Application Criteria

 

All applications will be reviewed by judges in January 2020. The top 10-15 finalists will be notified in early February 2020 and will be asked to share financial and operational information and other company documentation as part of the program’s due-diligence efforts. Final selection will take place in March 2020.

Each application will be evaluated against the same program criteria, detailed below:

  • Impact:
    • Does this product have the potential to significantly improve the financial health of its users?
    • Is the product relevant to the current Financial Solutions Lab Challenge?
    • Does the target market include or plan to include low-to-moderate-income consumers or other underserved segments of the population, including (but not limited to) people of color, women, aging individuals, and individuals with disabilities?
  • Innovation:
    • Does the product offer an effective technological solution to the problem it is trying to solve?
    • Does the product represent an improved approach over similar products in the market or provide a solution that doesn’t yet exist?
    • Does the product design include engagement with and input from the targeted customer population?
  • Scalability:
    • Has the team demonstrated its ability to gain traction or, if not, have a clear roadmap to do so?
    • Does the applicant have a clear roadmap or plan to execute against its vision?
  • Quality:
    • Is the product or service already in-market?
    • What risks does this product or service pose to the mission of the Financial Solutions Lab, including but not limited to legal, reputational, or compliance risk?
    • In addition to other screens, we will assess risk using Financial Health Network’s Compass Principles, which seek to embrace inclusion, build trust, promote success and create opportunity. To learn more about these Principles, click here.
  • Leadership:
    • Is management committed to serving a broad and diverse population, including low-to-moderate income consumers?
    • Does the management team have the technical capability and domain expertise to execute?


The Financial Solution Lab’s Approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

A key objective of the Financial Solutions Lab is to identify products and solutions that embrace, embody, and demonstrate diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the organization. This comes from a belief that organizations guided by these principles are the best equipped to deliver innovative and responsive products and services to low-to-moderate income populations in the United States.

The Financial Solutions Lab and its partners define Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity as follows:

Diversity
Diversity is recognizing, acknowledging, appreciating and bringing together individuals and groups with unique perspectives and differing backgrounds.
The Financial Solutions Lab is intentionally focused on innovative ideas that support populations facing acute and persistent financial health challenges, including (but not limited to) people of color, women, aging individuals, and individuals with disabilities.

Equity
Equity means that all individuals, regardless of age, race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital status, socioeconomic status, protected veteran status or disability have equitable access to economic opportunity. In practice, this does not mean identical interventions. Rather, equity is about providing groups of people with customized supportive services that will enable them to thrive. Through these services, we aim to counteract unequal access to economic opportunity caused by historical and present day discriminatory systems and practices.

Inclusion
Inclusion is the conscious practice of creating an environment of involvement, and mutual respect—where we support and welcome a broad spectrum of ideas, backgrounds, identities and perspectives. Inclusion puts the concept of diversity into action and fosters a culture where individuals are given a voice and can bring their whole selves to every situation.

 

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