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Destination Digital 2024: How BMO innovators are shaping the future of banking

June 26, 2024 | Growth

The energy and anticipation were palpable at a recent gathering of hundreds of curious thinkers, aligned with a central purpose: to collaborate, ideate and help shape the future of banking. 

More than 400 innovators, mentors, judges and organizers came together in person at BMO Academy in Toronto and BMO Tower in Chicago. For 30 hours over a two-day period, 50+ teams worked to solve one of nine unique business problems from three challenge streams aligned to BMO’s strategic priorities and Purpose – to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life

The event was the culmination of more than six weeks of mentorship and curriculum from BMO’s technology partners, as well as education on pitching skills, team dynamics and culture. technology and digital groups across BMO. 

After crafting their solutions, teams delivered three-minute pitches to judging panels comprised of BMO colleagues and leaders. Nine winners advanced to the final round of judging, and three challenge stream champions were crowned:

Digital First Challenge Stream Champion

Neural Digital Disrupters: Albert Calaguas, Ryan Raffoul, Deepak Rana, Priya Sekar and Geetu Sharma.

One Client Challenge Stream Champion

The Alchemists: Wenzile Ben, Olivia Cox, Sumita Kandarajan, Mina Mehrata, Brian Murru and Changjiang Yu.

Grow the Good Challenge Stream Champion

Stellar Squad: Ejehi Aiyejina, Melissa Archer, Jishaan Minsariya, Oscar Conrad Nalecz, Ramandeep Sagu and Tanmay Samel.

Additional teams were recognized for their imaginative team names and logos, including the Quantum Quokkas, Windy City Voyagers, BMO Fireball, The Galactic Bankers Force – and winner Otterficial Intelligence.  

Select challenges were evaluated by a panel of 13- to 18-year-olds, aptly named the “NextGen Panel.” NextGen Panel judges reviewed solutions for challenges particularly relevant to bank customers of tomorrow, asking candid and thoughtful questions to innovators – and ultimately selecting the Innovation Mavericks. 

All the presented solutions are eligible for actioning, based on sponsor discretion. It just goes to show: when guided by collaboration, curiosity and the spirit of innovation, our customers and communities are the real winners.   

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