Applications for Fintech 3.0 and Applied AI 2.0, and new Net Zero 1.0 programme closing 20th July

Tech Nation, July 14, 2020 5 min read

We are so excited to announce that, not only are applications open for our Fintech 3.0 and Applied AI 2.0 programmes, but that we are launching a brand new programme for companies that help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to Net Zero by 2050. Applications for these programmes will close at 5pm on 20th July.

With the aim to help scale UK tech that is working towards a more sustainable future, Net Zero 1.0 is open to digital tech or hardware businesses which help the UK reduce greenhouse gas emissions directly or indirectly.

Digital Minister, Caroline Dinenage said: “The UK is at the forefront of the cleantech revolution and we are committed to making sure the sector has the right conditions to grow and help us achieve our climate change goals.”

“I know how dynamic and effective our tech firms can be at tackling global challenges. So I encourage any entrepreneur with a vision for a greener world to apply and help to build a cleaner and more sustainable future.”


Gerard Grech, Chief Executive, Tech Nation, the growth platform for tech companies, comments: “Climate change should not be tackled by international governments alone. Technology and entrepreneurship have a huge role to play in dealing with such a global environmental issue. The green tech sector has grown substantially and is well-positioned to take on this challenge, making a significant difference to our future. We want to ensure UK tech companies have the tools to be able to drive and scale this innovation, helping the UK meet its net zero targets by 2050 or sooner.”

Net Zero 1.0 – A greener future

The Net Zero programme is a government-backed initiative; the first of its kind to support tech that is building a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future, and contributing towards the UK’s net zero goals. It will be supported by leading experts, investors and founders.

The judges selecting companies to join the programme include Hayden Wood, CEO, Bulb, Pippa Gawley, Founder and Director, Zero Carbon Capital, Mark Hodgson, Chief Business Officer, Cervest, and Tom Adeyoola, NED, Verco. 

Net Zero Programme Lead Zheela Qaiser commented “This is an important opportunity for Tech Nation to support meaningful and mission-driven work in the pursuit of climate change goals in the UK and globally. We are seeking scaling tech businesses that demonstrate entrepreneurship and dynamism to tackle the biggest challenge that we face to our future. We’ve opened up applications to a broad range of sectors so encourage any tech businesses that are contributing toward this mission to apply.”

The Net Zero programme comes at a crucial time for the UK tech sector, as it looks to contribute to the UK’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 has highlighted the role played by technology to aid a green recovery in both the short and long term. It’s an important moment to build back better. 

We are looking for digital, hardware or biotech companies which operate across key sectors including electricity & energy, transport & mobility, agriculture, food systems, manufacturing and building technology. Companies may directly contribute to net zero, with emission reducing and carbon capture technologies or may contribute indirectly by changing consumer behaviour, or increasing efficiencies.

To qualify for the programme, companies must: 

  • Be at funding stage/backing from pre-Seed – Series A 
  • OR If revenue focused, generating annual revenues below £1.5m
  • Have at least one active client or pilot
  • Be able to demonstrate market traction
  • Have an ambition to scale
  • Be headquartered in the UK

The programme will run for 6 months and will cover key scaling challenges specific to the sector. As with all of our growth programmes, Tech Nation takes no equity stake in participating companies.

If this fits your company profile, apply now. Applications close at 5pm on 20th July.

Applied AI 2.0 

We are also excited to open applications for the second Applied AI growth programme. Launched last year, the programme is part of the UK Government AI and Data Sector Deal and gives some of the UK’s most exciting tech companies access to a valuable peer network and exposure to later-stage founders with first-hand experience of key scaling challenges. 

Harry Rhys-Davies, Programme Lead, Applied AI commented: “Applied AI is a programme to support the UK’s most exciting scaleups between seed and series A that utilise artificial intelligence. Through peer-to-peer learning with a curated group of founders and team members who are experiencing the same scaling challenges, and through hearing how later-stage founders handled the same, Applied AI is a ready-made and prestigious network to support companies through the unique challenges that scaling an AI company presents.”

The first Applied AI programme was a big success, with last year’s cohort including companies such as Sensat, BIOS, Cervest, Humanising Autonomy and CausaLens.

“At our first session in the Cotswolds we were admitting to each other how much we sleep, eat, and spend time with our partners. It was a really quick entry! Being that vulnerable, there was no going back” Mikela Druckman, GreyParrot

The AI judging panel will be made up of industry experts and leaders, including Tabitha Goldstaub, Chair, UK Government AI Council, Marta Krupinska, Head, Google for Startups UK and Akriti Dokania, Deep Tech Investor, Octopus Ventures.

Qualifying companies must: 

  • Have headquarters in the UK
  • Have Artificial Intelligence at the core of your value proposition and your key product, not an excess feature
  • Be Seed to Series A* (or no more than £1.5m annual recurring revenue)
  • Take into account ethical considerations

If this sounds like your company, apply now. Applications close at 5pm on 20th July.

Fintech 3.0

And finally, we are delighted to open applications for Fintech 3.0, our growth programme for the best and brightest UK fintechs. The Fintech growth programme was the first sector-specific growth programme we ran and both iterations so far have been immensely successful. Last year’s cohort included Credit Kudos, PrimaryBid, Honcho Markets, ANNA Money and Goodbox, to name a few. 

Liam Gray, Programme Lead, Fintech commented: “The UK’s fintech ecosystem is world leading and as it matures further we are seeing a growing amount of fintech scaleups. These companies have already achieved some incredible things and are targeting accelerated growth both domestically and internationally. Tech Nation’s Fintech programme supports companies like these to connect with other fintechs at a similar stage, learn from experts and expand their network. It’s a unique and valuable opportunity to learn in an open and intimate setting.”

This year, the Fintech programme is expanding to include insurtechs; an exciting addition to what is already one of the UK’s most exciting sectors. 

To apply for the programme, your business must meet the following criteria:

  • Be headquartered in the UK
  • Be a fintech or insurtech company
  • Be at the equivalent of Seed to Series A funding stage (If the company is self-funded, maximum annual revenues are £1.5m. Companies having raised series A can apply until a maximum of 3 months after they closed the round).
  • Offer a product or service to businesses and/or individuals (B2B businesses must have at least one active client or pilot. B2C businesses must have a product fully deployed in market already – no beta)
  • Consultancies are excluded

If your company fits the bill, apply here. Applications close at 5pm on 20th July.

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