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Top 30 Ideas Announced for CO-OP Think Prize 16

Thu, Jan 12, 2017

Columbia, Maryland

From 137 entries, the field has been narrowed to 30 candidates for the CO-OP THINK Prize 16: The Financial Longevity Challenge, with up to five winning ideas to be named on February 1.

"The emphasis in this Challenge is on finding financial technology solutions for aging consumers that are both innovative and implementable," said Samantha Paxson, Chief Marketing Officer, CO-OP. "We have been impressed by all of the ideas that came out of our workshops and those submitted by our larger OpenIDEO community. From the robust ideas to the considerable comments, as a collaborative community, Challenge participants have offered illuminating concepts to make financial services more useful and accessible."

Launched in mid-October, the CO-OP THINK Prize 16 is being conducted by CO-OP in partnership with OpenIDEO, an online global innovation community and collaborative platform, and co-sponsored by MasterCard. The current Challenge addresses the question: "How might we create financial services that support the dreams and obligations of those 50 and older?" A $10,000 prize will be divided among up to five individuals who offer the best ideas in response to the question.

The OpenIDEO collaborative format follows a five-step process beginning with Research, Ideas and Feedback. The top 30 ideas have now entered the fourth phase, Refinement, and can be viewed here:

The ideas are as widely diverse as the collaborative community itself, with submissions coming in from students, fintech entrepreneurs and credit union employees and their members.

One idea urges "Maximize 'endorphin-per-dollar' as a core 'job to be done' of financial firms." As the originator explains, "Help people above 50 reduce 'financial waste,' i.e., money spent on things that don't make their lives happier." Another idea calls for a "Member-personalized CU microsite enabling cost-effective delivery of relevant, customized, adoptable solutions and products." The originator says the site would be "Designed for 50+ to make informed financial decisions about issues of personal importance by receiving personalized solutions and educational content."

The Refinement phase will run through January 22, and judges from CO-OP, MasterCard and OpenIDEO will be specifically looking at idea enhancements during this phase that include a road map for implementation; exhibit a commitment to following through with implementation, including clear next steps; and what distinguishes the idea from other existing efforts in the space.

Following the February 1 announcement of up to five winning ideas, the fifth, open-ended Impact phase will begin, enabling the community to continue collaborating and sharing progress.

The CO-OP THINK Prize has been held annually since 2011, and is designed to inspire creative thinking and solutions to issues confronting credit unions and their members. The 2015 Challengeattracted nearly 15,000 visits from interested parties in 138 countries, with more than 500 active participants, which ultimately led to recognizing five outstanding ideas.

Again, to read the top 30 Challenge ideas, visit

Source: CO-OP Financial Services