Solution to structure lending arrangements between millennials and parents wins CUA’s hackathon




Monday 21 August 2017

An idea that provides structure to otherwise casual lending arrangements between parents and millennials for major life purchases, has taken out first place at CUA’s second hackathon in Brisbane.

Around 160 people attended the 48-hour Millennials: Tech, Trust and Relationships hackathon hosted by Australia’s largest credit union CUA and Brisbane technology startup hub River City Labs over the weekend.

Eight teams pitched their ideas on Sunday night, responding to the challenge to create a unique service or product offering that leverages technology to create trusted experiences and relationships that resonate with 18 to 35 year olds.

The winning idea Bank of Mum and Dad (BOMAD), aims to instil a sense of responsibility in millennials when taking on credit and assist them with setting, as well as working towards, their financial goals such as buying their first car or home. The solution includes an app that millennials and their parents can use to track loan repayments on the go.

The team* comprising four CUA team members, four representatives from customer-owned Greater Bank, and two other external participants, received a $5,000 cash prize, a place in CUA’s Sponsored Entrepreneur Program with River City Labs, a mentoring session with entrepreneur and investor Steve Baxter from Channel Ten’s Shark Tank, as well as marketing and consulting support.

River City Labs founder and “Shark” on Channel Ten’s Shark Tank, Steve Baxter, was joined on the judging panel by CUA Chief Executive Officer Rob Goudswaard, CUA Chief Digital Officer Sue Coulter and Pivotus Ventures President Oren Goldschmidt.

Mr Goudswaard said the hackathon was an excellent opportunity for people to collaborate and provide an outside-in view to CUA.

“We were blown away by the quality of ideas that were generated over the weekend and appreciate that seven CUA members took part in a focus group so that participants could validate their concepts,” he said.

“The results of the collaborative efforts and enthusiasm of the teams are just incredible. It goes to show how much we can achieve when we work together, which is what CUA is about.”

Greater Bank IT Program Manager Karie James, a member of the BOMAD team, said she came up with the idea after speaking to her niece and nephew, who are millennials, about the concept of obtaining financial assistance.

“I felt there was a need for some structure and more understanding amongst millennials around how they were going to fund their purchases. By starting with a lending arrangement with their parents, millennials can learn about the various factors that underpin a loan. Armed with this knowledge, they can be more confident in making their own loan arrangements with financial institutions,” Ms James said.

CUA Head of Digital Innovation Melissa Witheriff said BOMAD aligned with CUA’s focus on enabling members to access CUA through the channel of their choice, whenever they want.

“Millennials are at the age that most consumers commit to financial services products [1] and BOMAD reflects the value that this demographic places on 24/7 access to services,” Ms Witheriff said.

“CUA is working on being available ‘anywhere, anytime’ for our members and we look forward to working with Greater Bank to bring the winning idea to life and make it easier for millennials to engage with us.”

River City Labs CEO Peta Ellis said that the organisation was proud to co-host the Hackathon with CUA.

"We've been so impressed by the quality of ideas to create trusted experiences and relationships for millennials via technology. There is no set formula for innovation and the teams have clearly displayed their ability to think outside the box,” Ms Ellis said.

"On behalf of River City Labs, I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the Hackathon - from the teams to mentors - and look forward to charting the progress of the solutions presented.”

Cash prizes were also awarded for:

  • the idea with the best execution – awarded to CUA Wingman for their idea on using interactive voice assistance to execute everyday banking transactions such as account balance enquiries and fund transfers.
  • the most innovative idea - awarded to Friends and Benefits for their idea on facilitating the trade of health cover extras that people don’t need.

* The BOMAD team comprises Greater Bank representatives Karie James, Justin Salmon, Veronica Lee and Stewart Evans, CUA team members Tui Wiapo, Sharon Gunson, Tracey Powell and Sandra Di Salvatore, and Jen Witheriff and Barry Devlin.

About CUA

CUA is Australia’s largest credit union, offering responsible financial, health and insurance solutions to around 500,000 Australians. As a mutual, we were created by members for members and we care for them through the changes and challenges in their lives. We are working on being available whenever and wherever members need us. Our growth and success enables us to reinvest in our business, deepen our relationships with members and build stronger communities. Visit for more information on our initiatives, services and locations.

About River City Labs

River City Labs fosters the growth of startup companies solving big problems. We provide resources to empower, support and connect entrepreneurs. Central to everything we do is a focus on collaboration and connection.

Since 2012 over 460 entrepreneurs have called RCL home. Through our events program we have welcomed more than 16,000 guests into our community by hosting over 500 events aimed at supporting founders on their entrepreneurship journey.

River City Labs powers a range of programs, events and engagement opportunities, enabling our Corporate partners to innovate differently and embed their teams within the startup community.

River City Labs is a human-led organisation ensuring founders come first always and every engagement is underpinned by our core values of Give Learn Grow, Take Action and Always Challenge.

Media contacts:


Maureen Pang                                                                     

Corporate Communications Specialist                           

Phone: 02 9323 8009                                                        


[1] Exponential Performance in a Millennial, Mobile and Programmatic World, Telstra (2017)