Capital One unveils tech start-up accelerator

By Editor May 17, 2016

Entries invited to Capital One Growth Labs programme to shape the future of finance

Nottingham, May 17, 2016: Capital One UK today announces the launch of Capital One Growth Labs, an accelerator programme for early-stage start-up and high-growth companies.

The initiative, in partnership with corporate innovation specialist and tech investor L Marks, aims to discover innovative new businesses and give them cutting-edge support to develop technologies for the financial sector.

Working out of Capital One’s Nottingham headquarters, selected start-ups can rapidly accelerate product development inside the walls of a digital leader.

Chris Owen, programme leader, said: “One of the key aims of the programme is to discover and partner with some of the most promising new technology start-ups and unlock the truly leading-edge and innovative ideas of tomorrow. Having early access to start-ups, and the products they build, will enable Capital One to continue expanding its technological capabilities, as well as maintain a strong view on the customer needs of tomorrow while at the same time turbo-boosting those businesses by giving them unrivalled support.”

Applications are being invited to the programme in any of six categories:

• Unstructured data insight
• Security and fraud prevention
• Money management tools
• Enabling healthy financial habits
• Agent technologies
• Open category

The ‘Open’ category is available to any start-up with a potential offering to Capital One and could include; payment solutions, tracking, new lines of business or the physical/digital bridge.

Around 25 applicant companies will be selected to attend a pitch day on July 6, from which up to six will be accepted.

During the ten-week programme, successful businesses will have direct access to Capital One in order to refine and test their products as well as receiving close mentor support from the company’s extensive panel of experts as well as those from the wider tech industry.

The programme will conclude with a final presentation to a panel comprising business experts and investors.

Stuart Marks, Chairman at L Marks, said: “There are a number of FinTech initiatives being established around the UK, but none are aiming to deliver such meaningful engagement with a potential partner and customer. It’s very difficult for start-ups working in or with the financial services industry to navigate its complex regulatory environment. Capital One Growth Labs will give teams dedicated business support focussed on education, strategy and partnership – all essential to becoming successful in this field. We are excited to be partnering with Capital One and introducing our proven labs model into this dynamic sector.”

Application details – Key dates

June 12, 2016 – application deadline

Technology start-ups interested in participating in Growth Lab can apply online before June 12 2016, by completing the application form at

July 6, 2016 – pitch day

Following the initial application process, a shortlist of up to 25 start-up companies will be invited to a pitch day on July 6, 2016. Applicants will meet with a number of Capital One’s senior team to pitch their business proposition in order to secure a place on the programme. A final shortlist of start-ups will then be selected to participate in Growth Lab.

August 1, 2016 – Capital One Growth Labs presentation day

On August 1, 2016, participants will showcase their achievements and be offered the opportunity to bid for investment capital to support their business ideas.

Chris Newkirk, Capital One UK’s CEO, said: “Capital One UK was founded on the belief that technology, data and great talent could revolutionise consumer finance. Two decades later, those convictions continue to fuel our success. The pace of innovation has never been faster and the power of technology to help customers succeed financially has never been greater. We look forward to discovering the wealth of innovation and joining with them to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”

About Capital One UK

Capital One launched its UK operations in 1996, offering credit card products. The UK headquarters and operations centre for Capital One (Europe) plc is based in Nottingham.

Innovation has been the key to Capital One’s success, operating at the intersection between technology and financial services, the company revolutionised the credit card industry during the 1990s by rejecting uniform pricing in favour of statistical models based on a greater depth of data and analytics. More recent technological innovations protect applicants for the company’s products (QuickCheck), help customers avoid fees and lead the way in saving customers’ time and money.

The company has been named one of the top five large workplaces in the country by the Great Place to Work® Institute. It won first place in the Great Place to Work® ‘Best Workplaces’ Awards for three years running from 2013 to 2015. It has also been named one of the best places to work in Europe.

Capital One’s Classic and Balance Plus credit cards have been awarded a four star Fairbanking Mark from the Fairbanking Foundation in 2015. The Fairbanking Foundation is a not-for-profit, research-based charity established in 2008 to encourage and assist providers of banking products to improve the financial well-being of their customers.

In 2015 Capital One was the first credit card provider in the UK to offer a pre-qualification tool which gives 100 per cent certainty whether an applicant will be accepted. Dubbed QuickCheck, the tool gathers and processes an applicant’s information and returns a verdict within minutes, without conducting a full credit check which would leave a mark on an applicant’s credit report.

On May 5, 2016, Capital One UK announced it had signed an 11-year lease at the White Collar Factory, adjacent to Silicon Roundabout, London, where it would relocate its 50 existing London staff as well as 200 new tech hires.

The organisation also won the Treating Customers Fairly award at the Card and Payments Awards 2015.

Capital One UK is part of Capital One Financial Corporation, a Fortune 500 company trading on the New York Stock Exchange and is included in the S&P 100 index. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Capital One is a diversified financial services company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One, N.A., Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., and Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients.

Capital One’s UK Registered Office: Trent House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3HX

About L Marks

L Marks is a corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor which runs partnership programmes that bring together the corporate and start-up worlds.
L Marks helps corporates to harness new products and technologies coming from the start-up world to future-proof their business, as well as helping start-ups get the funding, mentoring, corporate connection and validation they need to grow their business.
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