Fellowship 2018-19

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


Lab Fellowship 2019

In 2019, we worked with 14 Fellows harnessing the power of data to build financial innovations that serve people and planet. They were appointed for their potential to shape a different future for finance – one that’s responsible, democratic and fair. Their projects include:

  • Software supporting financial wellbeing – including Bippit, an app offering affordable financial planning and advice; NestEgg, which provides digital tools to help responsible lenders grow; and Mortar, a platform connecting tenants and landlords to improve tenants’ rental experience and financial health
  • Sustainable lifestyle apps – including Tumelo, which helps retail investors invest in line with their values; and CoGo, which enables consumers to align their spending with the causes they care about most
  • Alternative currencies reimagining the economy – including local currency Bristol Pound; Open Credit Network, a mutual credit exchange for SMEs; and Equal Care Coop, a platform coop creating abundant social care and support with their alternative currency Care Coins.

You can meet all of the Fellows here.

The nine-month, part-time programme supported Fellows to test and refine their ideas with a wide range of stakeholders, 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 benefited from monthly business strategy sessions, peer coaching, specialist workshops and two residential leadership retreats.

Our Faculty of speakers and coaches are drawn from the worlds of ethical finance, regulation, civil society, social innovation and responsible technology, and includes:

  • Diane Burridge (CEO, Moneyline)
  • Martin Campbell (Founder and Director, Beacon Strategic Communications)
  • Bruce Davis (Co-Founder & Joint Managing Director, Abundance Investment)
  • Candice Hampson (Investment Director, Big Society Capital)
  • Casey Lord (Head of Product, Nutmeg)
  • Charlotte Millar (Co-Director, New Economy Organisers Netwokr)
  • Lois Ollerenshaw (Venture Principal, NBS Ventures)
  • Gillian Roche-Saunders (Partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite)
  • Olivia Sibony (CEO, SeedTribe Impact Investment)
  • Emma Steele (Investment Manager, Fair By Design Fund)
  • Nick Temple (CEO, Social Investment Business).

In 2019, we were incredibly grateful for the advice and support we received from a range of experts in the responsible use of data, including the Ada Lovelace Institute, DataKind, Doteveryone, New Economics Foundation and The Open Data Institute.

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 while data-driven finance could help to put people back in control of their money, it could also increase inequalities of power and wealth.

Over the course of the Fellowship, we’ve learnt a huge amount about how to make ideas for using data for good in finance into a reality – and in 2020 we will work to share these.

What next?

We’re at a critical point in the development of data-driven finance. Will you help us build a financial system that uses data for good?

  • Support us to write the Data Ethics Playbook – an open-access online resource offering guidance, tools and case studies of responsible data use in finance.
  • Partner with us to run a data sprint that develops exciting new ideas for how data-driven finance can better serve communities and build a sustainable future that’s fair for everyone.

To find out more, please contact our Head of Programmes, Marloes Nicholls at marloes@financeinnovationlab.org.

Fellowship alumni

Since 2015, we have supported 43 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 on Twitter using #LabFellowship.

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“The Lab has helped me to get to grips with our real purpose, and guided me in what that means for our company’s business model, strategy and systems. Being a Fellow has also helped me in more unexpected ways… I think I’m a more compassionate team member and leader now, and I’ve made friends for life who I will always be able to rely on for mutual support and challenge.
- 2019 Fellow

Find out more:

Meet the Fellows

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Fellowship Alumni

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The Senior Fellows

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