Fintech Hubs — Spokes or Cogs?

Published on
26 Jun 2015
Initial Author
Scott Kerr

“Hub”: the central part of a wheel, from which the spokes radiate

The United Kingdom already benefits greatly from a large number of technology accelerators in the Fintech sector; and while there is an understandable very large focus on London, other significant clusters already exist in Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds.

But the spokes of a wheel reach out to its rim. Just as important as what happens in the pivotal centre of the hub (with its support and creative environment) is what happens at the ends of the spokes and, crucially, how they inter-react with spokes from sources of investment. However effective an accelerator or cluster is in stimulating development and technical co-operation, its spokes must act as teeth in a cog to work together with sources of further funding so that start-ups can, quite literally, gear up.

London has an inherent benefit from its location with potential investors on the doorstep. But the very nature of Fintech means that location is not essential provided there is the opportunity for the two cogs to touch. And despite technology, physical touch is still important.

Perhaps even more important than the technology itself, funders must believe in the management team. And to truly back and have trust in them they must meet and know them as individuals.

The success of the Fintech sector in the UK depends on greater opportunity for the cogs of development and the cogs of funding to meet. Organisations such as Fintech Circle are therefore essential to provide the opportunity for the two cogs to inter-react.

The challenge is to ensure that all Fintech Hubs inter-connect in the best way possible with funding opportunities. Only with more connectivity can we ensure the cogs keep turning.