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Tech start-ups offered access to business, professional and financial services market in West Midlands

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Tech start-ups offered access to business, professional and financial services market in West Midlands

Published: September 22, 2022

Seven senior leaders from major financial, legal and property firms in the West Midlands are offering 42 hours of one-on-one support to growing tech businesses globally.

West Midlands Connect Series 2022 tech start up support programme

SuperTech is the UK’s only body dedicated to the greater adoption of technology by professional and business services companies. The initiative is designed to offer tech start up support that will help entrepreneurs grow. It encourages them to access a market which in the West Midlands alone generates £28 billion gross value added annually and employs more than 343,000 people.

Supported by BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Wesleyan, Bruntwood SciTech, Shoosmiths and Barclays the Connector series first ran in 2021. The newly expanded 2022 programme will see representatives from Unity Trust Bank and Paragon joining the roster of mentors.

Lexyfi’s experience

Dr Cristian Gherhes, Founder & CEO of AI RegTech start-up Lexyfi, engaged with the Connector series in 2021. He said: “As a tech start-up, it can be difficult to engage with large corporates. It’s hard to get meetings with key decision makers. The conversations facilitated by SuperTech’s Connector Series were extremely useful.

“Being able to get direct access and speak to senior management, understand their business needs better, and explore potential collaboration opportunities was incredibly valuable for us. We learned a lot from engaging with businesses through the Connector Series. We ended up working with one of the businesses to test our product as part of our private beta.”

Thoughts from SuperTech

Hilary Smyth-Allen, SuperTech executive lead, said: “We’ve had excellent feedback on the first connector series from both the entrepreneurs and executives who took part. A key mission of SuperTech is to encourage and promote greater use of technology in traditional business and professional services firms. It also aims to help stimulate further economic growth. It encourages open dialogue and the free exchange of ideas and support from some of our largest firms through to newly established technology businesses. These companies are often bringing first of its kind solutions to market.

“It’s a testament to the incredible business community we have in the West Midlands that we are able to run a programme like this here in Birmingham. It would not be possible without the backing of the executives and entrepreneurs who have been involved. We’re also incredibly grateful for the continued support from the Greater Birmingham And Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.”

Pam Rowland is the chief operating officer at Paragon Banking Group PLC. He said: “Researching, embracing, and implementing new technology solutions, is key to Paragon. It’s clear to me that being involved with the Connector series will help us to have more mutually beneficial conversations with technology teams that we otherwise wouldn’t get to know. SuperTech is playing an integral role in bridging the gaps between established business and professional services firms and fast-growing technology businesses.”

Connector series leaders

The full list of leaders taking part in the Connector series are:

  • Mark Clayton – chief operating officer at Unity Trust Bank
  • David Stewart – group chief operating officer at Wesleyan
  • Pam Rowland, chief operating officer at Paragon Banking Group
  • Mark Clayton – chief operating officer at Unity Trust Bank
  • Andrea Tittel – director of innovation, customer & propositions at BNP Paribas Personal Finance
  • Tony Randle partner at Shoosmiths
  • Anthony Pryke – ecosystem manager at Barclays’ Eagle Labs
  • Cliff Dennett – head of business development at Bruntwood SciTech

The first cohort will take place WC 3rd October and will run monthly until March 2023. To join the Connector series tech start up businesses are being encouraged to register their interest for support at: