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Capitalise wins prize with Open Up Challenge by Nesta

We’re thrilled to be a winner of the Open Up Challenge.

Ollie Maitland in news, future accountant
Dec 13

As featured in:

         has won a Stage 1 prize of Nesta’s prestigious Open Up Challenge.

From 140 entrants to a shortlist of 20 companies, we have been awarded the final prize and awarded a further £100,000 prize towards developing our product using Open Banking. At the heart of our solution is our rapidly growing accountant network.

For to be shortlisted is a significant show of support from the judging panel and Nesta, one of the world’s most important innovation foundations, recognising our product and the quality of our thinking. We’re doubling our product investment (literally and figuratively!) in 2018 with a focus on tools to help businesses and their advisers navigate the complex market of over 300 lenders in the UK market.


Advisor-led funding is more successful

Businesses who work with an adviser are 4x more likely to receive funding than those without one. By providing tools into the accounting ecosystem, helps UK businesses avoid a trap of being left with limited, last minute choices. We do this by changing their behaviour to move to a more considered search into our network of over 100 institutional lenders to find their match.

Our focus has been understanding the behaviour between businesses and their advisers to diversify lending to the great options beyond the 4 banks who command over 85% of the SME lending market.


Getting access to Open Banking through Capitalise

Following our 4 months of technical and product research we’re working hard on bringing our latest product advancements to market and we’ll release more information in the new year. We’d like to extend a big thank you to partners who helped us on the journey including, PKF Littlejohn, The Accountancy Cloud, SRK Accounting, Raffingers and Chaddesley Sanford.

In the new year we will be rolling out a beta version to our existing Gold partners - we’ll send an email out in due course to join the programme but if you’re not already signed up then join to receive more information.


Validation and now investment from the prize

Capitalise Co-founder & Product Director, Ollie Maitland, was delighted to have won and look forward to rolling out product updates in Q1 2018.

“To be recognised by such an illustrious and historic organisation as Nesta, and to sit on a shortlist alongside heavyweights of fintech and Open Banking, is a great honour. Not only will the recognition aid our profile, but also the grant will be put to immediate use developing new products in readiness for PSD2. It’s a timely and important reward for all of the hard work that our team have put in, and it heralds an exciting new chapter in our development.”

Looking ahead, we are excited about our product vision for changing the behaviours of UK SMEs from making rushed decisions into a considered purchase via their trusted advisors.

Watch this space to see progress even further including doubling the size of our product and technology team to service our accountant and business adviser partners better.


The History of Nesta

Nesta use “new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time”, and have been at the forefront of innovation and progress for many years.

Famously, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Longitude Prize – offered by the British government in 1714 who challenged the public to solve the greatest scientific challenge of the century – how to pinpoint a ship’s location at sea by knowing its longitude – Nesta’s Longitude Committee shortlisted six major world issues, and offered a £10 million prize fund to solve them.

Following a public vote, the challenge for the 2014 Longitude Prize was revealed as antibiotics, and the race is on to solve the global problem of antibiotic resistance by developing a transformative point-of-care test that will allow health professionals worldwide to administer the right antibiotics at the right time. This challenge is open and ongoing.

Sitting alongside the Longitude Prize, the Open Up Challenge is another of Nesta’s rewards programmes that form its Challenge Prize Centre, which uses prize-giving initiatives to help solve problems that the business world, social and public sectors have so far either failed to tackle or tackle effectively.

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