Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Pepper Money and Pollenizer have joined forces to back an
Australian startup as part of a strategy to boost innovation in the financial
Following a micro-hack in December, startup, SmallStash, was selected by Pepper Money to complete a 12-week incubator program, with Pepper Money investing close to $100,000 to the full support of the startup including the space and resources they need to focus on bringing the idea to life.
According to Pepper Group’s head of innovation, Dr Matthew Tinker, many financial services businesses are looking to innovate in a traditional way.
“Often a company’s internal agenda can hijack the innovation process,” he said. “Pepper Money wanted to disrupt this process by creating a program that allowed external, unbiased innovation”
But Tinker stressed unlike other incubator programs, Pepper hasn’t yet taken a direct equity percentage in the startup as part of the process, as they aim to develop an offering that addresses the whole finance sector, not just a Pepper challenge. However, he highlighted the prospect of taking equity isn’t out of the question in the future..
“We believe this project could create a fundamental change in the way Australians deal with money and finance, having massive ramifications on the way financial services can operate in Australia,” Tinker added. “Pepper is proud to bring to life a program that is encouraging entrepreneurial spirit whilst providing an environment that nurtures ideas.”
SmallStash takes aim at financial education for kids, assisting parents to better educate their children on money and savings.
The selected team members left their corporate jobs to embark on the startup journey through the program. The group is now entering the incubator program, with Pepper and Pollenizer to provide financial support and guidance to further progress SmallStash’s ideas to bring to market a relevant commercial offering.