MBA students imagine next big idea in fintech
It’s equal parts “Shark Tank” and science fair, but instead of dueling billionaires and exploding volcanoes, it’s digits, algorithms and a whole lot of planning. It’s the Prudential-Rutgers Case Challenge, and it may give birth to the next big idea to fuel innovation in fintech.
Prudential’s NextGen team in Strategic Initiatives tasked a group of MBA students from Rutgers Business School with applying blockchain technology in an innovative way that would benefit both Newark-based Prudential and its customers. Used primarily in banking, a blockchain is a digital database that facilitates transactions between two parties without the involvement of a bank or other financial institution.
The challenge required the students to work in teams, develop a concept, create a presentation and describe how they would implement their idea in 18 months. Most importantly, they had to effectively pitch their business model to the judges. Members of Prudential’s Rutgers alumni group served as mentors, guiding the teams through the process.
The winning team dubbed itself Urban Renewal because the underlying goal of its proposal is to contribute to the development of underserved urban communities. The concept seeks to provide a secure and cost-effective way for businesses to qualify for commercial mortgages in underdeveloped urban areas like Newark and Detroit.
Urban Renewal calls its product "Prudential Mortgage Coin." As a secure, fully automated blockchain, Prudential Mortgage Coin would remove administrative fees, third-party credit cards and other related services from the mortgage process.
"Urban Renewal’s proposal stood out from the other finalists’ because of its creativity in highlighting Prudential’s commitment to giving back to the community," said Al Caesar, vice president, Strategic Initiatives. "They were on brand and focused on the benefits of creating a cost-effective solution for communities that need commercial and residential development."
Urban Renewal was awarded $5,000 for its idea. Two runners-up in the competition received $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.
"The entries for the Prudential-Rutgers Case Challenge display the unique ideas being created by the next generation of innovative thinkers,” said Rob Falzon, chief financial officer and executive sponsor of the Prudential-Rutgers Connection. “It’s a great way to showcase our commitment to Rutgers and the pipeline of talent it is developing.”
- Prudential Financial Inc.
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