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SmallBizDev Hackathons to Engage Developers to Solve Technological Challenges for Small Business Owners

Small business owners could soon find the perfect app to help them manage their business and improve their competitiveness thanks to a series of hackathons planned throughout the country this year.

Using innovation and technology to provide solutions to the needs of small business owners, SPARK Business from Capital One will be presenting a series of “SmallBizDev Hackathons” this summer. The hackathons will be administered by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), the nation’s foremost authority on consumer financial health, and Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund, a national financial innovation lab focused on strengthening American consumers’ financial security and opportunity. There are 23 million small businesses in America, which account for more than half of all national sales, and fuel 55 percent of all national jobs.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to bring together great minds from diverse backgrounds to develop innovative solutions for small business owners,” said Buck Stinson, Senior Vice President for Spark. “Small business owners are the backbone to the American economy and we look forward to using technology to solve some of their toughest challenges.”

“We want to see more and higher quality financial tools in the hands of America’s small business owners,” said Jennifer Tescher, President & CEO, CFSI. “These hackathons offer a chance for innovators and entrepreneurs to leverage the opportunity of mobile technology to build new, scalable solutions for the problems we see throughout the market today.”

“Millions of Americans depend on small businesses for their next paychecks, and small businesses are an engine of job creation,” said Tim Flacke, Executive Director of D2D Fund. “At the SmallBizDev Hackathons, talented individuals will build mobile apps that can help those small businesses thrive – and, in turn, benefit their owners, customers and communities.”

According to a recent survey commissioned by Capital One of small business owners across the country, two of the biggest challenges on the minds of small business owners and entrepreneurs are cash flow management and leveraging strategic marketing efforts to ensure a successful business proposition. Most indicated finances (53%) keep them up at night, and almost half of those surveyed (49%) manage the business’ money themselves using computer software when they find time. Forty-four (44%) percent feel they are lacking in website activity and traffic.

The upcoming SmallBizDev Hackathons scheduled in San Francisco, Chicago and New York will be two-day events where innovative, digital experts will come together to collaboratively build mobile application prototypes designed to address small business challenges such as finding a technology that can assist with cash flow and marketing needs, as well as building effective solutions to support the financial success of small businesses and microbusiness.

The first hackathon in the series will kick off in San Francisco on June 21 at 9 a.m. beginning with informative presentations that state the challenge starting at 10 a.m. Coding will begin immediately after and will end at 11 p.m. that night with participants coming back the following morning to continue working. A panel of leaders and experts from the small business and technology space will serve as judges. The event will conclude at 3 p.m.

The winners of each hackathon will receive a prize package that includes a $10,000 grand prize and two $5,000 runners up prizes.

Schedule of Hackathon Events:

  • San Francisco, CA at Capital One 360 Café, 101 Post Street, 2nd Floor, on June 21 – 22
  • Chicago, IL at 1871 Start-up Incubator, 22 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor, on July 19 – 20
  • New York, NY at Capital One 360 Café, 968 3rd Avenue, on September 13 - 14

To learn more about the SmallBizDev Hackathons and register as a participant in one of the three events, please visit www.smallbizdevhackathon.com.

1The study was fielded online by Toluna from April 4 – April 9, 2014 and reached 300 small business owners and upper-level-managers who are the decision makers for both finance and technology. A small business was defined as a company employing 100 people or less.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., had $204.5 billion in deposits and $297 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2013. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.

About CFSI:

The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) is the nation’s authority on consumer financial health. CFSI leads a network of financial services innovators committed to building a more robust financial services marketplace with higher quality products and services. Through its Compass Principles and a lineup of proprietary research, insights and events, CFSI informs, advises, and connects members of its network to seed the innovation that will transform the financial services landscape. For more on CFSI, go to http://www.cfsinnovation.com and follow on Twitter at @CFSInnovation.

About D2D Fund:

Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund strengthens the financial opportunity and security of low and moderate income consumers by innovating, incubating, and stimulating new financial products and policies. Operating at the intersection of the private, non-profit and public sectors, D2D incubates and promotes practical applications with social impact that might otherwise lack a champion to nurture and bring them to market. D2D was incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in 2000 and is headquartered in Allston neighborhood of Boston, across the street from Harvard University’s Innovation Lab. For more on D2D, visit www.d2dfund.org.

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