innOvatIon chAllenGe 2024

welCoMe tO tHe FutUre oF innOvatIon

 

The Innovation Challenge 2024, hosted by the Isle of Man, is your gateway to an extraordinary opportunity to drive change, unleash your creativity, and make a lasting impact on the world.

Building upon the resounding success of our inaugural FinTech Innovation Challenge, we are excited to present an even more dynamic experience for the 2024 edition. This year’s Challenge extends its reach to three distinct themes: FinTech, Cleantech, and Artificial Intelligence. We invite visionaries and disruptors from around the world to participate and provide pioneering solutions to address challenges faced by companies in the Island and globally.

The Isle of Man, a UNESCO Biosphere, is the ideal backdrop for the Innovation Challenge. With its commitment to innovation, sustainability, and quality of life, it offers a unique ecosystem that balances conservation, economic development, and culture. Our agile regulatory environment and supportive community make the Isle of Man the perfect testbed for your ground-breaking ideas.

Whether you're a seasoned innovator or a rising star, the Innovation Challenge 2024 provides you with a platform to collaborate, learn, and make a difference. Partner with Government, regulators, and local businesses in a leading tech hub. Scale up your solutions for the global market and gain valuable insights into fine-tuning your proposition.

Join us on this exciting journey, and together, let's shape the future of innovation.

the InauGuraL chÀlleNge (2023)

 

2023 saw the launch of the inaugural FinTech Innovation Challenge, as a joint venture between the Government’s Digital and Finance agencies, with support from the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority and Deloitte, the Challenge demonstrated how the Government is working proactively to support FinTechs by providing them with an effective testbed from which to launch and develop their businesses.

The Challenge attracted an impressive array of international participants, with over 80 applications received from 20 countries. Following a rigorous selection process, 14 finalists were selected, armed with ground-breaking solutions poised to make a tangible impact on the Isle of Man’s FinTech landscape.

At the FinTech Innovation Challenge Finale, the 14 finalists, representing a global reach from the Netherlands to Switzerland to the USA, showcased their cutting-edge solutions before industry peers and a panel of esteemed judges from leading financial and digital technology businesses across the Island.

The winners were SQR for their product that quickly and seamlessly verifies clients’ identities, Crucial Compliance for their monitoring system that provides safer gambling strategies, and finally Cygnetise for their blockchain technology that enables businesses to digitally manage and share authorised signatories in real-time.

These winning solutions not only accelerate the growth of the Isle of Man’s FinTech ecosystem but also exemplify the Government’s commitment to nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship within the financial and technology sectors.

whAt is tHe innOvatÌon ChAllenGe 2024?

 

The 2024 Innovation Challenge is a global competition open to participants at all stages of development, inviting ground-breaking solutions to address specific challenges and drive the growth of technical innovation in the Isle of Man.

This challenge harnesses the power of the Isle of Man’s world-leading, agile regulation to foster collaboration with local communities, resulting in sustainable and innovative technologies that tackle key issues in three core sectors - FinTech, Cleantech, and Artificial Intelligence.

 

FinTech: Continuing our journey of transforming the financial landscape, we invite trailblazers to revolutionise the world of finance and pioneer ground-breaking solutions that reshape the industry.

Example statements:

  • EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT CHATBOT: Create solutions that sympathetically manage customer complaints via digital channels.

  • CARBON OFFSET MANAGEMENT: Find ways to manage carbon offset assets, including tokenisation, through a registry.

  • COMMUNITY CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT: Innovate to help everyday individuals and businesses make direct investment in clean energy assets.

Cleantech: Embracing sustainability and environmental stewardship, this sector challenges entrepreneurs to fuse innovation with ecological consciousness, addressing critical issues related to our planet’s well-being.

Example statements:

  • TRANSPARENT ETHICAL SUPPLY CHAIN: Create solutions enabling measurement, verification and traceability of end-to-end supply chains thereby promoting sustainable sourcing, production, and consumption practices.

  • ENERGY DEMAND MANAGEMENT: Innovate to enhance demand-side response, meeting energy needs on the island efficiently while fostering sustainability and resilience.

  • SUSTAINABLE BUILDING SOLUTIONS: Develop cost-effective solutions to make our existing and future building stock more sustainable and auditable.

Artificial Intelligence: Unleash the power of data-driven technologies and artificial intelligence as we explore cutting-edge solutions that leverage insights, automate processes, and unlock the potential of this rapidly evolving field.

