Frequently Asked Questions

The basics

What is the Rise Ideation Academy?

A programme designed for idea stage founders to validate their thinking, help them identify their early customers and test customer need. We’ll take the founder through the steps of creating a minimum viable product to put in the hands of their users, and refine their idea from customer feedback to create a compelling value proposition and solution that the market truly wants.   

Where is the programme based?

The programme is entirely virtual, meaning you can learn from anywhere. You will just need a laptop and Wi-Fi to access the weekly workshops and dedicated support available through the programme.  

Why should I consider applying? 

Over the course of the programme, you’ll be able to put your idea through its paces and take the correct steps to validate your idea and understand whether anyone wants what you have to offer. This programme has been designed to help you find product market fit, understand your value proposition and which customer segment your solution serves. 

What is the application process? 

  • Applications for the Rise Ideation Academy are open all year round and will be reviewed jointly by the Rise Ideation Academy and ASPIRE team.
  • We will email applicants within 3 weeks to let you know if you have/have not been successful. If you have been successful we will let you know the next steps you need to take to start your Rise Ideation Academy journey.

Founders / Applicants

Who should apply for the programme?

Individuals or teams from Europe (including the UK) and the US/Canada. You will have a fintech idea and are able to articulate your vision and how your idea is rethinking the traditional approach to finance. You will also be committed to learning a new set of skills, and you plan to launch your business in the next 12 months.

What stage of founder is this programme best suited to?

The Rise Ideation Academy is best suited to those who have an idea they would like to build into a business in the next 12 months. There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to identifying successful founders/ideas, in terms of age, education, work experience or geographical location.

How am I evaluated throughout the programme? 

The Rise Ideation Academy is an entirely self-directed learning journey. You will need to be committed and motivated to work through the modules at your own pace, and take the time to complete the activities to move your idea forward.

Programme details

What is the full curriculum? 

The programme is divided into two sprints. In each, there are modules made up of learning content and activities. You are also able to join our curated workshops with our expert speakers covering topics on the programme. 

Sprint 1 – Ideation & Customer Discovery 

  • Modules: Customer Discovery and Segmentation, Value Proposition, Lean Start-up, Customer Development, Market Sizing, Business Model Canvas, Risky Assumptions

Sprint 2 Experimentation & Prototype 

  • Modules: Sprint Planning, Experiments, Landing Page Tests, User Journey Mapping, Rapid Prototyping, Pricing, Concierging, Low Code No Code, Pitching

What kind of perks are available to programme participants?

Participants will benefit from a collection of products and services that are highly demanded by entrepreneurs, including Amazon Web Service (AWS), HubSpot for start-ups, 7Cups and Accelerate Law.

 What happens post-programme?

  • We encourage you to keep learning! You will have access to the online content for 12 months from the first day you log on.  
  • We keep you connected! You will be invited to a global, virtual community of FinTech founders.

Programme leadership

Who is leading the programme? 

The Rise Ideation Academy is delivered to you by Rise, created by Barclays and Rainmaking. Committed to being the catalyst for change in financial services we have teamed up to support your entrepreneurial growth.  To ensure you can access our support flexibly, the Rise Ideation Academy content will be delivered online through ASPIRE, Rainmaking’s’ digital learning and development platform.

Why are Rise, created by Barclays and Rainmaking best placed to deliver the programme?

Rise, created by Barclays is the #HomeofFinTech and is on a mission to connect technology, talent and trends and to accelerate innovation and growth in the financial services industry. Rise allows cutting-edge FinTech start-ups and scale-ups to connect, create and scale their businesses, backed by Barclays’ global network of industry experts, mentors, investors and partners. Rainmaking has been heavily involved in supporting people launch new businesses for more than 100 years collectively!

We wish you the best of luck on your next step to building your business!

The basics

What is the Rise Start-Up Academy? 

Rise Start-Up Academy is a 10-week digital programme that equips you with skills and tools to help you get fit for market and transition from proposition to launch. Here you’ll think about your entire business and all its moving parts, learn to pitch for funding, grow your customer base, and launch with confidence.

Where is the programme based?

The programme is entirely virtual meaning you can learn from anywhere. You will just need a laptop and Wi-Fi to access the weekly workshops and dedicated support available through the programme.

Why should I consider applying? 

