The competition asks entrants to create a solution using data to solve a business problem specific to one of five different sectors: micro business, insurance, government, aged care or energy.

Data has been highlighted this year, with the passage of the Consumer Data Right legislation and the phased introduction of open banking from February next year, allowing consumers and third parties access to data.

Kate Cooper, head of innovation at Westpac said data is expected to enable a wave of product innovation from start-up businesses focused on business solutions and customer experiences across a range of sectors.

“We’re looking for innovative ideas that help businesses which operate in highly regulated or scrutinised sectors overcome unique challenges and deliver value for customers,” Ms Cooper said.

“A key part of the challenge this year will be involving Westpac’s commercial and institutional customers, and enabling a platform for innovative start-ups to meet potential customers and collaborators.”

Five panellists will be chosen to pitch their idea on 4 December in front of a live audience and judging panel consisting of: Alastair Welsh, acting chief executive of Westpac Business, Dawie Olivier, general manager, Westpac Next; Brad Delamare, CEO, Tank Stream Labs; David Walker, chief technology officer, Westpac; Emma Lo Russo, CEO, DigiviZer; Dr Catriona Wallace, founder and ceo of Flamingo AI; and Jamie Leach, CEO of Open Data Australia.

Now in its sixth year, Westpac’s initiative aims to identify the next generation of businesses leading change in the Australian business landscape.

Last year’s winner of the regtech themed challenge was artificial intelligence software scale-up Daisee. The firm has developed an AI product which analyses 100 per cent of customer conversations in contact centres, monitoring and evaluating them for competence and quality. 

Daisee founder and CEO Richard Kimber said that since winning the contest, his company had moved ahead with commercialising its product with a number of new clients and will add a range of household name brand customers in Australia by the end of the year, in addition to launching in the US.

“Winning the challenge was great for our recognition in the market and the award has been very helpful in moving our business forward,” Mr Kimber said.

“We’ve also had really positive interactions with the Innovation team at Westpac and great access to key C-suite executives in the bank who have been really supportive.”

Applications close at 11.59pm AEST, Sunday. 20 October.