Fellowship 2018-19

Now open for applications!

Do you have an idea that harnesses the power of data to make finance serve people and planet? Apply now to be a Lab Fellow! Deadline: 9am, Monday 5 November.

Lab Fellowship 2018-19

Lab Fellowship is our unique incubator for financial innovators with a social or environmental mission. Over the course of this nine-month, part-time programme, Fellows will test and refine their products, build a purpose-driven business strategy, develop as leaders, and grow a network of contacts to support them on the next stage of their journey.

Our 2018-19 theme is data. While rapid transformation in data and AI capabilities offer the potential for positive change, it also brings new risks around consent and control, bias and exclusion. We’re looking for ideas that do the opposite – ideas that use data to build a more democratic, responsible and fair financial system.

We want to support genuinely disruptive innovators – those who put social and environmental concerns at the heart of their work.

The programme takes place from January to September 2019, based in London. It includes monthly business strategy and peer coaching sessions, two intensive leadership retreats and high-profile launch and closing events.

You can find out more about the programme structure here.

What will I gain?

Become a Lab Fellow and you’ll

  • Test and refine your idea in collaboration with our expert faculty and wider community
  • Build the foundations of a purpose-led business and a strategy for scaling
  • Develop the tools to communicate your vision and the network to make it a reality
  • Secure the support of the Lab’s expert community of entrepreneurs, advisors, business leaders, investors and thought leaders
  • Stand out as a purpose-driven leader in financial innovation.

“As a process, as a way of getting from the nascent stages to somewhere real, it’s unrivalled.”

“For me the Fellowship has been a game-changer. It’s had a huge impact on the way I work, and how I feel about what I’m doing.”

“I’ve never experienced this level of collaboration on any other accelerator programme before.”

Who can be a Lab Fellow?

The programme is designed for early-stage innovators harnessing the power of data to make finance serve people and planet. We’re particularly interested in supporting people who wouldn’t normally consider taking part in an incubator or accelerator, either because they don’t fit conventional expectations of what an ‘entrepreneur’ is, or their idea works very differently to current approaches to finance.

You don’t need to be working on your idea full-time, but you must be committed, excited and ready for support to take your business to the next level.

You can find out more about our selection criteria here.

The programme is primarily designed for start-ups, but we also welcome applications from innovators within existing organisations who want to repurpose an existing product or create a new product or service.

Where possible, we encourage you to apply in a pair, as this helps to better embed the learning in your business. But don’t worry if you’re applying as an individual – you’re sure to build new connections along the way!

How much does it cost?

We don’t ask for an equity stake in your business so you can maintain full ownership, but we do ask Fellows to contribute to the cost of the programme. With the generous support of our partners, the contribution we expect Fellows to pay is much lower than the full cost to run the programme. We also recognise that your ability to pay will vary depending on your personal financial situation, the stage of your business, and whether you are an employee of an established organisation.

We ask you to cover the costs of your own travel to and from the programme. Please let us know if this will affect your availability to participate, as a limited number of travel bursaries are available for participants based outside of London.

Find out more about the contribution levels here.

How do I apply?

To apply, you need to:

  • Complete this short form by 9am on Monday 5 November 2018. We’ll review all applications against the selection criteria.
  • If we think you have Fellow potential, we’ll invite you to participate in Bootcamp on Thursday 15 November (all day, in London). This is an opportunity to present your work to the Lab community, gain rapid feedback and network with experts.
  • Following that, we may invite you for an interview with the Lab team on 19-21 November.

If you’re applying with a partner, please complete separate application forms (you will be able to include the name of your partner on the form). We will interview you as a pair.

In more detail


Programme structure and key dates

Selection criteria

Your contribution 

Application form

Meet our Fellowship Alumni

“There was so much wisdom in this programme and the way it was delivered. I want my own business to do that, to take as much care for the customer as the Fellowship team did for us… You see a lot of accelerator programmes in this space, but this had real oomph!”
- 2017 Fellow

Find out more:

Fellowship Alumni

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The Senior Fellows

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