Over 10 weeks, you will access the skills, tools and resources to help you take your start-up to market. With other like-minded founders, you’ll:

  • Learn from anywhere: With 24/7 access to your curriculum, benefit from the structure of weekly modules and bite-sized videos to help you gain the tools and mindset to build your business.
  • Learn by doing: Through weekly activities and live workshops, keep yourself accountable by applying, testing and building on what you’ve learned.
  • Learn as a community: Build your network with a cohort of like-minded fintech founders and growth experts so you can share your experiences, challenges and opportunities.

What is the application process?

  • Applications for the Rise Start-Up Academy will close 16th June 2023, and then all completed applications will be reviewed by the Rise Start-Up Academy team.
  • We will email applicants to let you know if you have/have not been successful. If you have been successful we will let you know the next steps you need to take to register for the programme.
  • Successful applicants will receive detailed information on how to set up for success, and the Rise Start-Up Academy will begin on 10th July.

Founders / Applicants

Who should apply for the programme?

Individuals or teams from Europe (including the UK), the US and Canada.  You can articulate your vision on how you’re rethinking the traditional approach to finance and are committed to learning a new set of skills to launch your business and go to market.

What stage of founder is this programme best suited to?

The Rise Start-up Academy is best suited for early-stage fintech founders with a team of up to 4 people, who have a validated idea and are ready to take their business to market. You’ve secured, or are securing, your first customers and looking for pre-seed or early-seed stage funding in the next 12 months. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to identifying successful founders/ideas, in terms of age, education, work experience or geographical location.

Programme leadership

Who is leading the programme?

The Rise Start-up Academy is delivered to you by Rise, created by Barclays and Rainmaking. To ensure you can access our support flexibly, the Rise Start-up Academy content will be delivered online through ASPIRE, Rainmaking’s’ digital learning and development platform.

Why are Rise, created by Barclays and Rainmaking best placed to deliver the programme?

Rise, created by Barclays is the #HomeofFinTech and is on a mission to connect technology, talent and trends and to accelerate innovation and growth in the financial services industry. Rise allows cutting-edge FinTech start-ups and scale-ups to connect, create and scale their businesses, backed by Barclays’ global network of industry experts, mentors, investors and partners. Rainmaking has been heavily involved in supporting people to launch new businesses for more than 100 years collectively!

Programme details

What is the full curriculum?

The programme covers all you need to successfully get ready to launch your business and start achieving early traction.

You’ll cover topics such as pricing, sales generation, growth marketing, business model dynamics, leadership and team development, and financial modelling.

What kind of perks are available to programme participants?

Participants will benefit from a collection of products and services that are highly demanded by entrepreneurs, including Amazon Web Service (AWS), HubSpot for start-ups, 7Cups and Accelerate Law.

What happens post-programme?

  • We celebrate your achievements!
  • You will have the opportunity to showcase your business and practise your pitch by pitching to the Academies Team and getting feedback from experts.
  • We encourage you to keep learning! You will have access to the online content for 6 months post-programme.
  • We keep you connected! You will be invited to join the Rise Academies alumni network, allowing you to continue to connect with like-minded individuals.

The basics

What is the Rise Growth Academy? 

Rise Growth Academy is a 10-week digital-first programme for high-growth FinTech founders seeking support to lead their businesses in a future of sustainable growth. Founders will create and review the strategy for all areas of their business, as they seek support to transition from founder to CEO.  

As a founder, you’ll be supported on your journey with an experienced scale-up coach, a Barclays’ mentor, learning modules, a FinTech peer-to-peer community and an inspiring event series.

Where is the programme based?

The programme is entirely virtual meaning you can learn from anywhere. You will just need a laptop and Wi-Fi to access workshops, events, and our dedicated support available through the programme.

If you are physically located in New York or London or are in town for meetings in either location, there is dedicated space at Rise, created by Barclays that you can utilise for the duration of the programme.

What is the application process?

  • Applications are online
  • All applications for the Rise Growth Academy must be submitted by 18 August 2023. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a 45-minute virtual interview where we will assess your suitability for the programme and gain an understanding of where we can support you and your business. These will take place in the first 3 weeks of September 
  • We will email applicants in late September to let you know if you have/have not been successful. If you have been successful, we will let you know the next steps you need to take to register for the programme
  • Applicants will receive detailed information on how to set up for success, and the Rise Growth Academy will begin on 16 October  

Founders / Applicants

Does your business meet the following criteria?

