Some of the UK’s leading fintech executives will judge applications from ambitious fintech startups for the first ever dedicated Tech Nation Fintech programme.
Anne Boden MBE, CEO of Starling Bank, Anil Stocker, CEO and Co-Founder at MarketInvoice and Imran Gulamhuseinwala, Global Head of Fintech at EY and Open Banking’s Implementation Trustee, are amongst the prestigious judging panel looking for outstanding fintech companies.
The judges will be assessing the most promising fast-growth fintech companies from across the country to start the programme in September. The Tech Nation programme is open to early-stage fintech companies looking to partner with, sell to, or otherwise work directly with other businesses, large or small. To qualify, companies will need to be between seed and Series A stage, and be able to demonstrate market success for their product – and they must be UK based.
The applicants who make it into the first cohort will be rewarded with a carefully curated programme, which will see them spend time with and gain insights from some of the most remarkable fintech entrepreneurs the UK has to offer.
The insight sessions will be centred around key topics inherent to scaling a business such as regulation, sales, partnering with incumbents and international expansion. They will also be introduced to key decision makers at large financial institutions and investment firms. The programme will culminate in a showcase trip to the US to give the cohort a feel for the American market, its ecosystem dynamics and investors.
The programme is being launched by Tech Nation after a phenomenal year for fintech in 2017. UK financial technology firms attracted a record £1.34 billion in VC funding, which comprises 44.8 per cent of all funding raised within tech in the UK.
The UK is home to hundreds of high-growth fintech firms, with nearly half of those still at seed stage. Tech Nation’s programme is aligned to the Treasury’s Fintech Strategy in supporting fintech companies from across the whole country and will help these fintech companies scale into global disruptors. Fintech alumni of Tech Nation’s existing programmes include the likes of Zopa, Transferwise, Monzo and Trussle.
John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “From London’s Silicon Roundabout to Scotland’s Silicon Glen, there are hundreds of promising British fintechs on the cusp of becoming the next major disrupter. That’s why we launched our Fintech Sector Strategy earlier this year, and why the Tech Nation Fintech programme is so significant. The programme will help to give some of these startups a boost to the next stage, and with it, bring innovative new products to market.
“I want to wish all the applicants the best of luck – I can’t wait to see what exciting new products and services the judges discover.”
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.”
Gregoire Michel, the Tech Nation Fintech lead, said: “When designing this first sector programme, we spoke to dozens of key players in the fintech ecosystem and built on the learnings we gathered running our other programmes like Future Fifty, Upscale and Founders Network. Our ambition is to leverage the world-leading domain expertise of entrepreneurs who have built amazing fintech companies here in the UK in the past decade, and provide the younger cohort of companies with key insights to power their growth, both during the programme, and afterwards.”
James Varga, CEO and founder at The ID Co. said: “When we started The ID Co we knew what we wanted to do, but we didn’t always know how to achieve it. If this fintech programme had been available then we would have definitely applied to participate. While growing our company we have experienced how valuable it can be to learn from those who have already built companies themselves and were willing to share their experiences.”
What does the Tech Nation Fintech programme involve?
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 USA. The insight sessions will be delivered by some of the most established fintech entrepreneurs, investors and partners who will cover topics such as regulation, partnering with banks and expanding internationally.
The programme is aimed at company founders and all activities and sessions will be geared towards founding teams only.
Applications will open until 27 July and the programme kicks off in September. Apply here