Awards Rules

About the Awards

The Canadian FinTech & AI Awards were created by the Digital Finance Institute in 2015 to recognize and celebrate Canadian innovation and to recognize entrepreneurs, thought leaders, financiers, advisors, startups, banks, law firms, Blockchain companies, investors and many other key participants in technology and financial services sector.


Nominations are made by nominees themselves, as well as by third parties. We expect that parties submitting a nomination have read and familiarized themselves with the criteria for each Award category and we expect that they have submitted nominations that meet the respective Award category.

As the organizer, while we undertake nominee due diligence, we rely on nominators to ensure that nominated persons and companies meet the criteria for the category in which they have been nominated.

Guidance on Judging

The Awards are judged by a panel of external experts who are active in the ecosystem. When judging, we ask the Judges to exercise their discretion to vote for the persons or companies they believe are the best in each category. And we also ask them to keep the following guidance in mind:

  • The Awards are not intended to solely recognize:
    • influencers – meaning persons or companies with ample news coverage and a public profile but no strong technology solution in operation or available to consumers.
    • startups who do not have a product or service yet for sale. Our goal is to recognize successes that are tangible and in use.

Conflicts of Interest

We have conflicts of interest guidelines for judges to ensure that the process is fair. Those guidelines are as follows:

  • A judge must recuse himself or herself from judging an entire Award category if he or she has a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest arises when:
    • A judge has a business, social or personal relationship with a nominee.
      • A business relationship arises where the judge, or his or her firm, invested in the nominee; gave a grant to the nominee; consulted for the nominee, whether paid or unpaid; were employed by the nominee; advised or continue to advise the nominee, whether paid or unpaid, or have any business-related relationship with the nominee, whether paid or unpaid, or earned fees from the nominee.
      • A social relationship arises where a judge, or his or her firm, has a social relationship with a nominee, such as serving as an advisor with a nominee on a committee or on a board.
      • A personal relationship arises where a judge has a close personal relationship with the nominee or its directors, officers or founders, or are related to any of them.
  • Current members and advisors of the Digital Finance Institute are disqualified from being considered for an Award because of an actual or perceived conflict of interest rules.

Judging is a subjective and objective process and we ask judges to exercise their discretion to select the most deserving candidates from across Canada.