The FinTech Five – 1st October 2021

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Welcome to the FinTech Five, the part of the week where we take a closer look at the best articles, news, and features from over the past week from our FinTech Wales members.

1. FinTech Wales Celebrates The End Of The Inaugural Foundry Accelerator

Foundry Cohort 2021 (Back row, L-R) Matt Nunney, Robert Dowd, Ella Hastings, Daniel Sawko, Toby Kernon, James Williams, Andrew Sutton, (Middle row) Sarah Williams Gardener, Johnny Mayo, (Front Row, L-R), Brent Oldfield, Rob Korzinek, Jonathan Allen, Cerys Williams, Julian Mensah

First this week, our First Foundry accelerator programme, created in partnership with Admiral Pioneer, Principality Building Society, and Cardiff Capital Region, completed the 2021 programme at its Demo Day event held on 29th September at Tramshed Tech.

Read our blog post here for more on the highlights from this year’s programme.

Additionally, you can read a testimony from Ship Shape – one of the eight members of the Accelerator cohort – about their experience having completed the programme here.  

2. FinTech Wales CEO Sarah Williams-Gardener featured in CBI webinar: ‘Seize the Moment – An introduction to clusters’

Next, In this session, recorded 29 September 2021, Matthew Fell was joined by representatives from FinTech Wales and the Connected Places Catapult for an introductory session to economic clusters.

Speakers at the event included: Matthew Fell, Chief Policy Director, CBI; Sam Markey, Director of Public Affairs, Connected Places Catapult; Our own CEO at FinTech Wales, Sarah Williams-Gardener; and Liz Moseley, Editor and Partner, Tortoise Media (Chair). 

In the Session, Sarah Williams-Gardener discussed the following: 

  • The genesis of a cluster: Sarah has been involved in FinTech Wales for just under a year. Sarah is the leader / go-to person for Fintech clusters in Wales but came about around 2 years ago because business leaders said ‘we need to work together’ so very much business-led in Cardiff. We’ve not been as good as we should have about sharing leadership and innovation successes in Wales –amplifying what we do is essential. For example, comparison sites like compare the market were created in Wales.
  • Have done a lot of work to analyse regional strengths and areas for further development and lots of work underpinned by research by Deloitte. Looked to colleagues in Fintech Scotland for peer support.
  • Although called FinTech Wales we work across the financial services sector – both Fintech companies and ‘friends’ members – businesses supported by Fintech services.
  • Have also brought together the ‘established players’ like Admiral insurance company and Hodge Bank, alongside an ecosystem of spin-off or smaller firms.

Click here for the full recap of the webinar on CBI’s website. 

3. 2021/2021 Women in Innovation Awards open for entry

Next, Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is offering at least 20 Women in Innovation Awards to female entrepreneurs across the UK. The winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.

The aim of this competition is to find women with exciting, innovative ideas and ambitious plans that will inspire others. The awards are for female founders, co-founders or senior decision makers working in businesses that have been operating for at least one year.

The 2021/22 Women in Innovation Awards is open for entry from 23rd August to 13th October 2021 – and this year’s entries aim to empower the best female-led innovation from across our region.

So, if you have an inspirational innovation that can change our world for the better, step up to your future right now, at:

Competition overview – Women in Innovation Awards 2021/22 – Innovation Funding Service 

Still not sure? Then take a look at last year’s winners and be inspired!

Women-in-Innovation-Awards-Winners-2020-21-Brochure.pdf (

4. W2 Announces Partnership With Sodexo Engage To Boost Data Integrity for Onboarding

Next, W2, a leading UK provider of regulatory compliance software, has announced a strategic partnership with Sodexo Engage, who offer quality of life services to a multitude of industries.

The partnership will see Sodexo Engage using an array of W2 services including Know Your Business (KYB), AML, eKYC and email validation. All of these services will be consumed through the W2 SalesForce widget, allowing them to reduce manual processes, experience a single customer view and remain compliant.

The partnership will enable Sodexo Engage to have access to W2’s KYB + Credit service to obtain business reports which will provide credit checks, risk ratings, credit worthiness and a number of other data indicators on their end clients. The service will also be used during the sales prospecting stage to allow Sodexo to vet prospects ensuring their validity and the opportunities they are working on are legitimate.

“We are thrilled to be announcing our partnership with Sodexo Engage” commented Warren Russell, CEO & Founder of W2. “Sodexo Engage came to us with a clear requirement for screening their clients and prospects to achieve a single customer view with data accuracy at the forefront of their need. Not only achieving that but doing so through the most simplified way possible is what we have been working with them to achieve. We are now confident we have developed a custom, seamless solution for their business and their requirements.”

Simon Nicklin, Director at Sodexo Engage commented

“Automation, data and compliance remain key for us as we continually focus on improving the way we deliver our services. We are delighted to be working alongside W2 as a Strategic Partner in order to achieve just this.”

Read the full announcement on W2’s website, here. 

5. Admiral Group plc recognised as one of the 2021 Best Workplaces in Europe

Last but not least this week, Welsh employer, Admiral Group has been recognised as the 17th Best Workplace in Europe™ by Great Place to Work® 

The Welsh headquartered financial services company appears in the list as it has been recognised as a great place to work in the UK, France, Spain and Italy.

The recognition is based on confidential survey data assessing employee experiences of trust, innovation, company values and leadership.

Admiral Group CEO, Milena Mondini de Focatiis said, “Our placing on the Great Place to Work ® Best Workplaces in Europe list is based on feedback from our people in the UK, France, Italy and Spain.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re in our offices in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Lille, Paris, Rome, Seville or Madrid… once you get through the door you immediately realise it is Admiral, and can feel the same positive energy, passion and values.

“We are particularly proud of this result as it recognises the incredible hard work of everyone at Admiral, which over the past year, has not been short of personal challenges for everybody.

“I cannot thank my colleagues enough for everything they do to make this such a fantastic place to work”.

Admiral employs more than 11,000 members of staff in eight different countries across the world, employing nearly 8,000 people in Cardiff, Swansea and Newport alone. All of the Group’s operations around the world enter the Great Place to Work ® competition in their respective countries.

Read the full announcement on Admiral’s website, here. 

Until Next Week

And that’s it for the FinTech Five this week. Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to join us next week for more of the best content from across our FinTech Wales membership.

If you want to join our dynamic FinTech Wales community, then click here to learn more about the exclusive benefits FinTech Wales membership has to offer.