Next Big Idea Competition

The Next Big Idea Competition, our version of the popular TV Show “Shark Tank” is now in its eleventh year. This event was designed to showcase innovation, collaboration, and new solutions for our industry. We are excited to announce another year in which prize money will be awarded — $7,500 for first place, and $2,500 for second place courtesy of Co-op Solutions. The first place winner will also secure a presentation spot at the 2023 NASCUS State System Summit in Nashville, August 2023.

The 5 Next Big Idea Finalists battled on stage on March 28th in Las Vegas!

Goalsetter received 40% of votes during the competition; claiming the title as the 2023 Next Big Idea Winner!

Mahalo Banking was close behind claiming the name as runner-up of our 2023 Next Big Idea Competition.

Special THANK YOU to CO-OP Solutions for sponsoring the cash prize of $10k ($7500 to 1st place + $2500 to 2nd place).

Please help us congratulate these winning ideas as well as the additional three finalists: BanksocialHarness FI, and Quilo!

Read more about the competition results published here.

BankSocial is ushering the age of digital assets for Credit Unions by empowering them with the ability to switch from analog to digital DeFi.

Goalsetter is the only family saving, investing, financial education, and smart spending platform that makes it easy for the whole family to go cashless while teaching them how to be money smart. Centered around fun, relevant, and engaging financial education content, Goalsetter’s smart money platform for families provides users with a savings account, an investment platform, and a teen and tween debit card with parental controls and game-based financial education quizzes.

Harness FI At Harness Fi, we build value-added products for Credit Unions designed to drive card spend, engagement, and retention. Drive your credit or debit card portfolio top-of-wallet strategy by gamifying the spending experience and building purpose into every transaction. Enable your cardholders to program their cards to work for them. Built on card-linking platforms of the major credit card networks, our solutions stack onto any card, giving consumers ultimate flexibility while allowing issuers to launch new programs in weeks.

Mahalo Banking, a CUSO that provides online and mobile banking solutions for credit unions, has created a next-generation digital banking platform. The technology is engineered to deliver neurodiversity functionality intended to improve digital inclusivity and accessibility and better accommodate the cognitive needs of all credit union members. The reimagined platform caters to members with neurodiverse abilities and cognitive distinctions, such as dyslexia, autism, colorblindness, ADD, ADHD, epilepsy, visual sensitivity, ASD and more. Among the platform’s new features are left- and right-hand use modes, font options for those with dyslexia or visual impairments and the ability to disable animations for individuals affected by epilepsy.

Quilo Painted Hills CUSO invested in Quilo to empower credit unions to set up their own “buy box” and participate in funding fractions of individual loans generated by FinTechs across the country providing the extra benefit of reducing credit concentration risk.  No longer must a credit union commit to funding a pool of loans, nor do they have to fund 100% of any individual loan.  Each approved borrower is memberized by a Painted Hills CUSO credit union and then 90% of each loan is syndicated so others can participate by taking a fraction of each loan.  And it’s all digital so there is no impact on operations. Which is the better strategy to mitigate credit concentration risk? Book 1,000 loans for $50,000 with borrowers in your market or 10,000 loans for $5,000 with borrowers nationwide?

The Next Big Idea Competition

The Next Big Idea Competition will be held in-person at the NACUSO Network Conference on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort. Submit your idea by completing the online application below. Our selection committee will review the applications and choose 5 organizations to present on stage in front of the NACUSO Network attendees. The chosen contestants will get 6 minutes to present followed by 9 minutes of questions from our guest judges. At the end of the presentations, the audience (approximately 450-500 attendees) will vote to instantly select the first and second place winners of NACUSO’s 2023 Next Big Idea Competition.

How to submit your idea

Apply: Submit your nomination by completing the below form.

Deadline: All applications must be submitted by February 17, 2023.

Next Steps: All applicants will be notified by March 1, 2023 with the status of their application.

Hotel: For hotel room reservations at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort, we recommend booking prior to the room block deadline of March 2, 2023. Room rates for NACUSO attendees are $299+ tax per night.

Registration: Please note there is no fee to apply for the competition, but if chosen, all finalists are required to register for the NACUSO Network Conference by March 10. The cost to register is $1350 per person.

Contact Us: (888)462-2870 or

Criteria for the Next Big Idea are initiatives to: 

-Improve earnings
-Enhance member service
-Deliver new products and services to members
-Improve delivery channels to members

The innovations can be at various stages of development: 

-Early stage and in need of investment
-Ready to be delivered
-Already in motion and are growing and changing the industry

Previous Next Big Idea Winners

2013 Winner: NOWaccount
2014 Winner: nCino
2015 Winner: Daon’s IdentityX
2016 Winner: CU RateReset
2017 Winner: Constellation
2018 Winner: Knock Knock
2019 Winner: Zogo Finance
2020 Winner: NetGiver
2021 Winner: RenoFi
2022 Winner: Illuma Labs/Posh Technologies

2022 Next Big Idea Award Winner: Illuma Labs and Posh Technologies

Next Big Idea Competition Nomination Form 2023

Sorry, submissions are now closed!