Reflecting the donwturn in the fintech sector, the latest iteration of Barclays Bank’s Rise Startup Academy will focus on on supporting budding founders who find themselves out of jobs due to the current economic climate.
This latest programme comes on the heels of a summer that saw sweeping hiring freezes and slowed growth across the tech space for the first time in two years. Layoffs have risen to an estimated 71,000 positions being eliminated across tech start-ups since the beginning of 2022.
“When we started Rise Start-Up Academy, we set out to build a programme that helps entrepreneurs build their ideas into impactful products for the future of fintech,” says Sonal Lakhani, Rise global head of programmes and strategic initiatives for Barclays Innovation. “This time, we have selected this impacted founder population because we believe out of adversity comes innovation and invention. Sometimes it gives you a fresh opportunity to do things you could not or did not think to do before. Historical data has shown that recessions, while tough, can spark new thinking in a needs-must environment and create a hot bed of innovative new ideas and successful global businesses.”
The 20-week programme will support participants by connecting them with the technical and financial experts in the Rise community whose work aligns with theirs to help launch their idea or business. This partnership is intended to provide learning from anywhere with 24/7 access, opportunities to apply learning through weekly activities, live workshops, and connection with peers.
Lakhani believes that the promgamme will spur innovation by connecting new founders with successful entrepreneurs in past cohorts.
“At Barclays, we believe that innovation happens when diverse people and ideas come together to think about business challenges in new ways,” she says. “These founders represent Barclays’ deep commitment to empowering the next generation of leaders, providing access to enterprise, employability and financial skills.”