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Pepper Money and Pollenizer back fintech start-up that wants to help us teach our kids better about money

Dr Matthew Tinker

Pepper Money, and partner, Pollenizer, have backed a fintech start-up to transform Australia’s financial services industry.

Following a micro-hack in December, SmallStash was selected by Pepper Money to complete a 12-week incubator program.

Pepper Money partnered with Pollenizer to set up an incubator program aimed at re-inventing the financial services sector in Australia.

The selected group, SmallStash, takes aim at financial education for kids, assisting parents to better educate their children on money and savings.

Pepper Money has invested close to $100,000 in the 12 week incubator program, with funds contributing to the full support of the start-up, including the space and resources they need to focus on bringing the idea to life.

What is the story behind this incubator?

Dr Matthew Tinker, Head of Innovation, Pepper Group, said many financial services businesses are looking to innovate in a traditional way.

“Often a company’s internal agenda can hijack the innovation process. Pepper Money wanted to disrupt this process by creating a program that allowed external, unbiased innovation.

“Unlike other incubator programs, Pepper hasn’t yet taken a direct equity percentage in the start–up as part of the process, as they aim to develop an offering that addresses the whole finance sector, not just a Pepper challenge. However, the prospect of taking equity isn’t out of the question in the future,“ he said.

Dr Tinker continues, “We believe this project could create a fundamental change in the way Australians deal with money and finance, having massive ramifications on the way financial services can operate in Australia. Pepper is proud to bring to life a program that is encouraging entrepreneurial spirit whilst providing an environment that nurtures ideas,” concluded Tinker.

 SmallStash and Dr Matthew Tinker, Head of Innovation, Pepper Group
SmallStash and Dr Matthew Tinker, Head of Innovation, Pepper Group

The selected team, Ash McAuliffe, Sue Kim and Ally Niell, have left their corporate jobs to embark on the start-up journey through the program.

The group are now entering the incubator program, whereby Pepper and Pollenizer will provide financial support and guidance to further progress SmallStash’s ideas to bring to market a relevant commercial offering.

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