We have a unique convening power to shape the direction of innovation, both in technology and where wider issues persist in the market. A key element of our innovation toolkit that has enabled us to achieve this, and which has attracted international interest is the TechSprint.

TechSprints are events that bring together participants from across and outside of financial services to develop technology-based ideas or proof of concepts to address specific industry challenges. These events help us to shine a light on issues and expand the discussion and awareness of potential solutions.

Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint, 22-25 March 2021

In March 2021 we held the Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint. The aim of the sprint was to:

  • find solutions to issues that are being heightened by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic or where women are being disproportionately affected
  • shine a light on the pre-existing social norms or deeply ingrained cultural practices that mean women are disproportionately impacted by pandemics
  • highlight and support women in the tech, finance and data space – encouraging them into careers in this space and to take part in initiatives such as techsprints

140 participants formed majority female TechSprint teams to create 9 solutions over 4 days, each of which was designed to enable women to increase their participation in financial services or safeguard them in the event of financial or domestic abuse.

Many of these solutions will continue to be developed with our support. In addition, we also supported a parallel TechSprint in the US where 80 participants, across 6 teams, collaborated around the same problem statement with regulators and industry.

Alongside the TechSprint, we convened over 50 speakers from around the world to discuss the challenges that women face and share ideas on how technology and innovation can improve inclusion, access and resilience for millions of women as well as vulnerable consumers. Over 1,000 attendees registered for the event, with approximately 2,250 live attendees for the talks and the final demos.

The conference showcased female talent throughout the technology, data and financial services sectors, as well as the leaders and champions who advocate for vulnerable women every day. To support future talent and the pipeline of women in tech, we also held a mini TechSprint with Code First Girls with 4 all-female teams creating viable products that focused on increasing women’s financial resilience.

You can still register for the conference and watch the sessions back, including the UK and US demos until 26 June 2021.

Evolution of TechSprints

On 3 March 2020, we published this research exploring the lessons we have learned from hosting 7 TechSprints across a range of subjects. As part of our commitment continuing to foster innovative and collaborative global financial markets, we want to share our experience and support other organisations in their efforts to address key industry problems.

Read: ‘Fostering innovation through collaboration: the evolution of the FCA TechSprint approach’ research paper

Video: TechSprint review (3 minutes 38 seconds)

TechSprint participants discuss the benefits of this approach and why collaboration is an essential part of innovation.

Previous TechSprints

Since 2016, we’ve hosted the following TechSprints. Read about our previous events:

Page updates

08/06/2021: Link added Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint 2021
26/05/2021: Information changed Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint
03/03/2021: Information changed Virtual Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint registration link and Getting involved paragraph.
01/02/2021: Information added Virtual Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint

03/03/2020: Information added Publication of 'Fostering innovation through collaboration' research paper