In the wake of the 2023 Fintech Awards Wales, Matt Hyde, Director of Recruit121 and the Fintech Awards Wales, engages in exclusive interviews with the sponsors and prominent figures at the forefront of the FinTech sector in Wales.
The Fintech Awards Wales serve as a platform to acknowledge and honour the remarkable accomplishments of individuals, companies, and academic institutions within the Welsh FinTech landscape.
In this special series, Matt introduces you to the key figures driving innovation and progress in this dynamic industry.
This week Matt speaks to Adam Spriggs, R&D Tax Director, Zeal
Fintech is a rapidly evolving industry, and Wales has shown remarkable progress in this domain. From your perspective, what unique opportunities or challenges does the Welsh fintech ecosystem present, and how does your organization contribute to its development?
Beyond the challenges that a lot of businesses are currently facing around raising costs and staffing, the Welsh fintech environment that has been developing over the years has created an epicenter of fantastic businesses and pulling knowledge from other parts of the country and, in some instances, the world. The many great universities in Wales provide a constant flow of new entrepreneurs as well as those who are eager to continue their personal development that is fostered by those businesses that came before them. Increasing presence of other organisation's designed to support the fintech industry as well as additional award categories at the awards make it clear that the ecosystem that has been nurtured by a lot of passionate people.
Zeal work with businesses preparing and defending R&D Tax claims and with a lot of recent and proposed changes in legislation coming into force it has never been more important for businesses claiming R&D Tax relief that they are aware of these. There has also been a significant increase in HMRC compliance checks into claims which is something that we have come to specialise in over the past few years. Its this relief that has enabled many fintech businesses from being able to further fund their work.
What motivated your organization to become a sponsor of the Fintech Awards Wales, and what do you see as the significance of supporting events like these within the fintech industry?
Zeal is based in South Wales and I studied at Cardiff University, so the area is very close to my heart. When I worked with fintech's in London there was a lot of noise around the sector on a national level but not much focused on the regions. In the past few years there has been so many success stories of companies coming out of Wales, Cardiff especially, that there is obviously something special going on in the region and the Fintech Awards Wales is a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on these companies and the individuals that make them a success.
As a sponsor, what specific role does your organization play in promoting innovation and growth within the fintech sector in Wales? Can you share any initiatives or programs that align with your sponsorship?
We work with a lot of Fintech businesses, as well as those in other innovative sectors, in puling together R&D Tax claims. Zeal have sponsored the Team of the Year award for the past two years and whenever we work with a company its clear how important their entire teams are. From the technical to the financial and managerial levels. Some organisations are big enough to have teams within teams but even if it's just a core group of individuals how they interact and communicate with each can be vital to whether a project is successful or not. Whenever we work with a company I'm always keen to speak with as many people as possible who were part of a project to ensure that
The UK has established itself as a global hub for fintech innovation, with London being a prominent fintech centre. How do you see the Fintech Awards Wales contributing to the overall growth and visibility of the UK's fintech ecosystem, and do you believe that regional fintech events, such as the Fintech Awards Wales, play a role in nurturing collaboration and fostering connections within the industry across the country?
The Awards have been great for raising awareness, fostering the network within Wales and providing a forum for these companies to come together and recognise their own as well as their industry’s achievements.
I have spoken with businesses previously who actively moved to base their business in Cardiff as it has built a reputation as a destination city for FinTech businesses to grow and indeed flourish. The Awards have played a big part in creating and building that reputation and community.
Looking ahead, how do you envision the future of fintech in Wales, and how will your organization continue to support and collaborate with the local fintech community beyond the awards ceremony?
Zeal is a proud member of Fintech Wales and has started supporting its members with R&D Tax claims. As previously mentioned there has been a lot of changes recently so its important that these are known to fintech businesses. As a result will are providing a R&D Tax update as well a budget debrief the day after this years Autumn Statement on 23 November at the Fintech Wales offices.
We've explored some interesting developments and insights in the fintech space today. On a lighter note, with all the innovative trends in fintech, if you had a magic wand and could bring one futuristic fintech concept to life right now, what would it be and why?
I'm not a ‘Trekkie' but being able to immediately transport myself to any destination would definitely be useful for long journeys, especially with a young family. Since the 20mph restriction was introduced