  • Your business is located either in the UK or the US
  • Your business is operating across the Future of Money, Future of Banking or Future of Finance
  • Your business has raised seed funding and now has a genuine ambition to raise series A funding within the next 12 months
  • Your team has at least 10 members, excluding founders
  • You are able to dedicate a minimum of 1 day a week to learning with full responsibility for the actions and development roadmap directed by both the programme and your coach

Who can join the programme?

We will be accepting applications from founders and co-founders. Applicants can bring one additional team member onto the programme who must be either a co-founder or at C-level status. Including the applicant, there can be a maximum of 2 team members taking part in the programme.

What type of founder is this programme best suited to?

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to identifying successful founders/businesses, in terms of age, education or work experience.

How am I evaluated throughout the programme?

Each week, you’ll be working through a new learning module addressing a particular pillar of your business and completing the related activities. Your coach dictates your learning journey and progress will be assessed on a weekly basis with your dedicated scale-up coach to make sure you are on track, and really making the most of your opportunity on the Rise Growth Academy.

Programme leadership

Who is leading the programme? 

The Rise Growth Academy is delivered to you by Rise, created by Barclays and Rainmaking. To ensure you can access our support flexibly, the Rise Growth Academy content will be delivered online through ASPIRE, Rainmaking’s digital learning and development platform.

Why are Rise, created by Barclays and Rainmaking best placed to deliver the programme?

Rise, created by Barclays is the #HomeofFinTech and is on a mission to connect technology, talent and trends and to accelerate innovation and growth in the financial services industry. Rise allows cutting-edge FinTech start-ups and scale-ups to connect, create and scale their businesses, backed by Barclays’ global network of industry experts, mentors, investors and partners. Rainmaking has been heavily involved in supporting people to launch new businesses for more than 100 years collectively!

Programme details

What is the full curriculum? 

The programme is divided into ten modules, one per week. Each week you’ll meet with your scale-up coach and attend one of our weekly events. The time commitment is at least one day per week.

The modules you’ll cover on the Rise Growth Academy are as follows:

  • Value proposition and market sizing: Revisit value proposition and market sizing tools to establish TAM, SAM & SOM. Map out competitive landscape.
  • Generating new and repeating sales: Develop a scalable and repeatable sales process and understand how to track and optimise the sales funnel.
  • Accelerating growth marketing: Build a strategic marketing plan for growth that includes key milestones, where to resource and invest, in a way that connects and is authentic to customers.
  • Building scalable operations: Set OKRs for the business and team, and identify areas of the business that require automation for scale.
  • Building scalable product (or service): Implement tracking processes to measure key indicators such as CLTV, cost-to-serve and churn. Evaluation of product (or service) and ability to scale, and produce a product roadmap.
  • Building leadership capacity for growth: Understand the importance of EQ leadership and their own leadership style alongside identifying improvement areas. Implement a communication rhythm for the business.
  • Recruiting talent and building high-performing teams: Develop their organisational structure and document the recruitment and hiring process. Understand the importance of team culture.
  • Building and managing a board: Understand governance; structure and processes, and the benefits of adopting good governance practices in their business.
  • Financial modelling: Introduction to financial modelling where the entrepreneur will learn how to approach and build their own budget projections, and how to present to investors.
  • Road map for growth and next steps: Document ‘North Star’ and map the milestones needed to get there. Build a growth roadmap that encompasses vision, goals and metrics.

What kind of perks are available to programme participants?

Participants will benefit from a collection of products and services that are highly demanded by entrepreneurs, including Amazon Web Service (AWS), HubSpot for start-ups, 7Cups and Accelerate Law.

What happens post-programme?

  • You will have the opportunity to attend the Rise Growth Academy showcase event
  • You will continue to meet with your Barclays mentor for 4 months following the programme
  • We encourage you to keep learning! You will have access to the online content for 12 months from the first day you log on
  • We keep you connected! You will be invited to a global, virtual community of FinTech founders and join the Academies alumni network 
  • Where there is strategic alignment between your company and Barclays, there may be an opportunity for Barclays to invest through its Principal Investment team