Start-Ups To Help Banking Giant Move Faster

Posted on 22nd October 2013

One of the UK’s largest banks, Barclays, is asking start-ups and entrepreneurs to help it create new ways of tackling its biggest challenges – improving technology and its impact on people’s lives disrupts big business.

Through its innovation days, the bank is revealing some of the major challenges it faces and is inviting start-ups to have a go in solving them in ways the corporation have not considered.

Speaking at a recent start-up accelerator meeting in London, the bank’s chief design officer, Derek White, said that the huge firm is leaving its corporate roots to embrace a more dynamic approach to business.

He said that in massive organisations, it can take three months to have a meeting, whereas in start-ups, there is a strong focus on quickly developing new ideas into working products.

This means that developing new ideas, known as learning cycles, can be really quick in start-ups, with a learning cycle typically taking between 24 and 28 hours.

Over a year, that means that start-ups could experience 150 to 200 learning cycles per year, unlike huge firms, such as Barclays, that only manage around two over the same time.

Mr White has therefore suggested that large corporations like banks could create internal teams of start-ups to speed up product creation and insisted that huge firms must get over the idea that they know better than much smaller concerns.

Quoting PayPal co-founder, Elon Musk, Mr White said that large firms must learn as fast as the world is changing, which they can only do if they adopt a more entrepreneurial approach and said that Barclay’s aim is to help develop an ecosystem in the UK where London becomes the centre of global entrepreneurial activity.

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