By Ahmed Saleh

And that was just consumer banking. But thanks to the shift to fintech, we’ve come a long way— in just about every way. Few industries have been as heavily impacted and thoroughly innovated as the finance sector. From payment processing through alternative lending to insurance to automated investing, fintech has rapidly transformed the staid world of finance by expanding client access and improving speed and efficiency to financial services. As new fintech startups emerge, new possibilities for improving the customer experience develop. And as customer expectations and needs change, fintech steps up and finds a solution.

How big is fintech? Last year, The Economist reported that between 2011 and 2014, investment in fintech grew from $4 billion to $12 billion. And Goldman Sachs estimated the revenue potential from fintech to be in the neighborhood of $4.7 trillion.

That’s impressive, but it’s just a start. Our friends at BMO understand the potential in collaborating with fintech startups and that’s why they’ve partnered with the DMZ to create our new program, The Next Big Idea in FinTech, to identify and torque the most promising fintech startups. Announced last April, the program has identified six startups for a four-month placement at the DMZ, providing an exclusive opportunity to pilot their technology with BMO, and offering introductions to venture capital groups that may be willing to take the startup to the next level.

Although there were many great applicants, these six startups made the cut and we’re very proud to announce them as our winners.

ClientDesk is working to digitize the insurance industry by helping brokerages, broker-based insurers and direct writers digitize their client experience and internal operations using web and mobile technologies.

Dwello is a platform for landlords and property managers to be empowered with the tools to facilitate and automate rent payments.

FormHero replaces PDFs and paperwork with a customer-focused dialogue, automatically finding and filling out the right documents.

Reportin is a report collaboration platform that gives financial teams the freedom to create, review, iterate and manage internal and external reports – all in one place.

Vuru makes it simple for millennials to invest in great companies with an analysis engine that gathers 10 years of financial statements, analyzes and crunches them in seconds, and presents them in beautiful, simple, visual reports.

Zensurance is transforming the way small businesses manage all their insurance needs. They are building a leading-edge digital platform, supported by an analytics engine, to ensure their customers receive the optimal coverage.

At the end of the four months, these six companies will participate in a “Demo Day” where three of the six will be selected and awarded prizes of $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 to help them grow into successful enterprises.

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The DMZ is a leading business incubator for tech startups in Canada. They help startups build great businesses by connecting them with customers, capital, experts and a community of entrepreneurs and influencers.

The DMZ is a partner in StartUp Here Toronto.