UK innovation agency Nesta has handpicked twenty organisations selected to receive a slice of a £5 million prize fund to inspire the creation of new products and services using Open Banking APIs.
Nesta announced the Open Up Challenge in February in a global search for organisations who would use new open banking APIs to transform the way small businesses discover, access and use financial services.
The twenty teams, who were selected by an independent judging panel, each receive a £50k grant, fully funded technical and business support and exclusive access to the Open Up Data Sandbox, containing millions of anonymised transaction data sets in line with the recent release of UK government-approved API specifications for account and transaction information and payments initiation, which will go live in January 2018.
Each of the teams participating in the programme have an opportunity to win a share of a further £3.5m if successful during the Challenge.
Participants include both established fintechs and start-ups, adopting a range of data-driven approaches to creating value for small businesses - including in neo-banking, alternative finance and invoice financing, credit scoring, product comparison and selection, automated financial intelligence and infrastructure.
Chris Gorst, challenge prize lead at Nesta, comments: “We now have twenty teams who we firmly believe can build next generation services that will transform small business banking. By supporting these teams with financial rewards, expert support and access to the Open Up Data Sandbox, we hope to play a part in revolutionising a sector that has been slow to exploit new technology and respond to customer needs.”