2 minute read

As the number of start-ups in the UK continues to increase it’s now more important than ever before for Lloyds Banking Group to better understand the landscape, in order for us to continue to learn from these fledgling businesses and provide them with the assistance they need.

Hannah Blake, Open Innovation Director at media agency MEC and previous Programme Manager for BBC Labs (BBC Worldwide’s award-winning start-up accelerator), was invited to speak on the subject of accelerating start-ups. She was joined by Rowly Bourne, founder at Rezonance, an awarded Ad Tech company that created Freewall – a new way of helping publishers monetise valuable content.

Blake and Bourne headed up a Digital Espresso session called “When Little Met Large”, where they discussed the challenges and opportunities presented during the partnership between Rezonance and BBC Labs. We’ve condensed these into a list of four key insights, which will assist us in supporting new enterprises.

  1. Equity discussions can slow progress

What sets BBC Labs apart from other accelerator programs is that they do not take any equity in the start-ups they partner with. This helps things progress at a much quicker pace, rather than wasting months discussing how much equity will be given away.


  1. Speed is a key differentiator

Unlike major, established organisations, start-ups enjoy the advantage of speed. In fact, a key strength of start-ups is the rapid rate at which they can change and react, as they are not bound by the traditional pain points of larger, slower incumbent organisations.

  1. Keep the right people engaged

One of the biggest challenges mentioned was the difficulty of getting all key decision makers in the room to get something signed off – an issue that can affect small and large organisations in different ways.


Blake explained that the key to overcoming this issue is to engage the right people – in particular those who are interested in pushing the relationship or innovation forward. She believes that keeping these people engaged at regular intervals helps keep them excited and inspired – which is key to helping both start-ups and large companies succeed.

  1. Embrace the disruptors

We’re seeing more and more disruptors who are beating established players at their own game, such as Spotify and Netflix. Those in the industry can try to challenge these disruptors, but they will find it hard to do so. Therefore, it is wiser to adapt your business to work together with these new start-ups – so you can conquer the market as a team.


Digital Espressos are weekly 30-minute short blasts of inspiration that cover the latest innovations and topics in the digital and financial technology industry, all in a short and informal format. They may feature internal or external speakers with expertise in different areas to help us think outside the traditional financial and banking realms. You can read more on our Internet of Things Digital Espresso here.

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