Tech Nation Launches First Fintech Programme

Fintech Nation Fintech Startup Programme

Ambitious Scottish start-ups wanted for Tech Nation’s first ever UK Fintech programme.

Some of the UK’s leading fintech pioneers and business leaders are judging applications from ambitious fintech companies for the first ever Tech Nation Fintech start-up programme.

Britain is home to hundreds of high-growth fintech firms, with almost 50% still at seed stage. Tech Nation’s new fintech start-up programme is aligned with the UK Treasury’s recently announced Fintech Strategy in supporting fintech companies from across the whole country and will help these fintech companies scale into global disruptors.

Some of the UK’s most well-known fintech companies, including Zopa, Transferwise, Monzo and Trussle, are alumni of Tech Nation fintech programmes.

Tech Nation Fintech Start-up Programme

The new fintech start-up programme is open to early-stage, UK-based fintech companies (between seed and Series A), which can demonstrate market success, looking to partner with, sell to, or otherwise work directly with other businesses, large or small.

The carefully curated programme, will see successful applicants spend time with – and gain insights from – some of the most remarkable fintech entrepreneurs the UK has to offer.

The insight sessions will be focused upon key topics inherent to scaling a business, such as regulation, sales, partnering with incumbents and international expansion. Companies will also be introduced to key decision makers within major financial institutions and investment firms. The programme will culminate in a showcase trip to the US to give the cohort a greater understanding of the American ecosystem, market 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 was almost 45% of all VC funding raised the UK’s tech sector.

Applications are open from 13 June to 27 July. Successful participants will be notified in early/ mid August. The programme kicks off in September.

Judging Panel

Well-known names such as 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 part of the 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.

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.”

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.”

Louise Smith, RBS, Fintech EnvoyLouise Smith, UK Treasury Fintech Envoy  for Scotland, who is also one of the judges commented:

“Scotland’s technology sector is well respected and its historic reputation as a home for financial services makes the country a natural hotbed for Scottish entrepreneurs looking towards a fintech future. The sector is already employing thousands of people and has the potential to create many more jobs in future.

“Scottish fintech startups should take this opportunity to apply for Tech Nation’s first Fintech programme which will really help them accelerate their businesses.”

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, the ID Co.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.”

“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.”

What does the Tech Nation Fintech startup 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.

Apply here.

The full list of judges in the Tech Nation Fintech Start-up Programme is:

  • 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


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