Barclays has decided to rebrand its current London and Manchester accelerators from Escalator to Rise, a network of physical spaces and a virtual global community that focuses on the future of FinTech.
The Rise London and Rise Manchester sites will now be connected to the global network, meaning UK based innovators and start-ups will be able to connect with Rise members across the world and scale their ideas to new markets.
Barclays currently has a Rise hub in New York, and recently announced expansion to Cape Town and Tel Aviv. Additional sites are set to open globally in 2016.
The bank said that the rebranded accelerators will continue to provide free events and meeting space, as well as housing two Central Working collaborative workspace clubs. The London hub will also keep the cohorts of the Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars.
The Barclays Accelerator, based in London, gives ten FinTech businesses the opportunity to go through intensive 13-week programme that will support start-ups as they begin to grow.
As part of the rebrand, there will also now be an emphasis on promoting online collaboration and participation in innovation challenges.
“With Rise we’re unlocking the power of open innovation to co-create the future of financial services, which will ultimately benefit customers and clients across the globe.” said Derek White, Barclays chief design and innovation officer.
He went on to describe London and Manchester as “some of the most active locations for innovation in the world,” and highlighting Rise’s intention of connecting them to each other to accelerate the development of FinTech.
Connecting UK’s FinTech hubs
This is the second time in as many months that FinTech connections between London and Northern cities have been strengthened. At the beginning of October, Innovate Finance, the independent not-for-profit membership organisation that promotes the UK’s FinTech industry, sent a delegation to Manchester as part of an initiative to forge new innovation connections between London and regional hubs around the UK.
The link between the Northern and Southern cities has also been in the spotlight because of George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse plan that intends to turn the Northern cities into an economic force capable of rivalling London and the South East.
The now called Rise London first opened in March 2014, and Rise Manchester followed in November 2014. Barclays says that to date, Rise has hosted over 8,000 hours of events focused around innovation and entrepreneurship, attended by over 6,000 different businesses. The Barclays Accelerator programme has also received over 2,000 applications from over 95 countries across all cohorts.
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