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ADGM and KPMG LG announce launch of the second annual FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge

ADGM and KPMG launch Innovation Challenge

ADGM and KPMG LG announce launch of the second annual FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge



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  • Five UAE institutions will work with startups to co-develop prototype FinTech solutions in response to specific business needs
  • KPMG LG intends to set up its innovation platform --- KPMG Digital Village --- in ADGM, the first such presence outside Singapore
  • 2018 FinTech Abu Dhabi Summit will be held on 17 September at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi

22 May 2018,
Abu Dhabi, UAE/Singapore:  Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, and KPMG Lower Gulf Limited “KPMG LG” are pleased to launch the second edition of FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge (the Challenge) and push ahead with efforts to drive innovation in the financial services industry. The inaugural Innovation Challenge organized last year generated strong interest among regional financial institutions about the potential benefits of collaborating with FinTech startups. As a result, this year’s challenge will primarily focus on generating real case studies in the adoption of FinTech solutions by major UAE institutions, including government entities and regulators.  The final demo day will be held in conjunction with the annual FinTech Abu Dhabi Summit (FinTech AD), taking place on 17 September 2018 at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi.

Simultaneously, KPMG LG will also extend the operations of its Digital Village in the region, and will operate from ADGM’s Innovation Centre. Initially established in Singapore, the KPMG Digital Village is a symbiotic ecosystem dedicated to matching, fostering and forging innovation ventures between companies and start- ups. The platform intends to help start-ups as they look to grow to the next stage and equip corporate clients
with one of the latest innovation technology.

Scope and structure of 2018 Innovation Challenge

UAE-based institutions (“Corporate Champions”) will first start by collaborating with ADGM to identify a specific business problem that can be resolved by financial technology. Both ADGM and KPMG LG will then issue a global call to action inviting local and global FinTech entrepreneurs to apply for the opportunity to work with the designated Corporate Champions. The five best selected applications will be paired with five Corporate Champions and will work together to develop ready-for-adoption solutions. The product of this collaboration will be presented to an audience of international financial institutions, regulators, professional services firms and startups at FinTech AD 2018 on 17 September.

The selected Corporate Champions will be given the opportunity to tap into KPMG’s expertise in managing the innovation process, and will benefit from a purpose-built prototype solution to a business issue that will improve commercial outcomes. Successful applicants will gain direct access to leading UAE institutions, and the opportunity to demonstrate their technological capabilities to potential clients in the wider financial industry during FinTech AD 2018.  To help them gain a stronger foothold in the region, ADGM will also allow the successful candidates to set up their base in its offices and operate from its Innovation Centre’s co-working space.

Vikas Papriwal, Head of Advisory for KPMG LG, said: “We are excited about the prospects of setting up the KPMG Digital Village in the ADGM Innovation Centre on Al Maryah Island. At the same time, we look forward to working closely with the respective government and private sector entities to help co-develop innovative solutions as part of the Innovation Challenge.”

Umair Hameed, Partner, Financial Services, KPMG LG, said: “FinTech has an immense potential to transform the financial services sector in the region. We are absolutely thrilled to team up with ADGM on the latest edition of the Innovation Challenge, which will showcase real cases of how FinTech addresses specific business needs.”

Mr Richard Teng, Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM, commented: “ADGM is excited to welcome KPMG Digital Village to establish its second global centre in ADGM after Singapore.  By bringing corporates, start-ups, investors, and government bodies together in a collaborative ecosystem to drive the adoption and integration of innovative solutions, the KPMG Digital Village aim to establish a robust ecosystem with strong networks for open innovation to succeed.

We are proud to launch the second Innovation Challenge teamed up with KPMG LG.  Last year’s Challenge demonstrated FinTech’s immense potential to solve industry-wide problems. This year’s Challenge will go one step further and showcase how these solutions can be implemented by big businesses. The Challenge is a fantastic platform for ADGM to connect established financial institutions and corporations who have earned their clients’ trust and business over many years, with the innovative FinTech players who promise
to transform how financial services are delivered.  We look forward to the participants showcasing the outcome of their collaboration at FinTech AD 2018 in September.”

Note to Editor:-

Inaugural ADGM’s Innovation Challenge 2017

The first Innovation Challenge in 2017 attracted 166 FinTech startups from 39 countries vied for the opportunity to showcase how their innovative solutions could alleviate a number of industry-wide pain points
experienced by financial services institutions across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The solutions presented by the eleven finalists at FinTech AD 2017 highlighted FinTech’s potential to promote better outcomes in six focus areas: financial inclusion, regulatory compliance, trade finance, insurance, financial and investment management and private capital markets. The two winners of the Challenge, FRS Labs and Silent Eight, were selected to demo their solutions at the Singapore FinTech Festival in November 2017.



About Abu Dhabi Global Market

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre (IFC) located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, opened for business on 21 October 2015.  Established by UAE Federal Decree as a
broad-based financial centre, ADGM augments Abu Dhabi’s position as a global hub for business and finance and serves as a strategic link between the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the rest of the world.

ADGM’s strategy is anchored by Abu Dhabi’s key strengths including private banking, wealth management, asset management and financial innovation. Comprising three independent authorities: ADGM Courts, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the Registration Authority, ADGM as IFC governs the Al Maryah Island which is a designated financial free zone. It enables registered financial institutions, companies and entities to operate, innovate and succeed within an international regulatory framework based on Common Law. ADGM has been awarded the “Financial Centre of the Year (MENA)” for two consecutive years, since its inception, for its initiatives and contributions to the financial and capital markets industry in the region.* 


KPMG Lower Gulf (LG) is one of the independent member firms of the KPMG network affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG International is global network of professional services firms providing audit, tax, and advisory services. KPMG International operates in 154 countries and has 200,000 people working in member firms around the world.

About KPMG Digital Village

True innovation begins with revolutionary ideas, but to deliver real business results, it needs to work hand-in-hand with business adoption and risk management.  At KPMG Digital Village, we bring corporates, start-ups, investors, and government bodies together in a collaborative ecosystem to drive the adoption and integration of innovative solutions. Like a living lab for innovation, we assist co-innovation with an aim to turn innovative ideas into tangible and practical solutions.

* Source : The Global Investor Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Awards

For further enquiries, please contact:

Joan Lew, Senior
Manager, Communications

Email:, Telephone: +971 2 333 8858


For more details of ADGM, please visit or follow us on Twitter : @adglobalmarket and Linkedin : ADGM

Sonal Cheekhooree

PR & Media Relations

Email, Telephone: +971 4 424 8989

© 2020 KPMG, a United Arab Emirates partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity.  Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

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