13 weeks ago, 12 individuals with very different backgrounds, came together for the first time at Startupbootcamp Amsterdam for the Think Forward Initiative Accelerator program. As diverse as the group was, the common thread that linked them all together was their drive to positively impact society. Together, they formed 3 multi-disciplinary teams and embarked on a journey that had them take over and improve upon, pre-existing ideas derived from TFI’s research insights. Their goal? To build innovative solutions that could help society make better financial decisions.

Typically, entrepreneurs develop their propositions based on their own areas of interest. What was unique in the TFI incubator program was that the teams were tasked with executing on a focus area (or research theme) that was provided to them. As such, 3 ideas, based on TFI’s insights were developed and taken further in this incubator program 

What were the areas explored?

Team GoTally investigated the effects of social nuding and whether social nudges could be utilised to help people make better financial decisions, in the areas of budgeting and spending. Fince, looked into social media analysis and whether the irrational factors in the decision making process (such as emotions and relationships) could be understood and quantified by tapping into social and behavioral data. They explored whether it was possible to analyse social data and use the results to trigger better financial behavior. Team Jarvis’s solution moved away from traditional methods of financial education and instead examined if it could be possible to induce more receptive (financial decision making) behavior, utilising the latest technology to impart tips and tricks that are personally and situationally more relevant than the average abstracts.

The journey

Demo Day: Fuelling impact into action

Demo Day represents a celebration of the teams, and a chance for them to shine and showcase their impact driven solutions to their supporters, stakeholders and potential business sponsors. It is also the pinnacle of all the hard work they’ve put into their propositions, since November last year. Thus, on 5th February the TFI accelerator’s 3 pioneer teams – Fince, GoTally and Jarvis, delivered inspiring pitches about their propositions aimed at financially empowering society. 

Here’s a quick look at the solutions presented on Demo Day:

“This program has been all about energy, and reaching the next level. What i liked most about this whole journey was creating our great product: Jarvis. It was great having such a high energy team around me. I’ve really built some lasting friendships in the process. And Demo Day is really a day of celebration – it is a day where everything comes together. The team, the process, the energy and finally, the results of what we’ve been working on these past 3 months.” – Steffie, Team Jarvis 

“The last 3 months was a roller coaster ride, with plenty of ups and downs. But if i look back at all that we’ve accomplished, i feel very proud. Demo Day is not the end but actually the beginning of something new. We are all very excited for what’s to come! I have learnt alot from the entire program, but the thing that has had the biggest impact on me was the people i’ve met. I really enjoyed it. Working in the startup way, thinking out of the box … these are all definitely things i’m going to miss!” – Sara, Team Fince 

“For our team, Demo Day represents everything we have been working on for the last 3 months. It all comes together on this day. Working in a multidisciplinary team; with people from both the corporate and startup world has been a great learning experience. I’m going to miss the immense learning curve we’ve experienced in doing this program.” – Jeroen, Team GoTally

With the conclusion of Demo Day, these 3 concepts can now be potentially adopted by TFI’s partner organisations, such as ING. What’s more, at the TFI summit on 10th April, the teams will also be showcasing their solutions to a broader audience. If you’d like to get connected with them and find out more about their solutions, you can do so by contacting them via email: 

“The further we progress with this accelerator program, the closer we come to achieving real impact. I’m hopeful and excited for a few of the solutions to be adopted or implemented somewhere, in the outside world. I would be really super thrilled, if sometime next year, a solution that was molded through TFI and this accelerator proves to be highly relevant and useful in financially empowering people.” – Dagmar van der Plas, Global Lead, TFI

Phase 1 of the pilot TFI accelerator program has now come to an end. What we’re keeping in mind is this: one great idea can have a big impact for many people when applied on a large scale. Next month, we continue on with the growth track. Watch this space for updates on the selection process, and find out which of the startups will be part of the next program!