Example statements:

  • DATA STEWARDSHIP: Design solutions that audit the use of data to ensure predefined and proper usage, leveraging Isle of Man Data Foundations.

  • AI FOR GOVERNMENT: Create a solution that enables the sharing of data across the Isle of Man Government within a trust framework.

  • UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY SENTIMENT: Utilise AI to gauge public sentiment for informed government decisions and policies.

Participating businesses in the Innovation Challenge gain a unique opportunity to collaborate with Government agencies, regulators, and local enterprises within a leading tech hub. This collaboration allows them to scale up their solutions for the global market.

The Only EntiRe nÀtioN
uneSco BiosPherÈ

 

The Isle of Man was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere in 2016 in recognition of its special environment, culture, heritage and economy and its people’s desire to cherish and nurture them.

The Island is the only entire nation UNSECO Biosphere and all our land and our territorial sea is included. The fact that this means that all types of economic and social activity is contained within a Biosphere, a unique attribute against which we constantly strive to demonstrate a balanced relationship between people, economy and the environment. This influences the way we approach innovation and sustainability, offering you a unique backdrop to develop and showcase solutions.

Your participation in the Innovation Challenge takes place within this extraordinary context, where your innovative ideas and solutions can have a meaningful impact on the Isle of Man’s environment, culture, and economy.

why EnteR thÈ
innOvatÌon ChalLengÈ 2024?

Are you considering whether to participate in the Innovation Challenge 2024? Here are compelling reasons why you should embrace this extraordinary opportunity:

  • Insightful guidance: Participants receive valuable insights on how to refine their propositions, enhancing their solutions’ effectiveness.

  • Protected testing ground: The Isle of Man provides a secure environment for testing and refining innovative ideas.

  • Access to local market: Participants can tap into the local market’s potential and explore opportunities for their solutions. 

  • Not monetary prize-focused: The primary focus is on innovation and impact, rather than monetary rewards.

  • Real-world challenges: The Challenge focuses on real-world problems and issues in sectors such as FinTech, Cleantech and Artificial Intelligence. Your innovative solutions can directly address pressing concerns, making a tangible impact.

  • Access to leading ecosystem: The Isle of Man offers a supportive ecosystem that combines agile regulation, a vibrant tech hub, and an innovative community. This unique environment provides the ideal testbed for your innovative ideas and products.

  • Collaboration: The Challenge encourages collaboration with local businesses, Government agencies, and regulators. This synergy enables you to refine your solutions, access valuable insights, and develop products ready for the global market.

  • Mentorship and support: Throughout the Challenge, you’ll have access to mentors and supporting organisations with the expertise to guide you in shaping your innovation. This mentorship enhances your chances of success.

  • Visibility: Winners and participants in the Challenge receive additional promotion and publicity both locally and internationally. This exposure can significantly boost your project’s visibility and credibility.

  • Unique learning experience: Whether you’re a seasoned innovator or just starting your journey, the Challenge offers a unique learning experience. It allows you to gain insights, refine your ideas, and turn them into viable products.

  • Sustainability: The Isle of Man, as a UNESCO Biosphere, embodies the values of sustainability and environmental stewardship. If your innovations align with these principles, the Challenge is the perfect platform to showcase your ideas.

  • Inspiration: The Innovation Challenge is a place for inspiration and transformation. It’s an opportunity to take your concepts to the next level, learn from others, and be part of a community that’s passionate about innovation.

Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference and bring your ideas to life. Join us in the Isle of Man and embark on a transformative journey.

2023 EveNt aGenDa

Find out more about the inaugural FinTech Innovation Challenge

2023 fInaList BrocHure

Learn about the 2023 Finalists and the Challenge Statements

2023 Meet & GreEt pHotOs

View and download the photos from the Meet & Greet event

2023 FinAle pHotOs

View and download the photos from the FinTech Innovation Challenge Finale

FAQ's

The challenge is open for entrants from 23rd November.  Applicants can submit their application here. You will need to supply to us details of your proposition, why you believe it to be unique and innovative and applicable to the Isle of Man. We will also be looking for ways that you believe your proposition supports our UNESCO Biosphere status. All of this process is done online and you will be kept fully informed. If you get to the next? stage, you need to be prepared for a 40 minute video interview with our selection panel during the last two weeks of March. All finalists will be notified by 1st April 2024.

