We are to launch a programme worth up to £500,000 to support FinTech growth in the UK. The programme is designed to support more established, as well as start up, FinTechs over a 12 month period.
'AG Elevate', which will launch at an event in London on the 17th November, provides a package of free legal advice alongside a mentoring programme. It is expected that an initial cohort of 16 FinTechs will be able to access not only free legal advice, but will also get a legal mentor who will help them best position themselves for growth. Mentors will be drawn from AG's most experienced FinTech lawyers.
AG will work with their promotional partners, FinTech Connect, a global platform and community for the FinTech industry, and PayExpo, the UK’s largest payments event, to team up with a number of FinTech accelerator programmes to find businesses with a good fit with AG and who are right for the programme. AG has a strong history of investing in client relationships, as well as being at the forefront of innovation, winning an award for 'Most Innovative Law Firm' for its work with Microsoft, at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2016.
'AG Elevate' consists of two programmes – one targeting 'early-stage' start-ups with no more than £1million of investment, and one directed at start-ups with 'Series A' funding of more than £1 million. Both packages offer mentoring services and free legal advice, together with access to AG's training sessions and networking events.
The application process will be announced at the launch event on the 17th of November 2016, along with details on the criteria for selection.
Fiona Ghosh, head of AG's FinTech Group, commented: "We don't just want to jump on the FinTech bandwagon and entice firms with a bit of free legal advice. We want to be at the heart of helping firms we work with to be a success. FinTechs often come to market quickly and need nimble advisers that they can work collaboratively with, who are responsive, as well as people they can talk to, who can offer guidance and support, rather than just providers of hard edged legal advice. It's a natural fit for us to mentor, given our Tier 1 rating and our credentials in the market."
William James, head of AG's Payments team said: "We have unique expertise acting on some of the most complex FinTech transactions and structuring digital mobile and technology solutions services for our clients. The FinTechs we support through Elevate will have access to some of the very best experience and know how from senior lawyers operating in this space and we are well placed to pass on our expertise through mentoring them."
James Harrison, Managing Director of Billhub Payments, an existing FinTech client said: "Working with AG enabled us to access our market faster and with more confidence, from a legal context, than we would have been otherwise able to. What struck us about AG in comparison to other organisations we were in discussions with, was their adept ability to apply legal thinking from a practical business perspective. Without the marriage of these two aspects we doubt the outcome would have been quite so successful."