Startup Weekly: FinTech Innovation Lab, EY Startup Challenge & more

Here’s your weekly round up of news about startup competitions, awards, co-working spaces, accelerators and any other exciting things happening in the UK tech sector.

The Office Group

The Office Group (TOG) released its financial results for 2015. The results revealed the firm’s revenues to be up 62% to £54.3m since 2014, and EBITDA up 33% to £15.4m.

During the year, TOG acquired over 390,000sq ft of new office space in London, and then further expanded to one million sq ft in April 2016. This makes TOG London’s largest privately-owned occupier of office space.

With 33 buildings, 31 of which are in central London, TOG is home to startups, SMEs, and a number of high-profile companies including tech giants such as Facebook, AOL, Dropbox and Pinterest.

Lloyd Dorfman CBE, TOG chairman and majority shareholder, commented: “This is a really positive set of results. The business is growing at a rapid rate as we see increasing demand for flexible office space.

“Our buildings are predominantly in London, the largest market in the world for flexible offices. There is enormous demand for flexibility as working patterns change; nowadays one in seven people in the UK are self-employed.

“We believe that the uncertainty caused by Brexit could well increase demand for flexible office space.”

FinTech Innovation Lab

Applications are open for Accenture’s annual FinTech Innovation Lab London. The 12-week programme helps early and growth stage FinTech startups accelerate product and business development by providing mentorship and exposing them to financial institutions.

This year’s Lab will select 20 startups and, for the first time, include a dedicated stream for InsurTech entrepreneurs.

Julian Skan, managing director for financial services at Accenture, commented: “Innovation is borderless. Like London itself, the Lab has become a healthy ecosystem for global FinTech innovation, attracting applicants from more than 33 countries since we launched in 2012.”

The Lab begins in January 2017. Entrepreneurs will be partnered with senior-level financial services executives to receive help developing and fine-tuning their technologies and business strategies. Startups will then present their business cases in front of VCs and financial industry executives in March.

“There are few industries that need innovation more than financial services, which is why firms must keep their foot on the pedal with digital technologies. At the same time, even the nimblest of startups have much to learn from financial institutions, regulators and larger tech companies,” Skan concluded.

Applications can be made here.

EY Startup Challenge

Six technology startups have been selected to participate in the next EY Startup Challenge, which commences on 12th September.

The six week programme will focus of building blockchain solutions for digital rights management and energy trading.

Startups will move into an innovation hub in the office space of a technology accelerator based in Canary Wharf. They will have access to a selection of mentors from EY and EY’s clients, regular contact with market leading businesses, and will participate in educational workshops.

Ending with a showcase day on 20 October, the startups will demonstrate the solutions they have built throughout the programme.

The shortlisted startups are:

Jamie Qiu, founder and lead of the EY Startup Challenge, commented: “We are hugely excited to explore together with these six startup businesses how blockchain can be used to transform digital rights management and energy trading. These two key areas are ripe for change and we believe blockchain has the potential to bring about notable enhancements in productivity and transparency. We think that the prospective impact of this technology outside of the financial services sector is enormous, and we look forward to exploring this collaboratively.”

Entrepreneur First

British pre-seed startup accelerator Entrepreneur First secured a £40m Enterprise Capital Fund this week. This funding includes a £26m investment from the British Business Bank.

The company plans to use funds to invest in the startups it has created. Backed by Margot James, Minister for Small Business, The Next Stage Fund will invest alongside early stage VC firms and will help the startups scale successfully.

Since 2011 the company has helped build over 100 startups, including Magic Pony, which was recently acquired by Twitter for $150m.

Available to the current cohort (EF6) to the cohort of September 2018 (EF10), the fund will invest in over 100 UK companies. It will provide £70,000 loan notes to each company presenting at each Demo Day, and support the growth of seed-funded companies for 18 months after the day.

Innovate Finance NYC

Innovate Finance has launched its East Coast FinTech programme in New York.

The East Coast programme will help Innovate Finance members meet and collaborate with the US FinTech community in New York. Creating vital connections that can help them grow, the initiative aims to foster greater ties between the UK and US FinTech communities.

Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO at Innovate Finance, commented on the initiative: “The US East Coast plays a special role in the development of the global FinTech ecosystem and is a collaborative environment for our members and influencers. Innovate Finance aims to create a programme that can help the community grow on both sides of the Atlantic, and to strengthen the key work we continue to do for our members in the US.”

Health Tech & You

The third year of AXA PPP Health Tech & You has been launched today at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo 2016. The programme aims to discover, promote and support HealthTech disruptors, developers and innovators who are shaping the way that technology can manage health and wellbeing.

Central to the programme will be its annual awards programme, which recognises developers, designers and businesses that are helping people – either in a clinical setting, the workplace or at home.

In creating a community of HealthTech innovators, the programme supports the NHS five year forward view strategy that wishes to promote a HealthTech ecosystem which empowers people to manage their own health.

Roy Lilley, health policy analyst and commentator, commented: “The talent for creating ground-breaking HealthTech that is making a real difference to people’s lives is evident. Programmes such as AXA PPP Health Tech & You are an important step in bringing innovation to the forefront for the benefit of all, and I am delighted to support The Health & Care Professional’s Choice category in the third year of the Health Tech & You Awards.”

EdTech incubator

Applications are open to EdTech startups to become Pearson Business School’s first incubator company.

The successful startup will be based in the heart of the FTSE100 company and provided with its own private room, collaborative space, WiFi, accounting software and access to regular learning opportunities and networking events. This is in exchange for donating a small amount of time each week to help Pearson Business School students learn about the realities of life in a startup.

Prospective applicants can attend an open day on Tuesday 4th October to find out more. Applications can be made here and the process will close on 18th October 2016. Following screening and a final round of interviews, a final decision will be made on Monday 14th November 2016.

Will Holt, Director of Pearson Business School, said: “With its unique tech, talent and academic ecosystem, London is the perfect place for an Edtech business.

“We are delighted to be able to open our doors to one lucky Edtech start-up. It’s a win-win situation – the business will receive access to our state-of-the-art facilities cost-free, while our students will get a taste of the realities of life in a start-up.

“This initiative is just the first of many that we will be launching as part of our start-up ecosystem.”

That’s all for this week. Click here for previous instalments of Startup Weekly… see you next Friday!