Economic Secretary visits Cardiff to launch Wales’ first ever fintech accelerator

  • Economic Secretary met fintech firms shaping the future of the economy
  • Launch of accelerator programme will boost one of the UK’s promising fintech hubs
  • Visit follows recent Government action to extend UK’s global leadership in fintech

With 16,000 people employed by the fintech sector in Wales, and 22,000 students studying subjects that could easily lead them to a career in fintech, the sector has a crucial role to play in shaping the future of the economy and creating jobs.

The Fintech Wales Foundry accelerator programme will provide exciting fintech start-ups with access to the mentors, investors, infrastructure and technology they need to grow and succeed – including a chance to raise funding from Welsh angel investors.

During the visit, John Glen spoke to some of the innovative firms in the accelerator’s first cohort and heard how they are tackling challenges in Wales and beyond – like helping people to cut their carbon emissions and improving financial services.

He also met one of the young people taking part in the Government’s Kickstart scheme at Fintech Wales, which has now placed over 30 young people in Kickstart roles across its member organisations.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said:

Fintech is one of the UK’s great success stories thanks to forward-thinking firms that are innovating, creating quality jobs and shaping our economy for the future.

We’re determined to help fintech firms succeed here so we’re introducing new visa routes to attract the best talent, help to expand overseas and more regulatory support for companies to innovate as they grow.

It’s great that this new accelerator will now give Cardiff’s promising fintech hub an extra boost and help to bring a bit more Silicon Valley to the Welsh Valleys.

During the event at a co-working space in Cardiff, the Economic Secretary heard pitches from businesses including Voltric, the electric car subscription service; Sero, which is building one of the world’s first truly zero carbon neighbourhoods in south Wales; and Zing, which helps businesses offer insurance cover when selling bikes, jewellery, tech and other products.

The accelerator is launching shortly after the Government announced its own plans to boost UK fintech with a new ‘scale up’ visa route to help growing firms access talent, changes to listing rules to support founders, and the launch of a new regulatory ‘scale box’ by the Financial Conduct Authority which will support innovative firms in their growth stage.

James Williams, Co-Founder and CEO of Sero said:

Sero has gained recognition for our innovation in home energy management, but it’s now vital we collaborate closely with the finance sector in order to meet our climate targets.

Having the Foundry in Wales is the perfect opportunity to bring together key industry partners and deliver green finance solutions that will help our housing sector to reach net zero and accelerate us to a greener future.

Sarah Williams-Gardener, CEO of FinTech Wales, said:

Wales has been quietly building a thriving FinTech sector for many years, which was recognised in Ron Kalifa’s FinTech Report where it was identified as one of the UK’s emerging FinTech hubs.

And today’s launch of the FinTech Wales Foundry puts us firmly on the path to becoming an established hub – if not a potential superhub. As the UK’s first non-equity accelerator programme, The Foundry will not only help to create jobs and nurture our existing ecosystem, it invites businesses globally to come and scale in Wales – bringing further jobs creation and growth to an already booming landscape.

We are beyond excited to announce the first cohort of businesses, our class of 2021 and kick the programme off with the support of the Economic Secretary, John Glen.

Notes

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