No, the Challenge is designed to be globally inclusive and attract international interest. Collaboration between local and international organisations is also very much welcome. We would encourage applicants to visit the Island during the initial mentor matching event, which also introduces the local ecosystem. This will enable applicants, to take full advantage of the access to the marketplace that we are making available. Attendance is required at the Finale Day which will take place in the Isle of Man.

FinTech: Continuing our journey of transforming the financial landscape, we invite trailblazers to revolutionise the world of finance and pioneer ground-breaking solutions that reshape the industry.

Example statements:

  • Create solutions that sympathetically manage customer complaints via digital channels.
  • Find ways to manage carbon offset assets, including tokenisation, through a registry.
  • Innovate to help everyday individuals and businesses make direct investment in clean energy assets.

Artificial Intelligence: Unleash the power of data-driven technologies and artificial intelligence as we explore cutting-edge solutions that leverage insights, automate processes, and unlock the potential of this rapidly evolving field.

Example statements:

  • Design solutions that audit the use of data to ensure predefined and proper usage, leveraging Isle of Man Data Foundations.
  • Create a solution that enables the sharing of data across the Isle of Man Government within a trust framework.
  • Utilise AI to gauge public sentiment for informed government decisions and policies.

Cleantech: Embracing sustainability and environmental stewardship, this sector challenges entrepreneurs to fuse innovation with ecological consciousness, addressing critical issues related to our planet’s well-being.

Example statements:

  • Create solutions enabling measurement, verification and traceability of end-to-end supply chains thereby promoting sustainable sourcing, production, and consumption practices.
  • Innovate to enhance demand-side response, meeting energy needs on the island efficiently while fostering sustainability and resilience.
  • Develop food production systems that encourage consumption of local produce, reduce dependence on food imports and enhance food security

This is an entirely remote process managed using a Community Platform called Circle. Within this you will have posting access to a wide variety of people who can help you. We will also run a large number of Webinars with local and global industry experts on a range of topics ranging from pitching to regulatory perspectives and all things in between.

No – the entire process will be run remotely apart from the Finale day, which will require your presence to deliver your final pitch session to both Judges and a public audience who will both have a vote for the winners and also be a large pool of potential customers for your product.

Mentors will be drawn from our industry sectors from experienced and senior business representatives. We will carefully select ’buddy‘ mentors that match each finalist and those close mentors (which may be a person or a team) will assist in testing market propositions, introductions to the local network and offering general business advice. In last year’s Fintech Challenge we had mentors from local and national banks, law firms and Corporate Service Providers as well as environmental, ESG and data consultancies. Behind this we have a wide range of other interested business, Governmental Bodies and all of our regulators (Financial, Gaming and Information) available to directly assist with queries. This is a unique community collaboration.

The winners in each category will receive:

  • Additional promotion and publicity both locally and internationally [Period and nature of promotion (one off press releases or defined campaign) to be confirmed].

  • Extended access to our marketplace of mentors, potential investors and customers across our sectors, as well as IOM regulators and Government officers for 6 months.

  • All finalists will get access to our expo on Finale day.

Yes, we recognise your existing relationships are important to your business.

There is a minimum requirement of approximately 4 days in total which is allocated as follows:

  • One full day for orientation and mentor matching

  • Workshops consisting of three hours per week over the five-week Challenge period. Five-week contextualisation programme: two hours per week for webinars, 1 hour per week for 1-2-1 mentoring sessions or ecosystem conversations. As relationships are formed with the marketplace, mentors, Government and regulators, each applicant is encouraged to leverage the access to information to refine the final offering.

  • One full 'Finale Day’.

Yes, if you get selected for the Contextualisation Programme, we, and in particular your ‘Buddy’ mentor will introduce you to the Challenge Supporters and Challenge Audience on island consisting of international financial services, Isle of Man Government, and a vast array of digital businesses based in the Isle of Man.

There are no restrictions on entrants other than being able to meet the Challenge and to demonstrate innovation in the solution as well as some aspect that demonstrates value to the Isle of Man. Applicants can be at any stage of business development.

There are no restrictions, the product can be concept or completely formed but must demonstrate both applicability and innovation. However, the demo pitch will need to be able to demonstrate how an ultimate product will work, even if that is a simulation, and detail indicative timelines and cost to implementation.

Your allocated ‘buddy’ mentors will introduce you to other mentors and supporting organisations who will have this capability, but part of the process is for you to find relationships like this across our community.

There is that potential but will entirely depend on the relationship with your mentors/supporters.

If you have further questions, please email us at contact-digital@gov.im