Bristol innovator takes centre stage at Barclays’ prestigious London business showcase

July 31, 2014

Pioneering Bristol firm Yourwealth has showcased its innovation to a large group of senior business and technology directors at Barclays’ global headquarters in London.

The firm, recently acquired by the UK arm of South African-based financial services group Momentum, was among six chosen by SETsquared – the business hub supported by the University of Bristol – to represent its groundbreaking innovation.

The event was part of SETsquared’s Open Innovation programme, which aims to help corporate organisations access new technologies, solutions and innovations by brokering relationships with SETsquared’s start-up companies, researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Through the mutually-beneficial partnership corporates find new technologies and products and the start-ups getting the chance to pitch to business giants they would never usually be able to access.

Yourwealth and its Money Hub app technology have already won widespread acclaim from both the technology and financial sectors for making highly-accessible technology that gives people total control and visibility of their entire financial affairs and an ability to manage this more effectively throughout their life. The firm was joined by four supported by SETsquared in Bath and one based in Guildford.

SETsquared and Barclays worked closely together to identify Barclays’ interests ahead of the showcase. The joint team then identified and selected a wide range of innovative companies across the SETsquared incubator programme that appealed to the bank. Through a series of rigorous reviews and presentations six candidates companies were selected to present at a prestigious event at Barclays’ Canary Wharf HQ.

Simon Bond, innovation director at SETsquared, which is also backed by the universities of Bath, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, said the event had been a huge success with each company stimulating significant interest and opening the doors to further discussion about their products and services.

Each participant received feedback from a 35-strong panel of representatives from Barclays, including corporate banking, digital and mobile services, wealth management and group technology.

Simon Bond said: “In the past there have been barriers to this kind of collaborative innovation, both on the side of the corporate and the start-up.

“Previously there hasn’t been a platform for corporates to go to where they can find enough solid, relevant start-ups in one place. It made for a laborious and risky process, with no guarantee of finding the right technologies at the end. Similarly, start-ups find it almost impossible to engage with the right people in major corporate organisations. Our Open Innovation programme, which was launched with support from the Intellectual Property Office, is now able to address this.”

“We have been really impressed with the commitment Barclays has made at the most senior levels to reaching out to our innovators and start-ups. This is an example of how the right corporate values can be key to exploiting the benefits of UK innovation for the whole of the British economy.”

Barclays director in global technology and infrastructure services, Adrian Cottington, added: “The Open Innovation programme, with SETsquared acting as the intermediary, has given us the opportunity to access to a pool of cherry-picked talent, all in one place. We’ve been very impressed with the quality of technology companies that SETsquared have presented to us and are looking forward to talking further with the companies.”

SETsquared’s business incubation programme was recently ranked the best in Europe and second in the world. Over the past decade it has developed more than 1,000 hi-tech start-ups that have generated some £1bn in investment.

Based in Bristol at the Engine Shed at Temple Meads, it provides mentoring, access to investors and corporates and a wide range of industry experts through its network and training programmes.

Pictured: Participants at the Barclays innovation showcase in Canary Wharf with senior managers from the bank


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