Cluster led fintech innovation programme in the West of England – an update

We are all looking to accelerate the impact of fintech in the West of England; to scale initiatives that meet fast changing and pressing market needs. Topics such as the cost-of-living crisis, decarbonising SMEs, tackling scams, and finding ways to revitalise the high street, have emerged as some of the most important priorities. 

As we shared at our launch event back in April, our research shows that existing innovation programmes in financial services aren’t addressing these problems so any fintech platform we create must be different and built on the unique strengths of our regional cluster. The platform needs to bring the right people to work together, with commitment from all parties – time, money and resources. And to be effective, its purpose must be to create sustained momentum for the whole region.   

MVP for an innovation platform 

Following consultation with individuals across the ecosystem, we are now creating an MVP programme where contributors can put their weight behind a first challenge to test the approach and drive their mission forward.  

The platform MVP will be supported by existing innovation infrastructure via Engine Shed and will comprise three key components:  

  • Advisory board 

Governance of the programme inclusive of a variety of ecosystem stakeholders and with a primary role to set a challenge brief, recruit a multi-disciplinary challenge team, and track impact. 

  • Opportunity team 

A co-located multi-disciplinary group of supporters, bringing their domain expertise and perspectives to create the open-source assets that will help unlock opportunities and solutions to challenges for the whole industry. 

  • Broader Financial Services ecosystem network 

A community motivated and supported to scale high impact solutions using assets developed by the opportunity team, connecting the programme to the rich cluster developing in the region  

How to get involved 

There will be ways for everyone to get involved in the innovation programme, either as an advisory board member, opportunity team member, challenge sponsor or ecosystem contributor of resource, research, market feedback or innovation.   

As we now work to develop the next level of operational detail, we’d love you to register your interest and how you would like to be involved. Please just drop an email to 

After taking time to prepare the groundwork, we will be starting to move quickly in the next phase to get something up and running that we can test and learn from, so we look forward to connecting with you soon.