Online lender Spotcap opened the Fintech Fellowship to applicants. The programme offers an £8k award to a postgraduate student studying a fintech related course at a UK university. Applications will be open for four months and close on the 1 August 2018.
The fellowship launched last year to raise awareness of the fintech talent gap and to encourage industry stakeholders to get involved in addressing the skills shortage. Forty-two universities from across the UK supported the programme. Last year’s winner was Mohammed Hussan, who is using the award to support his MSc in Computer Science.
“Seeing positive collaboration between groups of talented entrepreneurs and established financial institutions really inspired me to apply”, said Mohammed. “I believe it is a game-changer.”
Fintech and talent
The fintech industry is the fastest growing sector in the UK with higher than average growth expected; however, finding the right talent can be challenging. 58 percent of respondents to the UK FinTech Census 2017—which was commissioned by HM Treasury—reported that they considered attracting suitable and qualified talent as one of their top three challenges, with access to coding and software skills being of particular concern.
Niels Turfboer, Spotcap’s managing director, comments: “The possibility that access to skilled workers from Europe will be reduced after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019, has put talent on everyone’s radar. The fintech sector, academia and the government are all trying to find ways to plug the growing skills gap, but we can achieve more if everyone collaborates with each other.”
This year’s judging panel
Spotcap is delighted about this year’s Fintech Fellowship judging panel, which consists of the following key industry leaders and fintech experts:
- Marilena Ioannidou, Director & Team Lead on Fintech Investments, British Business Investment
- Stephen Ingledew, Chief Executive, FinTech Scotland
- Elizabeth Lumley, global fintech commentator and advisor
- Tanya Andreasyan, Managing Director and Editor, FintechFutures/Banking Technology
- Niels Turfboer, Managing Director, Spotcap
Marilena Ioannidou from British Business Investments, comments: “Initiatives such as the Fintech Fellowship are vital in supporting and inspiring talented graduates, helping to secure the future of the sector. ”
Elizabeth Lumley, a global fintech commentator and advisor, adds: “Fintech provides a great opportunity to improve banking and financial services for society as a whole. I welcome initiatives like the Spotcap Fintech Fellowship which can offer an opportunity for people to expand their knowledge and create innovation and advancement.”
Tanya Andreasyan from FinTech Futures/Banking Technology adds: “Everything is speeding up, technology is making such huge strides forward. We have to make sure the industry keeps up with the times and the pace of change, and it’s great that initiatives such as the Fintech Fellowship strive to address the issue! Without the right talent, we won’t be able to progress – it’s simple as that.”
Spotcap empowers small and medium sized businesses with tailored finance, allowing them to focus on what really matters. The company has developed a unique lending platform and credit algorithm which offers a fast and superior assessment of a business’ real-time performance. Spotcap operates as a direct lender in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. The company also offers its proprietary technologies under its Lending-as-a-Service proposition. Spotcap has raised 100 million euros in funding and is backed by a number of high profile investors including Rocket Internet, Finstar Financial Group, Access Industries, Holtzbrinck Ventures and Heartland Bank. The growing team currently consists of more than 120 employees globally.