The Lab for Inclusive FinTech (LIFT) Initiative, powered by Big Ideas, supports students working on FinTech-empowered ideas to advance social change  — unlocking the potential of digital financial technologies to benefit underserved populations around the world. This initiative is made possible thanks to the generous support from both Binance Charity and Ripple Impact.

2023 Applications are now closed.


Project lead must be a currently matriculated UC Berkeley student (graduate or undergraduate level.)


Students interested in applying for this award must complete the Letter of Intent (LOI), below, by December 15, 2022, 1pm PT. 

Up to 6 students (or student teams) will be selected to participate in the final round of the competition and will be notified in mid-January. The selected teams will receive a “LIFT Planning & Discovery Seed Award” of  $2,000. The seed award is intended to facilitate work on their Big Ideas that leverage FinTech and blockchain solutions for social good.

Teams selected to advance to the second stage of the competition will have access to additional resources and opportunities:

  • skill-building workshops and online resources;
  • networking opportunities and extensive feedback;
  • teams will also be matched with professional mentors to help them develop/prepare their Big Ideas.

Final submission consists of an 8-page implementation plan, and a 90-second “elevator pitch” video. These are due on April 5, 2023.

A committee comprised of academic, expert, and industry leaders will review the Big Ideas proposals: up to 2 teams will be selected to receive “LIFT Implementation Awards” of $5,000.

With generous support from


Lab for Inclusive FinTech
Big Ideas

Big Ideas – LIFT Initiative


Phillip Denny, Director, Big Ideas Contest
[email protected] or [email protected]