Fellowship 2018-19

Lab Fellowship is our unique incubator for financial innovators with a social or environmental mission.


Lab Fellowship 2018-19

We’re proud to introduce our 16 Fellows: innovators harnessing the power of data to build a financial system that serves people and planet.

Fellows have been appointed for their potential to shape a different future for finance – one that’s responsible, democratic and fair. Their projects include:

  • Apps that make it easy to invest and shop in line with your values
  • Leading-edge methods for local people and SMEs to create, share and exchange value
  • New digital tools to give people greater control over their financial health
  • New payment platforms to empower communities spanning tenants, caregivers and Bangladeshi garment workers.

You can meet all of the Fellows here.

The nine-month, part-time programme will support Fellows to test and refine their ideas, build purpose-driven business strategies, develop their leadership capabilities, and pioneer the responsible use of data in finance. Running from January to September 2019, Fellows will benefit from monthly business strategy sessions, peer coaching, specialist workshops and two residential leadership retreats. Find out more about the programme structure here or read our FAQs.

Why data?

At the beginning of 2018, we initiated a range of collaborations to understand and raise awareness of the opportunities and risks that data-driven finance presents for people and planet – especially Open Banking and the use of AI.

As we convened experts from industry, tech, civil society and policymaking across the UK, we found that rapid transformation in data capabilities offers the potential for positive change in finance. But it also brings new challenges for people’s ability to control and access financial services, as well as the public’s ability to hold the sector to account.

Over the course of the Fellowship, we’ll support our 16 pioneers to turn their ideas about how to use data for good into a reality – and we’ll share the lessons we’ll learn about the role data can play in a financial system that serves people and planet.

We’re incredibly grateful for the advice and support we’ve received so far from a range of experts in the responsible use of data, including the Ada Lovelace Institute, DataKind, Doteveryone, New Economics Foundation and Open Data Institute.

Join us

At the heart of Fellowship lies our community – the network that will sustain Fellows throughout and beyond the programme.

Do you want to join the Fellows on their journey? You can get involved by:

    • Speaking at one of our monthly business strategy sessions

Our speakers are drawn from the worlds of ethical finance, regulation, civil society, social innovation and responsible technology. In past years our Faculty has included:

      • Jason Bates (Co-Founder, 11:FS)
      • Candice Hampson (Investment Director, Big Society Capital)
      • Marlene Shiels (CEO, Capital Credit Union).
    • Becoming a specialist coach

We match each of our Fellows with experts in the Lab’s community who can provide them with bespoke support. Our specialist coach bank includes:

    • Jamie Campbell (Head of Awareness, Bud)
    • Bruce Davis (Founder & Joint Managing Director, Abundance Investment)
    • Charlotte Millar (Head of Training, NEON)
    • Gillian Roche-Saunders (Partner & Head of BWB Compliance, BWB).
  • Attending our pitch practice event to help Fellows to develop their pitch ahead of Demo Day, by participating in a pitch practice event (September 2019)
  • Sponsoring Demo Day, our high-profile, high-energy showcase event (September 2019).

For more information or to discuss how you can get involved, please email fellowship@financeinnovationlab.org.

Support us

We work with a range of partners to help us deliver the best possible experience for our Fellows and achieve the greatest positive impact.

We’re particularly interested in working with partners who want to see greater diversity in the future leaders of finance. If you would like to find out more about how you could support Fellowship, please contact fellowship@financeinnovationlab.org.

We are extremely grateful to the following organisations that support Lab Fellowship: Barrow Cadbury Trust, Cash Services UK, Friends Provident Foundation, Partners for a New Economy.

Fellowship alumni

Since 2015, we have supported 29 purpose­-led innovators through Lab Fellowship, our unique incubator programme proven to transform participants’ business and leadership skills.

Fellowship alumni include an inclusive credit referencing start­up (2017 Fintech for All finalist), a world­ leading research provider that exposes the climate­-related risks investors face, and the first of a new, UK­-wide network of regional community banks.

Meet our Fellowship Alumni here.

Read about the impact of our 2017 Fellowship here.


“Fellowship 2017 has been an outstanding success. There is an abundance of evidence that it has met its stated outcomes of embedding social purpose into the design of new innovations in this field.”
External evaluator


Interested in becoming a Fellow?

Register your interest by emailing fellowship@financeinnovationlab.org and we’ll let you know when new Fellowship opportunities arise. Please note that:

  • The theme of Lab Fellowship may change
  • The programme is designed for start-up businesses, but we also welcome applications from later-stage innovators facing significant change and innovators within existing financial organisations who want to repurpose a product or service
  • Fellows are asked to contribute to the cost of the programme according to their ability to pay.

Stay updated!

Follow the progress of Lab Fellowship 2018-19 on Twitter using #LabFellowship.

If you’d like to receive news, views and invitations to events from the Finance Innovation Lab, please sign up to our newsletter.

“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:

Meet the Fellows

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Fellowship Alumni

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The Senior Fellows

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