In 2019, the Lab is working with 16 entrepreneurs harnessing the power of data to build financial innovations that serve people and planet. Their ideas have the potential to positively disrupt the financial system and pioneer the responsible use of data-driven technologies.
Read our full selection criteria here.
Big Society Capital – Nick Benton
Nick is developing a mission-driven business that combines a deep understanding of people and technology, in order to provide investors with the impact data they need to more easily direct their capital towards human flourishing. Nick is exploring this idea as an intrapreneur at Big Society Capital, where he is Data & Portfolio Director.
Having qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC, Nick established a debt counselling centre in Clapham Junction. He has also worked for a number of social enterprises, including Resurgo, and is on the advisory board for WellKneaded. Having seen first-hand the negative impact the financial system can have on people, he wants to clarify the social impact of investments and enable investors to rediscover the social purpose of capital.
Bippit – Alice Freeman and Samuel Lathey
Bippit is a personal finance app that provides consumers with information to help improve financial health. It provides an intuitive visualisation for validating spending decisions, delivers cost-saving recommendations directly to a transaction feed, and includes a revolutionary system for connecting with friends, family, and support professionals.
Alice is a co-founder of Bippit. She has nine years’ experience in the creative industry and now specialises in digital and UX design. Alice has worked in a variety of sectors and has a passion for human centred design. She’s building Bippit to help change people’s finances for the better.
Samuel is the CEO of Bippit and a Chartered Fellow of the CISI, and has a background in wealth management, where he managed portfolios for private clients, trusts, and charities. He has more than 10 years’ experience in financial services and has co-founded Bippit to help make financial vulnerability a thing of the past.
Bristol Pound – Diana Finch
The Bristol Pound is the UK’s largest local currency. Launched in 2012, it aims to create a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive local economy for Bristol by keeping money circulating within Bristol’s independent businesses. The currency comes in paper and electronic versions, including a phone app with a handy map.
Diana brings 30 years’ experience of financial management, mostly in the non-profit sector. She is an experienced project and organisational leader, serving twice as CEO before joining the Bristol Pound in July 2018. She also offers consultancy in financial management, outcomes measurement, quality assurance and systems implementation.
CoGo – Ben Gleisner
CoGo is a free app that uses data on a person’s spending and their environmental/social values to make it easy for them to find businesses doing good in ways that matter to them, and help them use their spending power to drive change in the world they want to see.
Ben is an economist, environmentalist and social entrepreneur. He has founded several businesses and charities, and launched the Conscious Consumers app in New Zealand in 2011, while working as a senior economist at The Treasury. In July he moved to the UK to take the app global, under the new brand CoGo.
Equal Care Co-op – Emma Back, Kate Hammon and Fran Watson
Equal Care Co-op is a care and support co-operative platform designed to facilitate caregiving in people’s homes and the community. There is an alternative currency – Care Coins – integrated into the platform, which encourages people receiving support and local volunteers to increase the support available to others, putting communities in charge of caring and creating abundant care and support.
Emma has a background in social care and community development. Previously trustee for community-based charity Stepney City Farm, then working for major mental health charity Richmond Fellowship and advocacy charity VoiceAbility, Emma offers insight into how support services are designed, developed and commissioned.
Kate previously ran and transformed a small social enterprise (the Feel Good Bakery) working with ex-offenders getting back into work. She has advocacy experience and has given front-line support in residential care settings. Kate has also had direct experience as a teen carer, being the main carer for her mum for several years before her death in 2007.
Fran gives independent support working with older people and is also experienced in supporting people with learning disabilities. She set up her own support company Hebden Care and managed the Moving into Work project for the social enterprise, Kerbside (Calderdale). Fran has also worked as a support co-ordinator for social services.
Mortar – George Unsworth
Mortar is a tenant-led platform that verifies identities and links people to property. It provides tenants with a safe and secure method of paying their rent, automating management for landlords and agencies, and supports tenants through the appropriate and relevant utilisation of their data and history.
