PowerPoint or Keynote slides, Prezi, web site, etc. Your submission just has to be uploaded and submitted via our online form.


Top ideas will be awarded prizes totaling over $15k. You retain the IP rights to ideas submitted in the competition. Winners may have the opportunity to join numo as an intern or full time employee to help build out the idea, or work on an existing idea in our portfolio.


grand prize


runner up

Ideas will be judged based upon their...





Only a select number of teams will be invited to attend Pitch Day on Thursday January 25th from 5-9 PM CDT


Teams selected to participate in Pitch Day will be notified on Friday January 5th. Those invited to Pitch Day will be provided with feedback to incorporate into their final presentations. The pitch will be your team's final chance to explain your idea and defend your decision making to a panel of judges before winners are selected.


Winners of the numo Fintech Challenge will be

notified by the end of the day on January 25th


Additionally, teams may choose to apply to the

Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge, run by

the Polsky Center. The New Venture Challenge is the

top-rated university accelerator program in the country. numo may engage in discussions with any team around  options for partnering together to bring ideas to life.

Fintech Topics

of Interest

Challenge Timeline


Registration opens up on November 10th and must be completed before 11:59:59 PM CDT on December 21st


Teams must complete all steps of registration to be eligible to compete. Teams can be between 1-5 people. At least one person must be a current University of Chicago student with valid student ID.



We are hosting a launch event on campus November 9th from 5 PM CDT @ the Polsky Exchange North


Additionally, Polsky staff will be holding informational

"Office Hours" virtually or in-person - times, dates, and other session details can be found here.


Round One submissions are due by 11:59:59 PM CDT

on Tuesday, January 2nd


Submissions can be in a variety of forms, but must include at minimum, a concise overview of your idea & why it is unique, a description of the technologies involved, and a description of the potential business impact.


Late submissions will not be accepted

Fintech refers to the evolving intersection of financial services, technology, and innovation. Any organization that is trying to enable, enhance, or replace the services currently offered

by incumbent financial institutions can be considered a part of the fintech space.


This includes big technology companies, startups, legacy providers of technology or infrastructure to the financial services industry, and even the well-established financial institutions themselves.



How can financial institutions utilize machine learning technology to improve efficiencies and bridge challenges in the financial services industry?


How can financial institutions use technology to help underbanked

individuals get better access to financial institutions and products that fit their needs?



How can financial institutions utilize the

data they already have

to better understand

their customers’ needs

and offer products and solutions that fit their customers’ goals?


How can financial institutions leverage blockchain technology

and be at the forefront of its usage in the banking industry?



How can financial institutions leverage alternative data that is

not currently utilized in

the US financial system in order to help them assess their customers' risk?


We would like to hear

your best ideas. This is

your chance to develop

a solution to a problem

in the fintech space that inspires you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  •      What are the key dates of the fintech challenge?

    Please see the key dates section available in our Fintech Challenge rules.

  •      How do I register?

    Registration is completed via a form that can be found here. Registration opens on November 10th at 8:00 AM CDT and closes on December 21st at 11:59:59 PM CDT.

  •      How will the ideas be judged?

    Submissions will be judged for creativity and novelty, technical sophistication,

    and business merit. All registered teams will have the opportunity to submit one idea in the

    format of their choosing.

  •      Why is numo holding this event?

    We want to hear what you, as students, believe may be impactful ideas on the financial services industry. We are a team of problem solvers who take on tough challenges and believe that the students at University of Chicago are of a similar mindset.

  •      Is numo hiring?

    Yes. We are looking to bring on interns and full time hires, both undergraduate and graduate, in areas such as computer engineering, product management, and business development. All entrants are eligible for consideration for internships or full time positions at numo.

  •      What are we expected to submit?

    For Round One judging, registered teams are able to submit one idea in the form of a business plan which can also be supplemented with additional content in any manner that they deem best suited for their message. Potential submission forms include websites, presentations, videos, etc.

  •      Are all University of Chicago Students eligible?

    Any current University of Chicago student over the age of 18 is eligible. That includes undergraduate and graduate (Masters & PhD candidates) enrolled on a full-time or

    part-time basis. All colleges are eligible and we actively encourage teams to include

    a variety of majors and skillsets.

  •      Must I be a current student at the University of Chicago?

    At least one current student from the University of Chicago must be on the team.

  •      Will numo be hosting similar challenges at other universities?

    Yes. Similar challenges will be held at other universities in upcoming semesters.

    Check back soon for updates.

  •      Will I be eligible to compete if I am an International student?

    Yes. All students are eligible to participate, regardless of their citizenship status. All members of the winning teams must submit to a Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) screening in order to receive their share of the cash prize. If a student does not pass the OFAC screening, the prize money will be shared equally among the members of the team who do pass the screening.

  •      How many people can be on a team?

    Teams can consist of 1-5 people with at least one team member being a student enrolled at the University of Chicago. Once a team is registered any team changes must be handled through the contact us form.

  •      Who can I contact for help with additional questions?

    You can reach us with any additional questions by using our "contact us" form.