Fintech students targeted by Santander

Santander has launched ‘Big Ideas,’ a competition for students to transform the financial industry with a £20,000 prize fund.

The competition challenges students to put forward their big ideas to transform the banking industry for a chance to win part of £20,000 plus the opportunity to develop the idea.

Big Ideas was created by Santander to help identify ways to overcome some of the key technological issues facing the financial industry. Through Big Ideas, Santander aims to help students identify and develop solutions, with participants retaining ownership of their work.

The Big Ideas competition has a £20,000 prize fund, which will be split into:

–        Best overall phase 1 submissions: up to 30 prizes of £50

–        The future of semantic search category winner: £5,000

–        The future of digital authentication category winner: £5,000

–        The future of virtual banking category winner: £5,000

–        Santander creative thinkers award for the most forward-thinking proposal: £3,500

Finalists will also be given the opportunity to:

–        Develop ideas with engagement from Santander’s Innovation team

–        Present their idea to Santander’s senior and executive teams

–        Gain valuable experience for their CV

–        Apply academic theory to real business challenges

–        Students retain the right of ownership for their ideas and prototypes.

“There is support and information available to students but clearly more needs to be done to ensure it reaches those that need it,” said Simon Bray, managing director of Santander Universities UK.

“Our Big Ideas competition is calling upon bright, creative student minds to put forward their ideas for transforming the banking sector. There’s a prize fund of £20,000 and the winners will work with the Santander Innovation team to put them into practice.”

If you are interested in the competition you can find out more about it here:


New research by the bank estimates that a quarter (27%) of students have started or plan to start a business venture whilst they are still at university.

Amongst those that have already started a business, the average turnover is £6,876 per annum, equivalent to a collective £478 million. However, only 10% of university students plan to start their own business when they graduate or continue with an existing venture, raising questions about the advice and information available to young entrepreneurs.

Bray continued: “Thousands of students across the UK run very successful and profitable businesses whilst at university, but the appetite to continue being entrepreneurial seems to diminish as they come to the end of their studies.

“We want students to continue with their business plans, both during their studies and after they graduate, which is why it’s so important that they are supported every step of the way. At Santander we want to reward and encourage students to dare to invent, innovate, create and be entrepreneurial.”

When asked about their employment plans when they leave university, 80% of students expected to join a company while only 8% planned to start their own business and 2% hoped to continue with an existing venture.

The most common reason cited for not continuing with business plans was a perceived lack of experience (40%), followed by a fear of failure (30%), the lack of employee benefits (11%) and the lack of support and information (10%).

When looking at the key influences for students wanting to pursue their own ventures after university, inspiration from other entrepreneurs had the biggest impact (34%) while the influence of family and friends was cited by just over a quarter (27%) and university experience influenced 11%.

The study of university students found that technology-based solutions (25%) are the most common type of student venture, followed by arts or crafts (16%). Clothing and textiles, catering, and administrative tasks (all 8%) were also commonly cited.