Posted on July 23, 2018 by staff

University can help FinTech start-ups fly


University researchers can be the missing piece of the jigsaw for FinTech entrepreneurs with a great idea.

That’s the view of Rachel Kenyon, business engagement lead at The University of Manchester, who was speaking at BusinessCloud’s packed ‘Future of FinTech’ event in KMPG, Manchester, on Thursday.

Kenyon describes herself as the link between the university and the business community as she has access to up to 6,000 academics and researchers  to help companies diagnose data and improve processes.

“Academics love having a problem to solve, they might have proven a concept or tested a methodology and would like to try it in different sectors or businesses,” said Kenyon.

“It could be that they want a big dataset and they want to do some analysis of it and see what they can find out.”

Kenyon added: “If somebody’s got a knowledge gap, or if they’ve got some data which they don’t know how to get more insight from, or there’s some new tech and they don’t know how to implement it, then they can come to us.

“We can help through student projects at the lower level and consultancy work at the high-end, and some commissioned primary research projects with senior academics.”

The university is helping both large and small businesses in the finance and FinTech sector with academics.

“We’ve had a few projects with pure FinTech companies, and more with the big banks and traditional providers and the investment companies, those that potentially have more awareness and resource to deal with academia,” Kenyon said.

Kenyon, who joined the university in 2014, believes that the strong relationship between the University of Manchester and collaborating businesses enables the city to grow.

“The key organisations in Manchester all talk to each other. The leaders of the universities, the council, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Science Park, talk to each other regularly.

“There’s also the business ecosystem that we are in touch with, which regularly meets up. This all helps Manchester to move forward.”

The other speakers were Ian Cotterill, owner, Fintech Business Solutions;  Bren Hutchinson, CEO, Iconic Blockchain; Sara Parker, director at Alban Parker and advisor at NorthInvest; Rachel Kenyon, business engagement officer, University of Manchester; Matthew Buck, co-founder, Blockchain Capital; Scott Woodcock, business development director, Hello Soda; Mike Anderson, CEO, Padoq; Angela Yore, co-founder and MD, SkyParlour; Matthew Elliott, co-founder, Nivo.