Despite being small, the BT lab is alive with activity and noise as hoards of people cram together discussing ideas
and putting plans together.
There is writing all over the
walls depicting mind maps, spider
diagrams and technological jargon,
alongside complicated looking
blueprints for testing the very
latest financial technology.
Matthew Key and Will Pryke,
both senior managers of BT’s
innovation lab, meet me among
the hustle and bustle to walk me
through the lab and discuss the
latest in technology and innovation
in financial services.
“We’re very active at the moment.
Five years ago banks used to talk
about innovation; but now they are
Matthew Key, head of innovation
for financial services clients at the
innovation for BT, explains upon
BT’s innovation lab - BT Infinity
Lab - officially opened its doors in
October 2013 with the aim of driving innovation with entrepreneurs
and small-to-medium enterprises.
A series of ‘Dragons Den’ style
competitions and events are
carried out inside the lab, usually
supported by an executive sponsor
and a core business theme. To date,
the events have attracted over 600
The winners of one of the competi-
tions gained six months of mento-
ring and support from BT in areas
like technology, product develop-
ment, legal and marketing.
“We have several teams inside the
lab right now preparing for an ‘
Internet of Things’ hackathon that begins
next week,” Will Pryke, director of
operations and breakthrough innovation at the lab, informs me.
“There are six teams competing against each other and a few
are setting up right now. It’s the
advance party,” he added.
At the back of one of the rooms
was a large green box – the kind
you would more commonly see
at the end of a road, connecting a
small street. It creates a shorter
length for internet connections,
using proximity placing to gain
higher broadband speeds.
“We also put those in exchanges
– they rely on BT for things like
connectivity,” Key says.