The UK government-backed Tech Nation Fintech Growth Programme will select 25 fintech CEOs to undergo leadership development training in a bid to strengthen industry in the country

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Tech Nation Fintech Growth Programme will train fintech bosses in leadership skills

Bosses of some of the UK’s most promising fintech companies will be enrolled in a government-backed leadership development project. The Fintech Growth Programme, led by industry association Tech Nation, is designed to further strengthen the country’s thriving fintech industry, now worth more than £7bn to the economy, and will select the CEOs of 25 companies to take part.

It forms part of the UK Treasury’s wider Fintech Strategy, which includes the establishment of the Fintech Alliance announced in April.

Economic secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, said: “The UK is number one in the world for scale-up investment into fintech firms, generating £4.5bn 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.”


Tech Nation Fintech Growth Programme aims to promote better leadership

The Tech Nation Fintech Growth Programme will run from September to March, with the bosses of the selected companies to undergo a “bespoke leadership development programme”.

The intended outcome of the scheme is to “connect and create opportunities for the founders of the UK’s most promising fintech scale-ups”, helping them to take their respective businesses to the next level and boost the overall potential of the UK fintech sector.

Members of last year’s growth scheme went on to raise an average of £1.1m each during 2018 – contributing to the UK’s status as the leading destination for fintech investment globally.

Tech Nation’s fintech lead Greg Michel said: “Tech Nation’s fintech programme identifies the rising stars in the industry and helps them scale to even greater horizons.

tech nation fintech growth programme
Greg Michel, Tech Nation fintech lead (Credit: Tech Nation)

“The last cohort companies have closed multiple funding rounds, won prestigious awards, struck strategic partnerships and expanded abroad while on the programme.

“In 2019 we are looking to replicate this success by connecting and creating opportunities for the most promising fintech companies, wherever they are based in the country, so that they can compete on the global stage.”

Of the 20 companies selected for the initiative’s previous cohort, 35% were based outside of London and 40% had a female founder or co-founder.


Tech Nation Fintech Growth Programme applications will be judged by industry leaders

Applications will be judged by a panel of experts including Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital and chairwoman of Tech Nation, Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden and Simon Taylor, co-founder of fintech consultancy firm 11:FS.

tech nation fintech growth programme
Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank (Credit: Starling Bank)

The programme is open to UK-based fintechs at a development stage equivalent to seed or Series A with a product already on the market – and is open to both B2B and B2C firms.

The CEOs of shortlisted companies will take part in nine themed “insight sessions” led by fintech entrepreneurs on topics including regulation, partnering with established financial services firms and expanding internationally – as well as attending networking events and a three-day trip to the US.

Neil Garner, CEO of payments disruptor Thyngs, one of last year’s participants, said: “Tech Nation’s fintech programme helped Thyngs establish positive conversations with key stakeholders, and helped us on our growth journey.

“We have since secured key industry veterans to lead international expansion in the US and Asia, ready to start once funding has closed with good working relationships with the Department for International Trade and the Australia High Commission thanks to programme.”

Applications to the 2019 cohort of Tech Nation’s Fintech Growth Programme are now open, and will close on 9 July.