Tech Nation launches first-ever FinTech programme
Tech Nation is calling on the UK's FinTech start-ups to submit their applications for the government-backed organisation's first dedicated programme for the fast-growing sector.
The programme, due to start in September, is open to early-stage FinTech companies looking to partner with, sell to, or otherwise work directly with other businesses.
To qualify, companies must be based in the UK, will need to be between seed and Series A stage and be able to demonstrate market success for their product.
Gregoire Michel (pictured below), the Tech Nation FinTech lead who has been working on the new programme for the last six months, told BusinessCloud this was a "key moment" for Britain's FinTech community.
We’re on a nationwide quest to find 101 FinTech Disrupters for an upcoming list in the next edition of our magazine
"We're targeting the pre-Series A companies because they're at a stage where they already have a product, they have piloted it and sold it to a bunch of companies already and now they’re looking to get the traction they need to raise Series A and start aggressively expanding," Michel said.
“There are no other programmes in that bracket at the moment and that’s why we felt that we were complementing what was happening both earlier at the accelerator and incubator stage and also later at the scale stage.
"This is a very key moment for FinTech companies."
The programme will include a 24-hour induction, a series of in-depth learning sessions, five networking dinners and will culminate in a three-day showcase trip in mid-January 2019 to the US.
The applicants who make it into the first cohort will be rewarded with a programme which will see them spend time with – and gain insight from – some of the most successful FinTech entrepreneurs in the UK.
They will also be introduced to key decision-makers at large financial institutions and investment firms.
"The idea behind it was basically: how do we as Tech Nation provide the best mechanism of support for the most promising FinTech entrepreneurs in the UK?" Michel said.
"What we decided on is a format that is a vector for transmission of insider knowledge on how to build great companies from people who have done it before and are now ready to pass on this knowledge to ‘younger’ entrepreneurs.
Michel is set to speak at BusinessCloud's 'The Future of FinTech' event in London on 12th July 2018. Book now
"Our programme will make this exchange of knowledge happen and not only will it be vertical – from people who’ve done it before to new entrepreneurs – but also horizontal. You can also very much learn from your peers."
Applications will open from 13 June to 27 July, and successful participants will be notified by mid-August.
Starling Bank chief executive Anne Boden MBE; Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder at MarketInvoice; and Alastair Lukies CBE, founding partner of Motive Partners, are among the judges taking part in the programme.
Eileen Burbidge, chair of Tech Nation, HM Treasury's Special Envoy for FinTech and partner at Passion Capital, who is also one of the judges, said: "FinTech has transformed many traditional services supplied by the financial services sector and is bringing huge benefits to the UK economy.
"The Tech Nation FinTech programme will help some of the UK's most promising FinTech companies to grow and scale.
"The UK is already a world leader in FinTech, this programme will help us to maintain that advantage while accelerating the benefits that the sector can bring to the whole economy."
Full list of judges:Alastair Lukies CBE – founding partner, Motive Partners: Prime Minister's Business Ambassador for Fintech
Anil Stocker - CEO & co-founder at MarketInvoice
Anne Boden MBE - CEO at Starling Bank
Catherine Wines - director & co-founder at WorldRemit
Cathryn Lyall - co-founder at Seismic Foundry
David Duffy - CEO at CYBG
Eileen Burbidge MBE - partner at Passion Capital
Imran Gulamhuseinwala - global head of FinTech at EY; Implementation Trustee at Open Banking
James Varga - CEO & founder at The ID Co
Lisa Wood - chief marketing officer at Atom Bank
Louise Smith - head of design and transformation, Personal and Business Banking, Royal Bank of Scotland
Richard Theo - CEO & co-founder at Wealthify
Simon Taylor - co-founder at 11:FS