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The shortlist – formed of twenty companies selected from 140 entrants – champions companies shaping the future of banking. Each company on the shortlist has been awarded a £50,000 grant and given access to a large amount of anonymised banking data, allowing them to experiment and test new products in a live Open Banking environment.
For Capitalise.com to be shortlisted is a significant show of support from Nesta, one of the world’s most important innovation foundations, recognising our product and the quality of our engineering.
The Open Up Challenge aims to inspire and fund the creation of tools and platforms that will allow SMEs to grow their businesses over the coming years.
Banks including Barclays, Lloyds, Santander, HSBC and RBS have contributed to a £5 million prize pot, as well as providing data that is intended to give companies the opportunity to test and build in preparation for the launch of Open Banking, which will begin with the roll-out of the second European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in January 2018.
PSD2 requires the largest UK banks to give third parties access to their data. So preparation is vital, and Nesta and the big banks are aware of the need to develop products and tools that suit this new legislation before it comes into force.
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.
Capitalise Managing Director, Paul Surtees, was delighted to have been selected and excited about the next phase of the challenge:
“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, five companies from the shortlist will be selected to move forward to the next stage, where they will compete for the final prize of £2m in September 2018.
Watch this space to see if Capitalise.com can progress even further.