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KEY COLLABORATION … left to right, James Thwaites of FinTech North , Dawn Dunn of Dynamo and Julian Wells, of FinTech North

Joining forces to grow region's Fintech sector

TWO leading tech organisations have joined forces to develop and promote the north east’s growing fintech sector.

Regional IT network Dynamo North East is collaborating with FinTech North, an organisation working to bring together the fintech community within the Northern Powerhouse area.

Some of the region’s major players in the sector have met to agree priorities and actions for the development of a north east fintech cluster. The meeting was co-hosted and led by Dawn Dunn of Dynamo, and Julian Wells and James Thwaites of Whitecap Consulting, the co-founders of FinTech North.

“It was a great meeting, with lots of energy, ambition and ideas. There were representatives from the region’s current fintech businesses - both large and small – in addition to universities, banks, fund managers and specialist advisors from local economic development teams. Together they agreed that collaboration and working together to establish and encourage a fintech cluster would benefit everyone,” said Dawn, who is the Fintech Cluster Manager for Dynamo.

“It also makes sense that Dynamo and FinTech North work together in the region - we have the local knowledge and established networks, while FinTech North has experience across a wider geography and links to Westminster through the Treasury (Fintech Envoys). Both operations support the development and provision of financial services through the application of technology, and there is such huge potential in this area for the region,” she added.

James said: “The UK Fintech sector currently generates £6.6bn of revenue and employs about 76,500 people nationally – and that is only going to grow and grow. So taking a common sense approach and working with Dynamo in terms of developing the sector, through research and engagement and leveraging strengths of each other can accelerate our progress.

“FinTech North is a collaborative platform for sharing ideas, challenges and best practice, for showcasing innovative start-ups and scale-ups and for facilitating the connections and collaborations which create real value for businesses and consumers.”

“We’re also part of the FinTech National Network which was announced earlier this year.”

The meeting agreed three priority areas: access to talent; leveraging resources, profile and tech needs, and increasing the volume of early-stage fintech businesses.

“As well as the three key priorities, which all had topics to explore within them, we also discussed three other areas in some detail. These were promoting the region’s data advantage which is developing through institutions such as the National Innovation Centre for Data; working together to access finance, private investment and support from outside of the region, and also what the region needs to do in order to attract large fintech corporations,” said Dawn.

The meeting also agreed to develop a road map of key activity needed to deliver the priorities – and to meet again to monitor progress.

Organisations and businesses represented at the meeting, held at Hoults Yard, Newcastle, included Atom Bank, Barclays, Business Durham, Mincoffs, Newcastle University, North East Combined Authority, Sage, Ryecroft Glenton, Northstar Ventures, Kani Payments and Block Matrix.

Dynamo has more than 150 members made up of IT organisations and employers, technology hubs, universities, colleges and local government. It works to grow the region’s IT economy through promoting the region as a hub for the enterprise IT sector and has a mission to increase collaboration, innovation, skills and ‘noise’ to grow the region’s IT economy.

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