Rise Start-Up Academy Opens Applications to FinTech Experts

New programme seeks to give a unique opportunity to those impacted by recent downsizing in FinTech sector

Rise, created by Barclays – a global community of the world’s top innovators working together to create the future of financial services – has opened applications for the next cohort of the Rise Start-Up Academy. The theme for this cohort is specifically focused on supporting budding founders who find themselves out of their FinTech jobs due to the current economic climate.

The 20-week programme will support participants in bringing their new FinTech ideas to life by connecting them with the technical and financial experts in the Rise community whose work aligns with theirs to help launch their idea or business. This partnership is intended to provide learning from anywhere with 24/7 access, opportunities to apply learning through weekly activities, live workshops, and connection with peers – helping them succeed by creating lasting, rewarding connections with other likeminded FinTech founders.

“We’re excited to open the application process for the newest iteration of Rise Start-Up Academy as we look for founders who are motivated and ready for their second act,” said Sonal Lakhani, Rise Global Head of Programmes and Strategic Initiatives for Barclays Innovation. “We’re eager to welcome these entrepreneurs into the global world of FinTech – a sector that is always evolving as the pace of digital adoption of financial services by consumers and businesses continues to accelerate.”

The first Rise Start-Up Academy was launched to connect founders and provide them with training and community, with a collective ambition to transform the future of FinTech. This latest programme comes on the heels of a summer that saw sweeping hiring freezes and slowed growth across the tech space for the first time in two years.1 Layoffs have risen to an estimated 71,000 positions being eliminated across tech start-ups since the beginning of 2022.2

“When we started Rise Start-Up Academy, we set out to build a programme that helps entrepreneurs build their ideas into impactful products for the future of FinTech,” said Lakhani. “This time, we have selected this impacted founder population because we believe out of adversity comes innovation and invention. Sometimes it gives you a fresh opportunity to do things you could not or did not think to do before. Historical data has shown that recessions, while tough, can spark new thinking in a needs-must environment and create a hot bed of innovative new ideas and successful global businesses.” Lakhani added.

The programme will foster new talent to join recent successful leaders and companies who have passed through Rise’s doors since the initial Rise Start-Up Academy launched earlier this year. Barclays has seen the tangible benefits of connecting new founders with successful entrepreneurs in past cohorts.

“At Barclays, we believe that innovation happens when diverse people and ideas come together to think about business challenges in new ways,” said Lakhani. “These founders represent Barclays’ deep commitment to empowering the next generation of leaders, providing access to enterprise, employability and financial skills.”

Interested individuals with experience in the FinTech sector are encouraged to apply. They can access the application and more programme information here: https://sbcaspire.io/risestartupacademy-specialedition/

1. Tech's layoff wave could hurt employer branding | Insider| May 10, 2022
2. Tech startup layoffs approach 71,000 in 2022 | MarketWatch | August 16, 2022