George is the founder of Mortar. As an academic, he explored alternative models of cultural regeneration in the city, resulting in the development of over 15,000 square feet of derelict property. His work has involved the founding and operation of multiple catering and hospitality venues, as well as supporting a growing community of residential tenants and private property owners.
NestEgg – Ben Breen and Adrian Davies
The consumer credit industry is opaque, inefficient and no longer fit for purpose.
NestEgg empowers individuals to take control of their own financial identities using data relevant to their circumstances. Transparent matching algorithms make it easy for individuals to apply for credit and cost-effective for responsible lenders to assess an applicant’s credit worthiness.
Ben has been delivering business-transformational technology solutions at companies from start-ups to Fortune 100s since 1985, including at JP Morgan, Barclays, Bank of America, Xerox, Nortel, Reuters, UBS and many others. Ben advises start-ups and growth-minded companies on pragmatic growth strategy, tools and tactics. Ben co-founded NestEgg to provide the opportunity for as many as possible to transform their financial wellbeing.
Adrian has spent the past 20 years promoting financial inclusion. Starting out in money advice, he then set up seven credit unions. Adrian has extensive experience of start-ups, business development, IT, target operating models and regulatory compliance. In 2016 he co-founded NestEgg to promote credit justice and increase take-up of community finance.
TEEK TAKA – Thaslima Begum
TEEK TAKA seeks to revolutionise transparency and accountability in global supply chains. The platform incentivises factories in Bangladesh to adopt ethical and sustainable behaviours, by rewarding them with access to cheaper and faster financing. It also provides garment workers with digital identities, making it easier to verify fair wage payments, contract hours and safe working conditions.
Thaslima is founder and CEO of TEEK TAKA. She is a human rights journalist and social entrepreneur, interested in leveraging technology to address worker exploitation. She writes for leading publications including The Guardian and The Times, and was recently nominated for Britain’s Orwell Prize. She previously managed the risk and sustainability portfolio at BSI, the UK’s national standards body, where she helped businesses gain unparalleled visibility into their global supply chains.
Tumelo – Georgia Stewart
Tumelo is a mobile app that helps you change the world through engaged investing. The app provides robotic, financial advice with personalised portfolios; helps users to invest in line with their values through the platform; and gives them the tools to effectively engage with their portfolio companies to make positive impact in the wider world.
Georgia is co-founder of Tumelo. She is passionate about climate change and conservation and believes that positive investment coupled with shareholder engagement is the best way to affect global change. During her Cambridge degree, she sat on the Positive Investment Committee, tasked with improving the way the University invested its £5bn endowment. She’s worked for multiple ‘green’ investment houses, such as Jupiter, and the Natural Capital Coalition for Fauna & Flora.
UK Mutual Credit Network – Dave Darby, Dil Green and Oliver Sylvester-Bradley
The UK Mutual Credit Network is an association of SMEs designed to help them to sell more and save cash through ‘trade credit’ – a quantification of the value of members’ available goods and services – on the basis of which members can exchange with each other.
Dave founded lowimpact.org in 2001, and NonCorporate.org in 2018. He is interested in helping to develop co-operative economic institutions that engender trust among their users, keep value in the communities in which it’s generated, and prevent the wealth concentration that is so damaging to democracy.
Dil is a designer, systems thinker, and pragmatic utopian. He worked for 20 years as an architect and was principal of his own practice. He is fascinated by the digital world, about which he writes a blog, and is chair of the Dadamac Foundation, a charity connecting grassroots change-makers in the developing world to supporters globally.
Oli runs The Open Co-op which produces an annual two-day conference in London on platform co-ops, to encourage the development of open, co-operative organisations that are owned and managed by their members. He wrote his thesis on ‘Encouraging Environmentally Responsible Behaviour’ and delivers marketing and communications strategies for ethical brands through his consultancy DefactoDesign.com.