FinTech entrepreneurs are being invited to apply to Accenture’s (NYSE:ACN) sixth FinTech Innovation Lab London, a three-month program where early and growth stage companies receive mentoring and accelerate their business development working directly with top financial institutions, as fintech investments in the UK continue strongly.
This year’s Lab has introduced a new stream to help RegTech startups develop their business strategies and fine tune their technologies. It comes at a time when banks are being compelled to open up their customer data and ensure this data is properly protected, with PSD2 and data protection regulations (GDPR) coming into force next year.
Fintech entrepreneurs developing innovative and disruptive technologies for the financial services sector are invited to apply by October 20, in a year that saw surging levels in fintech investment in the UK.
In the first half of 2017, the UK raised nearly £530m in fintech investment, which is nearly close to what was raised in all of 2015 (at £562m), according to Accenture Research analysis of CB Insights data. London is a burgeoning hub with 73 deals so far this year, behind only to New York and Silicon Valley which are both ahead by 14 deals. So far in 2017, London remains the undisputed centre for InsurTech investment in Europe, with 30 percent of all deals in the continent taking place in the city. Insurtech investment increased to a record £218m in the first half of this year, compared to £7.3m the year before.
“Large financial services firms are now finding ways to adopt fintechs into their business models as regulatory requirements become more urgent and competition from tech platforms has become more specific,” says Julian Skan, senior managing director in Accenture’s Financial Services and executive sponsor of FinTech Innovation Lab London. “This is causing incumbent firms to question long-held beliefs on vertical integration.”
Skan added: “Our new dedicated RegTech stream purposefully coincides with an increase in regulation and demand for firms to offer consumers greater access to their data. Looking ahead, with new technologies like blockchain, smart contracts and more mature AI coming into play, the need for effective solutions is becoming increasingly urgent. At the Lab, we’re proud to bring innovators and financial firms together to navigate their businesses in an increasingly complex world.”
The financial institutions that have participated in the London Lab include Ageas, AIB, AIG Europe, AXA, Bank of America, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, IF, Intesa Sanpaolo, J.P. Morgan, Lloyds Banking Group, LV=, Morgan Stanley, MS Amlin, Nationwide, OP, Rabobank, RBS, RSA, Santander, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered, Towergate, UBS and XL Catlin.
The Lab begins in January 2018 and entrepreneurs will ultimately present their business cases at an Investor Day in March to financial service executives and investors.
“We are delighted to be involved in the FinTech Innovation Lab London and look forward to meeting a new group of exciting entrepreneurs helping to take the financial services industry forward,” said Andrew Sargison, Global Head Of Advisory, Sales & Distribution Technology, at Morgan Stanley. “Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and we are committed to supporting these programmes that help accelerate innovation for the industry. That is why we are keen to mentor promising financial start-ups and foster a collaborative environment.”
The FinTech Innovation Lab London is a mentorship programme for entrepreneurs in the financial services sector - particularly in the areas of big data; analytics and cognitive computing; security and identity management; risk management and compliance; digital marketing and social media; cloud; payments; blockchain technology; talent management; and Internet of Things applications.
Accenture and a dozen major banks launched the FinTech Innovation Lab London in 2012, with support from the city’s mayor and other government bodies. Since its launch, 56 start-ups have participated in the London Lab, securing more than 50 contracts with global banks and creating over 800 jobs.
The London Lab is modelled on a similar program that Accenture co-founded in 2010, with the Partnership Fund for New York City, the US$115 million investment arm of the Partnership for New York City (www.pfnyc.org). In 2014, Accenture launched FinTech Innovation Labs in Asia-Pacific and Dublin, Ireland. Globally, the Labs’ alumni companies have raised more than US$863 million in financing after participating in the programme.