A summary of the DIT & FCO FinTech Mission to Northern Powerhouse

From 5th – 7th November 2018, DIT & FCO hosted an international FinTech mission which saw 20 innovative FinTech firms from across Europe visit Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.

The mission was delivered by Whitecap Consulting, and was supported by HM Treasury FinTech Envoy Chris Sier. Throughout the mission the delegation had the opportunity to meet with and pitch to a UK audience from the financial services and tech sectors, facilitated via FinTech North showcase events which were hosted on each day of the visit.

In Liverpool, the delegation were welcomed to Sensor City, a global hub for the development of sensor technologies, where the first FinTech North event took place.

The visiting delegation were joined by UK attendees and heard from the Financial Conduct Authority and Building Societies Association, as well as being welcomed to the city by Invest Liverpool, before each visiting FinTech delivered a 3 minute pitch to the audience.

The delegation were taken on a tour of Baltic Creative, a fascinating initiative that is now home to over 150 creative and digital businesses, with major expansion plans. In the afternoon the group headed to SciTech Daresbury, a national science and innovation campus and home to the UK’s first supercomputer, where they heard from expert speakers including Hartree Centre, IBM and Atos.

Moving on to Manchester, the delegation was welcomed with a drinks reception kindly hosted by Squire Patton Boggs, the international law firm. The following morning a FinTech North event was hosted at the newly opened Barclays Eagle Lab, which in addition to the 20 pitches included a session from Experian focused on the opportunities arising from Open Banking.

The delegation then visited The Vault at XYZ Building in Spinningfields, which has been created by Allied London under its co-work brand named All Work and Social. Here the groups spent time with the team from MIDAS and also University of Manchester, hearing about the digital and FinTech economy in the city and the opportunities available to them should they look to develop a base there.

The afternoon concluded with a visit to the Dentsu Aegis Network offices, home to a team of approximately 500 creatives, where they were hosted by the team from Dentsu’s B2B agency Gyro, and also had the chance to meet other Dentsu agencies.

In Leeds, there was a pie and ale evening to welcome the visitors which was hosted by Bruntwood at Platform and attended by members of the local business and FinTech community.

The final day’s FinTech North event the following morning took place at aql‘s iconic Salem Chapel, with support from Leeds City Council, where the agenda included an Open Banking case study from first direct, an overview of the legal considerations of entering the UK by Berwins, and a sneak preview of what lies in store at Nexus, the new innovation centre at the University of Leeds.

In the afternoon the delegation was hosted for lunch at Squire Patton Boggs where they spent time with Leeds City Region LEP discussing the opportunities for international FinTech firms in the region. The recent report into the Leeds City Region FinTech Ecosystem featured prominently in this session.

Many thanks to everyone who supported this FinTech Mission.

There will be a further DIT/FCO mission in February 2019 and details of this will be announced shortly by Whitecap Consulting Limited.

Details of each visiting FinTech firm who are looking to connect and collaborate with the UK tech and financial services ecosystem, including several who are seeking investment in their businesses, can be found here.

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