Challenge Rules & Guidelines

Challenge Key Dates:

Thursday November 9th, 8 AM CDT

Team Registration Opens

Thursday December 21st, 11:59:59 PM CDT

Team Registration Closes

Friday December 22nd, 12 PM CDT

Round One Submission Opens

Tuesday January 2nd, 11:59:59 PM CDT

Round One Submission Deadline

Tuesday January 2nd - Friday January 5th

Round One Judging

Friday January 5th

Advancing Teams Announced

Thursday January 25th, 5-9 PM CDT

Pitch Day

Thursday January 25th

Winners Announced

Polsky Center Events:

  • Info Session / Quick Pitch - Thursday, November 9 (5:00-7:30 p.m.), Polsky Exchange North (1452 E. 53rd Street)


  • Sign-up to meet with the Polsky Center staff to have your questions answered about the Fintech Challenge:
    • Monday, November 13: 3:00-4:30 p.m. @ Chicago Booth Downtown Office at NBC Tower, Room 120E (455 N. Cityfront Plaza, Chicago) Sign-up at:
    • Wednesday, November 29: 12:00-2:00 p.m. @ Polsky Center Office at Harper Center, Suite 207(5807 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago) Sign-up at:
    • Wednesday, December 13: 12:00-2:00 p.m. @Polsky Exchange North, Kimbark Conference Room (1452 E. 53rd Street, Chicago) Sign-up at:


  • Team Formation Event and Quick Pitch - Tuesday, November 28(12:00-1:00 p.m.), HarperCenter, Room C-03 (5807 S. Woodlawn Ave.)


  • Mentoring for Finalist Teams Week of January 8


  • Presentation Practice for Finalist Teams Week of January 15

Challenge Rules:


  • All participants must:
    • Be at least 18 years of age (or at least the age of majority in the student’s jurisdiction of residence, whichever is older)
  • At least one person on the team must be a current University of Chicago student.
  • All undergraduate, graduate, masters, and Ph.D. students are welcome to participate
  • Teams:
    • Can be comprised of 1 to 5 people
  • Must select one person to serve as the Team Captain, who will receive updates. The team captain must be a University of Chicago student.
  • Can consist of students from any and all schools within the University of Chicago.
  • Students can only be a member of one team



  • Registration is in two phases:
    • Phase 1: One individual (presumably the Captain) will register the team name and the email addresses of all team participants
    • Phase 2: Each participant submitted in Part 1 will receive an email with a link to the Team Member Registration Form
  • Registration opens on November 10th at 8:00 AM CDT.
  • Both the Team Registration and Team Member Registration forms must be completed by 11:59:59 PM CDT on December 21st, 2017
  • Team composition may not be changed once the Team Registration Deadline has passed


Round 1: Submit Ideas

  • Participants are asked to submit an idea, through a portal, in the area of financial technology.
  • Ideas can fall into one of six categories:
    • Applications of machine learning
    • Social Finance
    • Personalization of Products and Services
    • Blockchain
    • Credit Scoring and Risk Analysis
    • Wild Card (Open fintech application)
  • The Round 1 Submission form accepts
    • Up to 3 files in PDF format (max size is 1GB per file)
    • Up to 2 URLs (e.g., link to video at Vimeo/YouTube, Dropbox link, Prezi link, etc)
    • Text field for notes to explain submission
  • Evaluation is based on the following criteria:
    • The novelty and creativity of the idea
    • The technical sophistication of the idea
    • The business merit of the idea
  • The top teams, will advance to Round 2.
  • Team captains will be notified whether their teams are proceeding to Round 2 on the morning of Friday, January 5th.
  • numo may provide feedback or questions from the Round 1 Judging with the expectation that teams advancing to Round 2 will address these items during their presentation in Round 2.


Round 2: In-Person Presentation

  • Teams advancing to Round 2 will be asked to give in-person presentations at the Polsky Exchange on January 25th starting at 5 PM
  • Teams will be given 10 minutes to present their ideas, with 5 minutes at the end for questions
  • Round 2 judging will be based upon the same criteria as Round 1 as well as
    • The teams ability to present ideas clearly
    • How well the team addressed Round 1 questions and feedback
    • The teams responses during the Q&A session
  • Announcement of the winning teams will be sent to the team captains by end of day on January 25th