Apply now for early-stage Tech Nation Fintech programme

Greg Michel, June 13, 2018 4 min read

If you’re an early-stage fintech startup, we have a new growth programme for you. Tech Nation Fintech is our first sector-specific programme and we’re looking for applications from startups right across the UK. The programme kicks off in September and will include:

  • 24-hour induction
  • Insight sessions – led by fintech experts and designed for actionable insights and takeaways
  • Five networking events
  • Three-day international showcase trip in mid-January 2019

Last year was an exceptionally strong year for investment in the UK fintech sector as it attracted a record £2 billion in VC funding, including many weighty deals, indicating a maturing ecosystem. But nearly half of the UK’s high-growth fintech firms are still at seed stage, and we need to feed the pipeline. This is why we’ve decided to target our programme at ‘bridge-stage’ startups.

The criteria

• Seed to Series A funding stage, or £1.5m revenue if bootstrapped
• At least one active client or pilot
• B2B or B2B2C – you seek to sell to, partner with, or work in any way with businesses, large or small

Find out more and apply now

Applications are open now until 17 July 2018.

Expert insights

The insight sessions will be carefully curated, and delivered by some of the most established fintech entrepreneurs, investors and partners. All the speakers are entrepreneurs with outstanding domain expertise, handpicked among the ecosystem and Tech Nation’s deep network of programme alumni companies, and will include:

  • Chris Hill, Kemp Little
  • James Crowley, FundApps
  • Jo Oliver, Octopus Ventures
  • Jon Bradford, Motive Partners
  • Justin Basini, ClearScore
  • Justin Fitzpatrick, DueDil
  • Maria Gutierrez, FreeAgent
  • Radboud Vlaar, Finch Capital
  • Rishi Khosla, OakNorth Bank
  • Simon Calver, BGF
  • Sophie Hossack, Receipt Bank
  • Stephen Lemon, Currencycloud
  • Wendy Jephson, Nasdaq, Sybenetix

During the insight sessions you’ll 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 specifically towards founding teams.

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.”

This is Tech Nation’s first sector programme, so when designing it 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.

The programme is also fully aligned to the Treasury’s Fintech Strategy in supporting fintech companies from across the whole country. Fintech alumni of our existing programmes include Zopa, Transferwise, GoCardless, Receipt Bank, Seedrs, Crowdcube, RateSetter, Onfido, OakNorth, iwoca, eToro, Funding Circle, WorldRemit, Curve, Monzo and Trussle.

Sector champions

Applications will be assessed by our expert judging panel, including:

  • 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 – CMO 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

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.”

In summary: The UK has now a whole generation of world-class fintech entrepreneurs ready to pass the baton to the next cohort; the Tech Nation Fintech cohort. The programme provides a vector for the transmission of peer-to-peer knowledge and widens the network of extremely talented entrepreneurs outside of their own network or region.

While London often dominates fintech headlines, we know that there are hundreds of fintech companies outside of London too, and we want all regions to be involved. This is for the whole of the UK, as exemplified by the judging panel.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, who helped launch the programme at HM Treasury this morning, during London Tech Week, 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.”

Applications are open now until 17 July 2018. Successful participants will be notified in early/mid August. The programme kicks off for successful companies in September.

Find out more and apply

Fintech, Early Stage, Mid Stage