We’re dedicated to helping SMEs grow and thrive – after all, we know what it’s like to start small. So, in partnership with corporate innovation specialists, L Marks, we’re very excited to be returning in 2022 with our second start-up accelerator programme: Metro Bank Magic Makers.
During the 10-week programme, start-ups will have the chance to test their banking solutions and be mentored by our senior stakeholders, as well as external experts.
Applications are now open – good luck!
Find out more, apply now and watch the below video to find out more about the programme.
Why we’re supporting start-ups
We launched in 2010 as Britain’s first new high street bank in over a hundred years, and we knew it was time to do things differently. We’re committed to being the UK’s best community bank, and are always looking for innovative ways to support our customers and local businesses – that’s why we want to work with ground-breaking start-ups who can help. Through our Magic Makers programme, successful start-ups will have access to first-class mentorship and insights from leading experts in the finance sector, and we’ll get to hear their big ideas on what we can do better.
Metro Bank Magic Makers will focus on four key innovation opportunities:
We want to continue to elevate our extraordinary customer experience with service that helps our customers manage their money seamlessly – in-store, online and between the two, making it easy with us by taking away unnecessary passwords and paperwork to do day to day banking.
We’re looking for solutions that will help us deliver a seamless, personalised journey for every one of our customers, as well as giving them extraordinary experiences that will strengthen their relationship with our brand.
It’s our mission to be the UK’s best community bank, and that means giving back to our communities and helping small businesses succeed – through how we connect our customers to each other and offering an additional helping hand to customers that really need it.
We need to optimise the way we capture and analyse internal and external data so that we can react quickly and “join the dots” on customer and colleague feedback. We’re also looking for new opportunities to automate our processes behind-the-scenes.
Being a socially responsible, sustainable and ethical organisation matters to us. We’re looking for opportunities to become more sustainable, both in the way we work and the way we serve our customers.
Applications are now open - and you can apply now - good luck!
Applications close: Sunday, 19 June 2022 at 11.59pm
Fusion: Monday 18, Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 July 2022
Programme starts: Monday 5 September 2022
Demo Day: Wednesday 16 November 2022
We have lined up members of our Executive and Senior leadership team, against each opportunity area, to help us shortlist and then also act as internal mentors for chosen start ups across the programme, these are:
Making life easier for our customers – Kat Robinson (Customer Experience Director)
Becoming the UK’s best community bank – Jessica Myers (Brand and Marketing Director)
Optimising our systems and data – Faisal Hussain (Chief Technology Officer and Chief Data Officer)
Sustainable and responsible banking – Sam Haskins (Director of Risk Strategy)
L Marks is a leading global innovation specialist which has created over 75 programmes with its partners in Europe, Asia and North America. Founded in 2014 with a presence in the UK and the US, L Marks has developed and delivered results-driven corporate innovation solutions, trusted by world-leading brands including BMW, Lloyd’s of London and United Utilities. Through their award-winning Innovation Labs, L Marks’ partners have worked with over 400 startups with a successful deployment rate of over 70%. The L Marks New Ventures unit supports its clients to create and develop new revenue-generating businesses through its Venture Studio, and transform their corporate culture within their Intra-Lab. To learn more, visit Lmarks.com.
23:59 BST, Sunday, 19th June 2022
We ask you for information about you, your idea, your team and your company. Don’t hold back, let us know how great you are.
Once you’ve submitted your details via the application form on L Marks’ Bridge platform, we will work with our partners, L Marks, to review your responses and confirm your suitability for the programme. L Marks may be in touch to gather further details and are there to answer any questions you have before your details are submitted to the programme committee for review.
Of course! Companies, entrepreneurs and startups from across the globe are encouraged to apply. Bear in mind that you may need a visa to participate in activities in the UK and that you will be required to travel to the UK for certain points during the programme.
You must be at least 18 years old to apply.
We want to collaborate with startups and help them to take their business to the next level. We’re interested in all startups that can help us, in one or more of the categories described. Your startup needn’t be at the very beginning of its journey. Maybe you have a product already, maybe you even have paying customers. If you feel that your startup could benefit from working with us then we’d love to receive your application.
Please take a look at the What we’re interested in section on the website to read more about our key areas of interest. We will be looking at X, X and X categories.
If you have an idea that doesn’t quite fit any of those, but you still think it would work for us – send it through!
Companies, entrepreneurs and startups from across the globe who are prepared to develop their products and services in collaboration with us for the benefit of Metro Bank and our customers.
We know that your needs will be very different from an early-stage business. That’s why we make sure that any mentoring or activities you’re involved in are tailored to your needs. Your time is precious and we won’t waste it. So long as you have an ambition to test out your product and ideas in Metro Bank Magic Makers, we can work together.
No, we do not ask for equity for participating in this programme. However, we may ask you to keep us notified about future funding rounds.
No, we’re not asking you to sign an exclusivity agreement. We want to build a relationship based on trust and, if we like each other, we hope that you’ll see us as the first port of call when you need feedback on your new products. Please be aware that we will ask you to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which you will need to adhere to, even when working with other parties in the banking and financial services sector.
If you are invited to join Metro Bank Magic Makers, we will ask you to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA) – this means that we’ll keep your information confidential, and you’ll need to do the same for us. This will ensure we can work together productively on the programme. However, when you’re applying to join, neither party will be under NDA, so please only share with us information about your product or business that you consider in the public domain.
Teams selected to join the programme will be required to sign a participation agreement. L Marks will also work with the teams to carry out additional checks for the individuals involved to check they are not precluded from working in the United Kingdom; validate their identity; complete a credit and criminal history check; validate employment and education history for the previous 3 years; validate their highest education records and complete a CIFAS check.
Travel support to participate in activities at Metro Bank is at our discretion.
We believe we are different. We’ll provide your business with the following opportunities:
The programme will run from 5th September 2022 through to 16th November 2022.
The programme will likely take place remotely for the most part.
It is likely we will hold most meetings remotely. However, we do require you to attend the 3-day Fusion event in July in person. This will take place at Metro Bank in Holborn, London.
We also encourage onsite attendance at the latter stages of the programme and ideally for Demo Day. We can discuss one on one the needs of your company and the partnering resources of Metro Bank to see what would work best during the programme timeframe.
We will decide if we want to invest in any of the startups at the end of the programme.
We will aim to select a small cohort for the programme (1-5 startup(s)). This will allow for a more focused approach to ensure that startups receive dedicated support and guidance.
L Marks is a corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor. They build bridges between large corporates seeking to innovate more quickly with young companies with disruptive technologies, products and services. Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Stuart Marks, they run bespoke startup partnership programmes across industry sectors, working closely with partners like BMW, United Utilities and Lloyds of London, to identify where they believe the challenges are in their businesses and then turn these into opportunities for improvement and innovation. Each programme is tailored to deliver real solutions to the corporate partners and create real opportunities for startups to test and grow their product with a major partner.
Mentors will include senior executives from Metro Bank (see the bios), experts within the wider Metro Bank business, entrepreneurs and external subject matter experts.
The lab’s programme is designed to help you develop your solution, starting with deciding on a specific use case, receiving essential guidance from your mentors and demonstrating the value of your solution to Metro Bank. Each startup’s experience on the programme will be unique - we tailor the mentoring and education programmes to meet your business’s specific needs.
The programme has 4 stages:
See our timeline for more info.