Apply now for Tech Nation Fintech – the sector-specific scaleup growth programme

Greg Michel, June 5, 2019 5 min read

We are delighted to open applications for the second cohort of Tech Nation Fintech, our sector-specific scaleup growth programme.

Following the success of our first Fintech cohort last year, this year’s programme is on the hunt for the UK’s very best pre Series A fintechs, to help them accelerate their growth and scale at speed. The programme forms a vital part of HM Treasury’s Fintech Sector Strategy and comes just weeks after the launch of the annual state-of-the-nation Tech Nation Report.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, commented: “The UK is number one in the world for scaleup investment into fintech firms, generating £4.5 billion in funding between 2015 and 2018. That’s why we are accelerating the development of this already thriving sector through the Fintech Sector Strategy, and the Tech Nation Growth Programme is an important part of that. The country is full of exciting new companies that can break the mould and make our financial sector even stronger, and I urge all of them to get involved in this year’s programme.”

The 2018 Tech Nation Fintech programme was a big success, supporting companies such as Funding Options, SteelEye, MishiPay and LOQBOX to accelerate their growth and cement themselves in the world-leading UK fintech sector.

Steve Toland of Transficc feeds back about Tech Nation's Fintech programme

Successful applicants will be selected from a prestigious panel of judges, including Anne Boden MBE, CEO of Starling, Al Lukies CBE, the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassador for Fintech and Eileen Burbidge, Partner at Passion Capital and HMT Special Envoy for Fintech.

Find out more and apply now >

What’s in store?

Beginning in September 2019, the programme is non-residential and happens over a 6 month period. The programme is free, with no cost or equity stake taken by Tech Nation. A cohort of approximately 25 exciting fintech companies will be selected to participate.

The agenda includes:

  • 9 themed insight sessions with top fintech entrepreneurs talking about their learnings on building world-leading companies. Past speakers include Rishi Khosla, Justin Basini, Dale Muray and Lesley Eccles.
  • 5 social events with decision makers and key fintech stakeholders, such as leading financial institutions and investors, government representatives and financial regulators.
  • 2 CTO gatherings where technical founders can exchange challenges and wins with their peers.
  • An international trip to the main market of interest. Last year’s trip was to New York City.

2018 Fintech scaleups visit New York City

Loral Quin, Co-founder & CEO, Sustainably, Edinburgh, commented: “Tech Nation’s fintech programme was invaluable to Sustainably. We’re now focused on building our partner marketing programme to scale our brand, we’re hiring a designer into the team, and are in discussions with banks on how we can use their networks to scale.”

Adam Ward, CEO, Airtime Rewards, Manchester, commented: “For me, the leading benefits of this programme were the introductions made to key people within the UK fintech scene, and the creation of a peer network with entrepreneurs facing similar challenges to us.”

Gareth Lewis, Co-founder & CEO, Delio, Caridff, commented: “2018 was a big year for Delio, growing the team to more than 30, tripling the number of clients and signing contracts to bring the annual recurring revenue above £1m. The Tech Nation programme is tailor made to help firms in exactly this situation. Through educational programmes focused on the challenges of growth and introductions to venture investors seeking to back ambitious teams like Delio. Furthermore, a dedicated trip to the US helped open doors to new contacts in New York and build the bases for their expansion there.”

Steve Toland, Founder, TransFICC, London, commented: “The programme was very good, we have been involved in three similar programmes, but this is the strongest. This is because the content was orientated towards speakers with relevant experience. They had done what we are trying to do, scaling companies from 10 or 15 people to hundreds in some cases. It meant we could learn from their experience and their mistakes.”

Am I eligible?

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

  • Be at Seed to Series A funding stage equivalent.
    • If you are self-funded, maximum annual revenues are £1.5m
    • Companies will be accepted until a maximum of 3 months after raising Series A
  • Open to B2B or B2C companies
    • B2B businesses must have at least one active client or pilot
    • B2C businesses must have a product fully in market already (no beta)
  • Must be headquartered in the UK

Matt Smith of SteelEye gives feedback on Tech Nation's Fintech programme

UK fintech, global leadership

The UK is currently a world-leader when it comes to fintech, and this programme is one of the initiatives to make sure it stays that way.

Applications are open now until 9 July 2019, and successful applicants will be notified in early August.

Once applications close, companies will be selected by a prestigious judging panel of fintech experts. The panel will pick the brightest and best to join the second ever fintech cohort. Read the full list below:

  • Cathryn Lyall, Partner, Seismic Foundry
  • Simon Taylor, 11:FS
  • Richard Theo, CEO, Wealthify
  • Louise Smith, HMT Fintech Envoy for Scotland
  • Lisa Wood, CMO, Atom Bank
  • James Varga, CEO, The ID Co.
  • Imran Gulamhuseinwala, Trustee, Open Banking Implementation Entity
  • Samantha Bedford, Head of Innovation, CYBG
  • Anne Boden MBE, CEO, Starling
  • Catherine Wines, Director, WorldRemit
  • Anil Stocker, CEO, MarketInvoice
  • Al Lukies CBE, Prime Minister Business Ambassador for Fintech
  • Eileen Burbidge, Partner, Passion Capital and HMT Special Envoy for Fintech
  • Tim Levene, CEO, Augmentum Fintech
  • Paulette Rowe, Head of EMEA Payments and Financial Services Partnerships, Facebook

Eileen Burbidge Chair of Tech Nation, HM Treasury’s Special Envoy for Fintech, Chair of the Fintech Delivery Panel and Partner at Passion Capital commented: “Last year the Tech Nation Fintech Growth programme attracted an extremely high calibre of participants, and this year we are looking for equally diverse, innovative and ambitious fintech business leaders to apply. Additionally, we were delighted that in 2018, 40% of the cohort elected onto the programme had a female founder or co-founder and hope to be able to continue championing diversity through this important programme.”

If you’re an ambitious and innovative fintech startup who is ready to take your business to the next level, this could be the programme for you. The sector-specific nature of this programme means the cohort will receive tailored insights and connections, helping them through the real-world challenges fintechs of today are faced with. This year, we will also be accepting applications from B2C companies for the first time, alongside those with B2B and hybrid business models.

The UK is a world leader in fintech but now we want to find the next generation of entrepreneurs who will pick up the torch and grow this leadership. If this is you, now is the time to take the first step.

Find out more and apply now >

Fintech, Fintech 2.0, Mid Stage ,