The first fintech accelerator has launched in Wales following recommendations from the Kalifa Review.
The Fintech Wales Foundry accelerator programme will provide 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.
This is an extension of the Kalifa Review’s advice to focus on accelerator programmes, not just start-ups, and to build up regional fintech hubs across the UK.
Economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen MP visited Cardiff earlier today (25 June) to launch the accelerator, which is said will deliver a major boost to the promising fintech cluster in and around the city.
During the visit, Glen spoke to some of the innovative firms in the accelerator’s first cohort and heard how they are tackling challenges, such as 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.
Wales has 16,000 people employed in the fintech sector and 22,000 students are studying subjects that could easily lead them to a career in fintech.
“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,” said Glen.
“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.”
“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,” said Sarah Williams-Gardener, chief executive of Fintech Wales.
“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.”