Back in 2017, I was fortunate to manage the BMO Harris Bank / 1871 Fintech Partnership Program where we would mentor up to eight fintech companies. The program was setup to give Fintech companies a good understanding of how to work with large Financial institutions. Also, it gave BMO Harris the opportunity to work with up and coming technical rising stars. We worked with 1871 to announce the program and to setup an online application that allowed Fintech’s consideration to be part of the mentorship program.
Working with stakeholders, it was determined that the program would run for 3 months with a final judging contest that awarded cash prizes. We worked with 1871 to announce the program and to setup an online application that allowed Chicago FinTech's an opportunity to be consider for the mentorship program. A selection committee was created to review the applications and to select the startup companies that we wanted to possibly work with as mentees.
At an 1871 TGIF, the program was announced on April 21, 2017. BMO would accept applications and interview technical startup companies with a Fintech product or service to be part of the mentorship program. From the identified applications, 6 startups were selected to move forward as part of the mentorship program. Each startup was matched with FI experts from BMO Harris Bank which acted as mentors for a three-month period. At the end of the mentorship period, each mentee gave a 10 to 20-minute presentation in front of several BMO Harris Bank leaders who in turn selected a first, second, and third place winner.
The program was a huge success as BMO Harris Bank selected two Fintech companies, Genivity and SpringFour, partnering with the tech startups to bring their products and services to specific customers.
Due to the overwhelming success of the program, I was asked to manage this program every year until the department I worked in was disbanded in 2019.
If you are an organization that is looking to enter or solidify your presence in the digital and technical world, please feel free to contact me so we can discuss how I can aid you in your success in the digital or fintech world. https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-m-kottke/