The Meta Lab Startup Challenge
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About The Meta Lab Startup Challenge

MassChallenge, the global network for innovators, and Carolina Fintech Hub, a leader for FinTech talent, innovation, and outreach across the Carolinas, are partnering together to launch a new startup competition. The Meta Lab Startup Challenge powered by MassChallenge combines the power of innovation and entrepreneurship to advance scalable digital solutions by fostering collaborations between our corporate partners and startups. 

If you are a startup founder looking to disrupt the status quo and make meaningful change, this competition will put you in front of three world-class organizations--Atrium Health, Barings, and Truist--to help them solve their most pressing challenges. These challenges are described in detail below. 

For successful participants in this challenge, the upside is seemingly limitless. At a minimum, a $30,000 prize pool in travel and equity-free cash awards is available for winners of this competition. The real reward for entrepreneurs who choose to participate is the potential to forever change the course of their personal and professional lives by building relationships with some of Charlotte’s most innovative and ambitious institutions. Successful pilots and partnerships will be spotlighted and fast-tracked into future potential client relationships across the Queen City.



Applications for the Meta Lab Startup Challenge open October 20 and close November 10, 2021 at 12PM ET. Entrepreneurs can apply from anywhere in the world. Winning applications will be selected based on their potential for impact in the Challenge areas for each of the participating sponsors.

Our Partners



Barings is a $387+ billion* global investment manager sourcing differentiated opportunities and building long-term portfolios across public and private fixed income, real estate, and specialist equity markets. With investment professionals based in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the firm, a subsidiary of MassMutual, aims to serve its clients, communities and employees, and is committed to sustainable practices and responsible investment. Learn more at

*Assets under management as of September 30, 2021

Our Challenge 

Manage and Access Structured and Unstructured Data to Drive Better Business Insights 
The Barings investment teams generate a large volume of both structured and unstructured content that is used to make investment decisions and provide customer insight. This information is spread across email, network drives, websites, various PDF’s, documents, etc. We are looking for a solution to efficiently create, organize, search, and integrate content across teams. It can’t just be a warehouse; we must be able to access the right information when we need it through content generation workflow and contextual search. 



Truist Financial Corporation is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspiring and building better lives and communities. Formed by the historic merger of equals of BB&T and SunTrust, Truist has leading market share in many high-growth markets in the country. The company offers a wide range of services including retail, small business and commercial banking; asset management; capital markets; commercial real estate; corporate and institutional banking; insurance; mortgage; payments; specialized lending; and wealth management.  

Our Challenges 

Create an End-to-End Digital Insurance Solution  
Digital insurance storefronts are no longer a novelty or relegated to single coverage options. Families and business owners can respond to insurance applications online or by mobile device, but the critical missing factor in these transactions is the ability to finalize the transaction with an insurance carrier, i.e., bind and pay online with a chosen insurance carrier. Truist seeks a solution that will provide prospects and clients an end-to-end digital experience which captures application data, connects with participating insurance carrier partners for binding, and offers a digital payment option. 

Leverage Blockchain Technology to Create a Truist Data Asset 
Client onboarding involves gathering application information, uploading relevant documents, and supplementary information. Various internal workflows require different pieces of information used in a variety of ways. The effort of cleaning and reconciling data is enormous and costly and the need to ensure data quality takes significant time and effort.     

Truist is looking for a solution that uses blockchain technology to store all the collected details about clients and their associated behaviors and collateral information. We anticipate utilizing this reliable and trustworthy data asset to improve client experience, increase internal efficiency, and speed up verification and approvals. Applications may include smart contracts to monitor payments, hold escrows, and automatic payments. 


Atrium Health 

Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with nearly 70,000 teammates serving patients at 37 hospitals and more than 1,350 care locations.  

Our Challenge 

Improve Patient Experience and Outcomes through Insightful Data 
Atrium Health gathers a lot of patient specific, HIPAA protected information in many formats. If these data were organized, integrated, and made available in a usable format, we could develop individualized health recommendations and proactively “nudge” patients to act. In addition to integrating seamlessly with the systems and practices we currently use, we are interested in a solution that helps with data organization and access as well as proactive patient communication. 


Shared Challenges 

Address Economic & Health Inequities 
Economic stability is the #1 social determinant of health. Without financial stability, health takes a back seat. All partners care about the full well-being of their customers and patients and are interested in solutions that can help address the health and wealth equity gap by providing support and access to underserved individuals and communities.  

Build Trust 
Trust is built over time and often through personal relationships. When healthcare and financial services shifted to less of a face-to-face service business to one driven by technology, trust eroded. Digital offerings may increase convenience and save time, but it does not build relationships or loyalty. All partners are looking for a solution that will help the healthcare and financial services industry build trust with customers and patients while still using scalable and convenient digital solutions. 

How to Apply

In The News

About Carolina Fintech Hub  

The Carolina Fintech Hub was formed in late 2017 with the mission of fostering collaboration between the world's leading financial services firms and innovative Fintech startups. By providing resources and support for Fintechs of all types, at all points along the innovation pipeline and through focused efforts to attract and retain Fintech talent, Carolina Fintech Hub is fueling the future of Fintech in the Carolinas. Learn more at

About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators. Headquartered in the United States with locations in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Rhode Island, Switzerland, and Texas, MassChallenge is committed to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by supporting high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world. To date, our 2,344 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $5 billion in funding, generated more than $2.7 billion in revenue, and created more than 136,000 jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at

The Meta Lab Startup Challenge