CO-OP Shares Commitment to Innovation Through Sponsorship of NACUSO’s Next Big Idea Competition

November 17, 2019
Applications for Annual Contest Accepted Through March 9, 2020 at
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, California – Harnessing the cooperative spirit of the credit union movement, CO-OP Financial Services will sponsor NACUSO’s Next Big Idea competition, awarding $10,000 for innovative ideas to propel credit union growth. The competition is now in its eighth year, but 2020 will mark the first year in which prize money will be available -- $7,500 for first place, and $2,500 for second.

The competition aims to connect credit union innovators with credit union leaders to further exciting new ideas in a variety of disciplines to grow the movement. Last year’s winner, Zogo Finance, also went on to win Best in Show at FinovateFall 2019

“We are energized by the growing boldness for innovation that’s emerging within the movement,” said Bruce Dragt, Chief Product Officer, for CO-OP Financial Services. “By providing this platform for big thinkers and doers in our industry, NACUSO is both recognizing and nurturing ingenuity that puts people first. We’re all-in on supporting the member-centric imaginations of Next Big Idea entrants and are happy to support NACUSO in this effort.”

CO-OP’s support for NACUSO extends to its leadership as Matt Kardell, Chief Revenue Officer for the company, is a member of the organization’s Board of Directors, elected to that position earlier this year. “We are very excited to add a cash award to the competition this year. We cannot thank CO-OP enough for their continued support of NACUSO,” said Jack Antonini, CEO of NACUSO.  

Criteria for the Next Big Idea are initiatives to improve earnings, enhance member service, deliver new products and services to members and improve delivery channels to members. The innovations can be at various stages of development, including early stage and in need of investment, ready to be delivered or already in motion and are growing and changing the industry. 

This year’s event is scheduled to take place Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at the NACUSO Network Conference at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort in Orlando, Florida. Five finalists will have 15 minutes on stage, half of which is allocated to presenting. The remaining time is for a live Q&A session with the presenters and four judges, which will include CO-OP’s Dragt among them. Winners will be selected by a live audience vote using the NACUSO Network Conference app. 

The competition will also include a Wild Card round, offering an on-stage opportunity to five competitors, one of whom will join four others in the final round. Wild Card competitors will have just two minutes to present their idea. The audience will then vote live for the one they’d like to see move on. 

Applications are now open at The deadline for submissions is March 9, 2020. Those chosen to present in either the Final or the Wild Card round will be notified by March 14, 2020. 

About the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO)

NACUSO was formed in 1984 to help credit unions explore the use of CUSOs and the delivery of non-traditional products and services. Over the years, NACUSO’s focus has evolved to helping credit unions form multi-owned CUSOs and participate in collaboration and the cooperative business model. NACUSO’S core purpose is to be the leader of innovation, collaboration and advocacy for CUSOs and the credit union industry. For more information, visit
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