EY launches global data science challenge for university students

02 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

Professional services firm EY has launched a global data science competition for university students, with those in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore invited to take part.

In an effort to identify and develop the brightest minds in data science from the top universities in 16 countries around the world, including Indonesia, Singapore, mainland China and Hong Kong, global professional services firm Ernst & Young has launched its EY NextWave Data Science Challenge – with monetary prizes, paid internships, EY badges and an international trip on offer.

With the full details of the challenge now released, registered teams of up to two university students will have until the 10th of May to submit their modelled historical data – using knowledge of data science, advanced analytics tools and techniques while basing observations on the data provided, said to be a dataset with large volumes of information. Country winners will then compete globally.

The data for the challenge comes via Skyhook, a pioneer in location technology and intelligence, with participants tasked with solving issues related to the future of mobility and smart cities. “We are looking for the most innovative and creative aspiring data scientists who will join the EY NextWave Data Science Challenge,” said Beatriz Sanz Saiz, EY’s Global Advisory Data and Analytics Leader.EY launches global data science challenge for university students The best performers of each county – which further includes Australia, Brazil, France, the UK and US among the 16 competing nations – will present their findings to their local EY branches for the chance to go on visit with the firm’s executive leadership in New York – where they’ll compete for a reward of up to $8,000. Nevertheless, country winners will still be offered the opportunity of a paid local internship and/or receive cash prizes.

“The new generation of people entering the workplace is passionate about using their talents to help change the world for the better. We are equally passionate about showing students how they can have a career that marries technology with purpose, and where one can have a positive impact on businesses, governments, communities and people,” said Sanz Saiz, who was last year named a global leader in consulting by Consulting Magazine.

The top three challenge winners overall will also receive a badge in data science from the EY Badges programme – which recognises EY professionals who have learnt new skills in emerging technologies, with more than 15,000 initiated so far – and have the opportunity to visit the firm’s wavespace innovation centre while in New York, one of twenty such centres around the globe, including roll-outs in Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

“As the challenge unfolds and we see the ways in which participants approach problem-solving, we look forward to discovering how these data science devotees, who are just beginning their careers, will bring new thinking to solving complex problems,” said John Distefano, EY Global Advisory Talent Leader. “Helping businesses in their transformation journeys in the digital age means we need to give innovative people the opportunities to apply their vision in using technology.”

Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab applications open for Asia Pacific

08 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

With over half a billion dollars raised by its alumni to date, Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab is back for another round in the Asia-Pacific.

Applications have now opened for the Asia Pacific edition of Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab, a 12-week accelerator programme for promising fintech start-ups which has seen over $1.5 billion raised in venture financing globally for its graduating alumni to date – a third of that for just 41 participating companies in the Asia Pacific. Both early and growth-stage fintechs are eligible to apply, with submission closing in May.

Launched in New York in 2010 before spreading to London and Hong Kong, the FinTech Innovation Lab is described as a collaborative, non-sales environment which brings execs from leading financial institutions together with aspiring fintech start-ups for mentorship, guidance and advice – augmented by a series of workshops and panel discussions covering areas such as procurement, technology architecture, and industry trends.

This year’s principal participating financial institutions include BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse among many more leading names from the banking and investment realm, while Elzio Barreto, Accenture’s Financial Services Media & Analyst Relations Lead for APAC will serve as a mentor alongside experts from Deutsch Bank, Stott Advisory and CBA International among others.Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab applications open for Asia Pacific

“There’s now widespread acceptance that the best way forward for banks and fintech startups is to collaborate where possible, creating big ecosystems that will help unlock huge value for all stakeholders, particularly consumers,” said Piyush Singh, Accenture Managing Director for Financial Services in the Asia Pacific and MENAT, with the firm noting a shift in focus between fintechs and traditional firms over the past 18 months, “from competition to collaboration.”

“We’ve already seen banks, insurers and wealth managers partner with fintechs here in Asia, but the outlook for further collaboration and the resulting value creation is what’s making investors more comfortable to spread their bets more widely,” Singh continues. “That’s a big focus for the Innovation Lab, instigating this sense of partnership between well-established financial firms looking for the next breakthrough technology and nimble startups eager to test their solutions and push them to market.”

With the APAC Innovation Lab now entering its sixth cycle, Accenture also notes the recent global surge in fintech investments, which doubled in 2018 to over $55 billion, led by a wave of funding to mainland China. “The Lab’s geographical proximity to the mainland makes it particularly suitable for Chinese start-ups, especially for those like ours looking to expand abroad,” said Li Hao, co-founder of Chinese unicorn Wecash – which was among the Lab’s first intake in 2014.

For the 2019 edition, senior business and operations executives from the Lab’s participating financial partners will select up to ten applicants to take part in the programme, with fintech entrepreneurs developing cutting-edge products, services and technologies invited to apply. Kicking off in August, the 12-week programme will culminate in an Investor Day where particpants can showcase their technology to finance executives, investors and the media.