Launched today at Innovate Finance’s UK FinTech Week, FinTech Wales has announced the “FinTech Wales Foundry” – a business accelerator that pairs global FinTechs with leading financial institutions to solve societal challenges and build back better.
The Foundry is a not-for-profit and non-equity accelerator programme that operates by pairing exciting FinTech companies with some of Wales’ leading organisations. Businesses who are accepted onto the 12-week virtual programme will access to a select crowd of seasoned mentors, venture capitalists and key stakeholders in the UK and beyond.
The programme will primarily search for startups with solutions related to mobility, health, money management and work, although applications are encouraged from all FinTech verticals (e.g WealthTech, Insurtech, Payments, etc) looking to establish a larger presence in the UK.
It has been designed to drive jobs, deals, and investment in the sector and is in partnership with founding partners Principality Building Society, Admiral Pioneer and Cardiff Capital Region and is supported by the likes of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Stripe, Tramshed Tech, Salesforce, EY, Deloitte, Cardiff University, Capital Law, Angels Invest Wales and the Welsh Government.
Applications are now open for the first intake on the first accelerator programme, which will start in July. FinTech start-up businesses from Wales and across the globe are invited to apply until the applications close on June 7th 2021.
Sarah Williams-Gardner, CEO of FinTech Wales said “Since the early 90’s when Admiral Insurance launched in Cardiff, Wales has quietly been starting, scaling and selling amazing FinTech businesses in the valleys and beyond. Our thriving ecosystem and secrets have now been rediscovered thanks to the recent Kalifa review of UK FinTech. This same report highlighted a crucial element needed for any ecosystem to be effective, an innovation hub, which is the rationale behind us launching the FinTech Wales Foundry. Our ambition is to make Wales the destination to scale your FinTech.”
Ron Kalifa OBE, the chairman of Network International, recently commissioned by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to write an independent review of the sector, said “I’m delighted to see FinTech Wales launching their Foundry today with support from the likes of Admiral Pioneer and Principality Building Society. Whilst the UK currently holds a top spot on the world’s FinTech stage we can not rest on our laurels. Emerging FinTech clusters, of which Cardiff is amongst the largest, all share a common goal to make the UK resilient and prosperous on the global stage.”
Iain Mansfield, Chief Operating Officer of Principality Building Society said “As founding partners of the Fintech Wales Foundry, we’re excited to be part of this innovative partnership alongside Admiral Pioneer. We see innovation as critical to how we serve our customers. At Principality we’re keen to embrace new partnership models that enable us to evolve to support our customer more effectively, so they can prosper in their homes at all stages of life.”
Russell Fisher, Chief Operating Officer of Admiral Pioneer stated “At Admiral we know the huge talent and opportunity that exists within South Wales and we are delighted to join Principality and Fintech Wales to establish the Foundry. Admiral Pioneer is a ‘business that builds businesses’ and we recognise that a key driver of our success will be the creation and access to talent and start up companies that can help us achieve our ambitious goals. We are hugely excited by the launch of this new initiative and the potential it offers us and the wider region.”
Johnny Mayo, manager of the FinTech Wales Foundry said “International scaleups need an option outside of the expensive expanse of London and Welsh startups need a platform that recognises and respects their contributions. The Foundry, and by extent Wales, is able to offer entrepreneurs everything they need to be successful and more.”