Nesta launches £5m SME banking challenge
Written by Chris Lemmon
Innovation foundation Nesta has launched the Open Up Challenge, a £5 million prize fund to inspire the development of new banking services, apps and tools for the UK’s five million small businesses.
The programme is looking worldwide for 20 winning entries that will use Open Banking APIs – available from early 2018 – to transform the way that small businesses use core financial products.
If they make the final cut the winners will each receive a £50,000 grant upfront, plus a share of a further £3.5 million if successful during the challenge. They will also receive access to the Open Up data sandbox, as well as fully-funded technical and business support from experts.
Chris Gorst, Open Up Challenge prize lead at Nesta, commented: “Open Banking has the potential to transform small business banking, leading to a step change in innovation and offering busy customers unprecedented transparency, convenience and control. The Open Up Challenge aims to make this a reality, by supporting innovators building next-generation services centred around small businesses’ needs.”
Applications for the programme will be open between 23 March and 31 May 2017.