FinTech North News and Regional FinTech Developments

Re-Cap: FinTech Funding Forum 27th January

On the 27th of January, we welcomed over 30 delegates to Avenue HQ in Leeds for our FinTech Funding Forum, in collaboration with Barclays Eagle Labs and Leeds City Council. The interactive event aimed to connect investors & entrepreneurs, showcase innovative companies at different stages of the funding journey whilst addressing the funding landscape in the North.

We would like to say a huge thank-you to our the speakers and attendees who made the event a success! Of course, we thank Barclays Eagle Labs for covering logistics on the day and providing the venue.

For the benefit of our community, FinTech North has produced a write-up of the event, along with recordings.

We kicked off proceedings with introductions from Joe Roche, Engagement Manager at FinTech North – who talked the audience through who we are and what we do. Chris Winn, Ecosystem Manager at Barclays Eagle Labs soon introduced the Leeds Eagle Lab facility and outlined the opportunities at Eagle Labs for potential entrepreneurs / businesses looking for a place to grow.

The event heard from FinTech companies at varying stages of their funding journey.

Our first speaker was Will Smith, Co-Founder at Tred – a Leeds based Climate FinTech start-up. Will talked us through the investment journey with Tred. He detailed the fragmented journey of raising capital, including personal experience of the trials and tribulations of growing a start-up from the ground up.

The mission of Tred is to help every person spend greener. They launched a debit card that plants trees with every purchase. The app-based ‘bank’ encourages people to spend more sustainably as it tracks carbon footprint, gives tips on how to reduce impact and gives you a simple way to offset your carbon expenditure.

The growth of Tred has been astronomical in the past 2 months, with Will announcing that they raised £1 million pounds in 10 days via crowdfunding.

Will acknowledged the challenges of developing connections and argued that this was their biggest hurdle when growing capital. He went on to accentuate the difficulty of gaining the first investor and being told ‘no’. He ratified the importance of having confidence in yourself and your product, and once the first investment came in, others were ready to jump on.

Will went on to answer a boat-load of questions about Tred, including salary and further investment journey queries – in general, he was incredibly transparent on the truth about raising capital.

Siddesh Iyer, Founder of SportFin, was up next. Siddesh joined us recently at the Manchester conference, so it was great to see him again at the FinTech Funding Forum.

Siddesh introduced SportFin – a North East based start-up. It helps community sports clubs to harness sports data and automates social impact reporting. With this information, it aims to enable impact investment solutions through their CIS model, data, and machine learning.

Again, Siddesh answered many a question from the audience and was very open about his current investment journey and what he expects in the future.

Sarah Hex from Mercia joined us to give delegates an insight from an investor perspective. Mercia is a regionally focused specialist asset manager, managing several assets worth £940m. Her talk covered the Northern investment landscape and highlighted best practice and pitfalls for budding entrepreneurs. It was an incredibly informative segment, covering the ‘do’s and don’ts’ when seeking investment.

Sarah saw us through to the mid-way point of the morning. We invited delegates to stretch their legs and continue networking with like-minded individuals.

We carried on proceedings with a ‘fireside chat’ with Richard Carter and Julian Wells.

Unfortunately, Richard Carter was unable to join us live due to Covid. However, FinTech North provided a pre-recorded interview for delegates to view on the day. This can be found below.

Richard Carter, former managing director at Equiniti Credit Services, gave us his views on the Northern investment landscape, and talked on some of the pitfalls found on the fundraising journey from both the perspective of an entrepreneur and an investor.

Shoayb Patel, Founder at RD Vault, joined us next (live!) and shared his fantastic investment journey. RD Vault is the world’s only fully integrated R&D tax credits software that allows businesses and advisors to swiftly claim R&D tax credits.

‘Keep investors who’ve said no in the loop’. He went on to explain how rejection is never permanent and to not lose motivation. This was a common theme amongst our speakers and should be great inspiration for our delegates.

Shoayb recently spoke at our previous Manchester Conference, it was great to see him again and have representation of start-ups from Yorkshire, the North West and the North East.

Our next speaker was Jordan Dargue, Board Director at North Invest and co-founder of Fund Her North, talked us through her journey into investment and support of Northern entrepreneurs and investors.

This brought the FinTech Funding Forum to a close. Following the final speaker, entrepreneurs and investors took the opportunity for some final networking.

It was great to meet the FinTech North community and connect delegates with each other! Another huge thanks to Barclays Eagle Labs for their collaboration.

We’re looking forward to our upcoming events, including our Hull and Leeds conference in the coming months. For more information, we strongly encourage you to check out our Events page here.

Finally, any FinTechs actively looking to raise funds should check out the Investment Series by FinTech Alliance x DiT.

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