Nesta offers £2.5m prize fund for fintech start-ups
UK innovation foundation Nesta is enticing fintech start-ups with a £2.5 million prize fund in the next phase of its “Open Up Challenge”.
The prize is open to applicants globally and no prior participation in the first stage is needed to apply.
The challenge is seeking products and services that will “help small businesses save time and money, find better services, reduce stress and discover the intelligence in their financial data”. Nesta has the open banking fever firmly on its mind.
Chris Gorst, challenge prize lead at Nesta, says: “Open banking is becoming a reality and we have already started to see fintechs build tools and services that will impact the way small businesses discover, access and use core financial products and services.”
Teams can apply for one of three prize tracks.
- Business current account (BCA): solutions to help navigate the market for business current accounts. Service could be embedded in a wider product;
- Credit track: solutions for unsecured loans of less than £25,000. Service could be embedded in a wider product;
- New frontiers track: open call for products and services related to account transaction data now enabled by open banking.
The Open Up Challenge is part of a package of reforms to retail banking from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The challenge is managed by Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre.
The prize is open to applicants from anywhere in the world but solutions will need to serve UK small businesses.
You can apply here. Applications close 4 May 2018.
At the end of June, an independent judging panel will award grants of £100,000 to ten to 12 finalists to develop their products for the challenge, with five or six of those teams winning prize awards of at least £200,000 in November.