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Barclays' ‘Techstars’ Incubator Chooses UniZest’s Bank Solution

Irwin Mitchell Advising Business On Growth Plans


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

UniZest, the company behind an innovative banking solution for international students, has been chosen by Barclays Bank to be part of its Techstars incubator.

Founded in 2015 by Peter Miles and Chris Donnachie, UniZest launched its Aspire bank card to address the problems that international students have in opening bank accounts after they arrive in the UK.  

The card is attached to a UK bank account but significantly, it can be set up before a student leaves their home country - allowing parents access to certain pages of the students’ account. 

The tool is designed to improve wellbeing and create a support system for students who have historically faced problems with international transfers, particularly fee and accommodation payments, and setting up traditional UK bank accounts.

The decision by Barclays to include the company on its accelerator incubator is a major boost for the company’s plans to spread globally. So far, the firm only works in the UK, but UniZest has plans for large scale expansion to Europe, North America, and Australia.

UniZest is one of only 10 startups chosen by Barclays bank to be part of its latest annual intake.

Barclays’ accelerator is sponsored by Techstars and is an intensive 13-week programme designed to accelerate start-up enterprises.

As well as getting unprecedented access to its network and knowledge base, UniZest will gain invaluable insights from leading entrepreneurs and FinTech industry experts. Other benefits include introductions and guidance from key decision makers at Barclays. Up to $120,000 investment from Techstars is available as well as the opportunity to pitch to the influential tech community.

Law firm, Irwin Mitchell, has been working with the business, advising it on its growth plans.

Expert Opinion
“It is exciting to be working alongside such innovative FinTech businesses such as Unizest and the education sector is one in which Irwin Mitchell is placing considerable emphasis.”
James Paton-Philip, Partner

Peter Miles, UniZest CEO, said: “What all start-up ventures really need is high quality professional assistance and advice. With James and his team at Irwin Mitchell we have been very lucky to find an incredibly supportive legal partner who actively assists us in building our business.”