Barclays accelerates search for Africa Fintech stars

In Tech

Barclays Africa Group is seeking to leverage on Africa’s innovative youth to power its next face of growth after rising competition left it with lacklustre earnings.

The bank is inviting applications for another round of mentorship for startups looking to expand their financial technology (Fintech) businesses under its newly found training hub, Barclays Accelerator.

According to IT News Africa, the 13 week programme offers a “game-changing” opportunity for up to 10 qualifying startups to enter or expand their presence in the African marketplace through Barclays Africa Group’s customer, product and tech development teams.

“The Barclays Accelerator first came to Africa at the beginning of this year and was a significant success, with Barclays Africa signing initial collaboration agreements with 7 of the 10 startups that were part of the programme,” reads a post on the announcement in part.

Incidentally, one Kenyan startup, INUKA PAP is among the beneficiaries of the first edition of the mentorship programme which opened in early April this year:
“Applicants from over 45 countries applied for the spots in the 3-month intensive program. The 10 companies who were selected join(ed) us from nine different countries (South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, United States, Lebanon and the United Kingdom)”.

Besides, notes the bulletin on the competition in part, the qualifying companies encompassed “a wide array of verticals within FinTech – including international payments, mobile medical insurance, land title registration via blockchain, and financial inclusion”.

“We are looking for exceptional founders who are tackling difficult problems and big opportunities,” writes Yossi Hasson on techstars.com

Beyond minimum viable product
“We are specifically looking for founders who are beyond the [minimum viable product] MVP stage and working on applications of financial inclusion, mobile solutions, insure-tech, payments, big data, agri-tech and beyond,” he adds, noting that the most wanted applications are those that can have a major impact globally.

Slated to start on May 9 next year, the second edition of the mentorship programme is expected to culminate in a Demo Day on August 2, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Further, according to Mr Hasson, an angel investor and managing director of the Accelerator, the hub will be hosting a series of events to keep the interested startups updated on all the requirements to participate.

“Among them, on January 25 next year from between 9 am and 6 pm, we’re hosting an event in Cape Town in which you will hear all about the programme from our alumni and executives from Barclays and Techstars.”
BY MOSES OMUSOLO

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