Job title: Director of Product Innovation, ATB Financial
Why she's a 2016 Top 40:
Through her work with ATB Financial, Matchett helps Alberta-based start-ups succeed with innovative programs designed to transform banking.
Photograph by Erin Brooke Burns. Photographed at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.
Innovation isn’t just a buzzword for Chett Matchett — it’s what she does. “I’m in business to disrupt,” says Matchett, the director of product innovation at ATB Financial. “I’m in the business of transforming business.”
Matchett joined ATB Financial in 2013, when she was hired to help launch Alberta BoostR, a rewards-based crowd-funding program that helps Alberta-based start-ups get off the ground. Program beneficiaries to date include country music singer Tenille, shoe company Poppy Barley and CMNGD (CommonGood), a social enterprise committed to finding employment for the homeless. In 2014, Alberta BoostR won the People’s Choice award at the Corporate Entrepreneurship Awards, hosted by Market Gravity in New York City.
Matchett and her teams have gone on to launch a number of other high-profile projects, including ATB LendR, TradeFX and Entrepreneur Centres, all with the same goal: to connect Albertans to the resources they need in order to succeed. Matchett believes that ATB is in a unique position to do that. “Some people think you have so many disadvantages because you’re confined to Alberta,” she says. “We don’t see it like that at all. We have so many unique opportunities because we’re confined to Alberta.”
Matchett’s definition of innovation is a combination of creativity, execution and agility, and her approach has been instrumental in moving the company forward. The projects she’s helped execute have so far created 32 jobs at ATB and are projected to net $3 million in new revenue in 2017. “Our model is to test and try new things with the ultimate goal of transforming banking,” says Matchett. “There’s a lot of magic in that.”
Matchett judges her own success on her ability to help others succeed, and her new initiative, ATB Project X, will allow her to continue to do just that. A business accelerator for entrepreneurs, Project X is a three-month program, offered quarterly, that will see cohorts of up to 60 people share offices with ATB for mentorship and to connect with the bank’s many resources.
“I never really knew what my calling was; I just knew I wanted to do something that creates meaning and adds value,” Matchett says. “Learning how to create something out of nothing … I felt like I found myself in that.” — Nicole Halloran