A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Jerusalem

Colby Foster
2 min readMar 31, 2017


Citi® Mobile Challenge

(I wrote this in June of 2015, posting it to Medium today)

In January, my friend Brock Wright and I entered the Citi Mobile Challenge in an effort to defy the status quo of mobile banking.

The submission process was tough. We made it past round one, round two and then round three — it was surreal. Next, we received the invitation to present to Citi as a finalist in Jerusalem, Israel.

‘GetFit’ Gets an Audience

The presentation of our GetFit mobile and wearable app competed against 21 other finalists from around the world.

Designed for both smartphone and wearable devices, GetFit marries fitness tracking with the banking experience. The app enables the bank to offer rewards such as coupons and points when customer fitness goals have been achieved.


Our presentation was second in line after lunch. Were we nervous? Yes would be an understatement. But it was that good kind of nervous. We had a lot of things going our way: the presentations were in English (our first language), our tech was top-shelf, and the crowd was fresh off their lunch break.

The demo was electric! It was such a rush standing on stage in front of Citi executives. Plus, our tech worked and the audience loved us.

The best feeling was when Heather Cox, Chief Client Experience, Digital & Marketing Officer at Citi and American Banker’s “Digital Banker of the Year,” told us how much she liked our app and how she thought it would be a great way to boost customer interaction and bring more business to Citi. That meant the world to us coming from Heather — a smart, impactful fintech leader who is truly passionate about customer experience.

The Impossible Happens: WE WON!

Out of more than 750 applications, the field was narrowed down to 77 finalists and GetFit was named the “Most Innovative Use of IBM Bluemix.”

Looking back at the past few months it’s exciting to see where we’ve ended up — sharing the global stage with the world’s top financial institution. Citi has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. They host the #CitiMobileChallenge to discover the “next big thing in FinTech.” It’s amazing to think that GetFit may be one of those things.

An Experience to Remember

The thrill of the competition aside, Jerusalem stole my heart. What a fantastic experience. Jerusalem is known as “Start-Up Nation” for a reason. The best innovation in the world is coming out of Israel right now and you could feel that at the event.

Overall, I’m very thankful to Citi for making it all happen. I still can’t believe I lived through that adrenaline ride and I’m excited to see what the future holds for our app.

Regardless if it goes anywhere or not, the experience was one for the scrapbook and I’m a better man for it.



Colby Foster

I really admire people who can think through ideas. I hope you will join me to help me think through my own.