If you are a fintech startup, apply for FinTech Rocketship Awards for global collaborations

The FinTech Rocketship Awards, an initiative by the prime ministers of India and the UK, aims for closer interaction among fintech startups globally to charter a collaborative platform where every participant in the ecosystem stands enriched.

Fintech startups and firms have become an integral part of the global startup ecosystem. These firms attract best-in-class entrepreneurs, investors, experts, among others.

Since the financial markets across the globe are integrated, it also serves as an opportunity for fintech startups from different parts of the world to meet, interact, and collaborate to solve some of the pressing financial challenges.

One such platform is the FinTech Rocketship Awards (FTRA), which was established by the prime ministers of the UK and India in 2018 to bring the most innovative fintech entrepreneurs from both the countries together, as well as from other parts of the world.

FTRA aims to support the development of an open and inclusive financial services sector in India by facilitating the exploration of both countries’ fintech ecosystems, as well as promoting the exchange of global expertise.

Christopher Sier, Fintech Envoy for England for the UK HM Treasury and Chairman of Fintech North, says, “If you are an entrepreneur who is passionate about solving complicated challenges, then there is no better thing than fintech.”

Sier is a big votary for the network effect where he believes that such engagement will help in further innovation for the fintech startups across the world. 

“This (FTRA) is an opportunity where you take people with different ideas and expand it globally to ask a diverse set of talented individuals to look at them,” he remarks.


FTRA offers the selected startups – eight each from India and across the world – to visit India and the UK to learn about these fintech ecosystems. It will consist of a delegation of global fintechs visiting India around the India FinTech Festival in March, and a delegation of Indian fintechs visiting the UK to coincide with UK FinTech Week and the Innovate Finance Global Summit 2020.

Now in its second edition, FTRA will identify global fintech companies to participate in a week-long programme in India, where they will interact with Indian startups, ecosystem players, and mentors.

The selected fintech experts will also provide mentorship, including providing advice on innovation strategies, fundraising, and go-to-market strategies to the selected global and Indian fintech cohort.

Sier believes that innovation can rise through collaboration. He explains how several fintech startups launched by entrepreneurs from engineering background might be technically sound, but would not have a ground-level understanding of the business problem.

Experts input

It is here that people like Sier play an invaluable role as they have an acute understanding of the various intricacies of the financial systems, and can guide the entrepreneurs to solve the right kind of problem.

The programme will also identify areas for the UK-India collaboration, as well as provide a comprehensive understanding of the fintech ecosystems to the participating startups. It will include a week-long mentoring programme in the UK for eight high-growth Indian startups simultaneously with the Innovate Finance Global Summit.

This year, the programme will focus on the themes which include innovative solutions for SME financing, RegTech, InsurTech, product, and distribution channel innovations for financial inclusion.

“These initiatives create an unbreakable partnership between the two countries for the future,” Sier adds.

Past experience

In its first edition held in 2019, the programme set out to identify 10 high-growth fintech startups from India and across the world. This provided an opportunity for entrepreneurs to experience and understand the two countries tech ecosystems, barriers, and challenges.

During the programme, 10 global fintechs were shortlisted to mentor Indian startups. A five-day programme was organised across Bengaluru, New Delhi, and Mumbai to provide global fintechs with the opportunity to showcase their offerings.

At the same time, 11 fintechs were shortlisted to participate in a five-day programme in the UK held across London, Manchester, and Liverpool. The activities comprised of pitching sessions with investors, visits to centres of excellence, government interaction, startup accelerators, and interaction with the mentors.

The first programme helped develop an open and inclusive financial services sector in India in the various areas such as knowledge sharing, understanding the fintech ecosystem, strengthening ties, access to the investor community, and driving financial inclusion.

Sier is also very impressed with the talent available in India. “There are very few places in the world, which has such a good pool of engineering talent in large numbers.”

Expressions of interest from Indian companies and startups should be sent via https://eu.eventscloud.com/ftra-recruitment-form.

The closing date for applications is February 29, 2020.

(Edited by Suman Singh)


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