Skip to Main Content

DMZ and BMO Financial Group Announce Small Business Banking Challenge Winners

TORONTO, October 15, 2019 – DMZ, Canada’s leading technology accelerator, and BMO have announced the winners of the DMZ Small Business Challenge, powered by BMO, an opportunity to foster innovation and growth by identifying Canadian startups offering solutions in the small business banking sector.

Of the seven finalists who had the opportunity to pitch their business in front of judges, three winners were named:

First place: TAKU Labs, cross-platform retail POS to help stores manage sales, inventory and online presence, prize of $15K

Second place: Spiffy, helping businesses create more five-star experiences by engaging and educating teams on restaurant items in order to sell 10-20 per cent more, prize of $10K

Third place: Remitr, a stress-free alternative to wire transfers for businesses with costs as low as a dollar, prize of $5K

“At BMO, we’re focused on supporting the entrepreneurial community and looking for ways to help drive the innovation economy forward,” said Hugh McKee, Head, BMO Partners, BMO Bank of Montreal. “This is an exciting time in the technology space – there is an incredible amount of talent and opportunity. We look forward to seeing what each company will accomplish and looking for opportunities to work with some of these companies to explore technology driven opportunities to improve the experience for our customers.”

“The selected seven finalists received customized one-on-one’s with BMO experts that provided a valuable perspective on industry trends and opportunities to develop certain aspects of their business,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ. “Partnerships and innovation are key to supporting startups, and we look forward to seeing how the winners will work alongside BMO to improve the way Canadian small businesses are supported.”

Along with the pitch competition, the finalists benefitted from:

  • Curated one-on-one conversation with three different functions of BMO, including the partnerships team on navigating the bank, the InfoSec & Privacy team, and Senior Leaders who spoke to BMO’s internal business priorities within small business banking
  • Three intimate fireside conversations exploring how BMO works with corporate partners and startups
  • A panel of experts within the VC community shared their unique perspective on the fintech landscape and the evolving relationship between banks and startups

“The DMZ Small Business Banking Challenge, powered by BMO, provided us invaluable connections and insight on providing better services to small businesses in Canada,” said Karen Wong, co-founder and CEO, TAKU Labs. “The DMZ’s commitment to building bridges between BMO and startups has helped accelerate our growth as a company and understand ways to work better with financial institutions and other corporates.”


About DMZ: The DMZ is a leading tech accelerator headquartered in Toronto, Ontario that helps high-potential startups grow and scale to world-class businesses. Also supporting ideation and validation stage startups, the DMZ’s incubator program has been ranked number one in the world by UBI Global. Since 2010, the DMZ has helped 430 startups raise over $736 million and foster more than 3,909 jobs. For more information about the DMZ, visit

About BMO Financial Group: Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $839 billion as of July 31, 2019, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

Back to Media Relations