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Funding news - 18/04/2017

Nesta's Open Up Challenge for Open Banking to Help UK Small Businesses - Stage 1 Deadline Imminent

According to Nesta, most small businesses will soon be able to securely share their banking data with trusted third parties via open banking Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and allow third parties to initiate payments on their behalf.

Nesta's Open Up Challenge is intended to shape the future of small business banking.

Nesta is looking for 20 teams from anywhere in the world that will use APIs to create value for the UK's five million small businesses, including the way they access and use bank accounts, loans and overdrafts. The teams will be encouraged to develop next-generation services, apps and tools in order to drive greater transparency, choice and innovation for small business customers.

The programme has an overall budget of £5 million and has two stages:

  • Stage 1 (Innovation) is aimed at ideas that deliver the most benefit to small businesses, and entries can be at an early stage or even just an idea. This stage will take place between July and December 2017.
  • At Stage 2 (Market Ready) the programme will focus on entries that are primed for market. This stage will take place between March and September 2018.

Winners will receive:

  • Cash Awards
    • In the Innovation Stage applicants will be awarded a £50,000 development grant up-front and then share in a £1 million reward pot if they are selected to be one of up to ten successful Stage 1 prize winners.
    • If successful at the Market Ready Stage, participants will receive a development grant from a pot of £500,000 for up to five teams, plus a share of a £2 million pot if they are one of the final three Stage 2 prize winners.
  • Exclusive Early-Stage Access to Data
    • Participants will get access to a ‘Data Sandbox’, containing one of the largest anonymised UK banking transaction datasets and APIs aligned with the forthcoming Open Banking standard.
    • Use of the Data Sandbox to securely build and test products so they can commence running in 2018.
  • Technical Support

The Challenge invites applications from individuals, teams, public limited companies, private limited companies and limited liability partnerships. The programme is aimed at fintechs, data scientists and others from anywhere in the world; however teams must be able to demonstrate that their solutions are designed to benefit UK small businesses and proposed services should be suitable for launch within the UK market and its regulatory framework. The applicant can be a start-up, a lone developer or an established company.

Nesta is currently accepting applications for Stage 1 of the Challenge with a deadline for the receipt of applications of 31 May 2017.

More details can be accessed at Nesta's dedicated webpage

Source: openup.challenges.org, 18/04/2017

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