Africa FinTech Foundry (AFF), an initiative of Access Bank Plc, has said it will be supporting the best Fintech start-up in the ongoing AFF Start-up Challenge with the sum of $10,000 (N3,070,000) as prize for the start-up that has the best financial technology (Fintech) initiative.
The Head of AFF, Segun Adeniyi, who made the disclosure in Lagos, during the news briefing on the ‘Disrupt 2019 Conference’, explained that 20 start-ups had attended the AFF Start-up Challenge that was held on May 3, 2019, and five among the 20 start-ups were shortlisted.
He said the five startups were shortlisted for demo at the ”Disrupt 2019 Conference”, which would be held on May 16.
According to him, the start-ups will be representing fields in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Robotics and Blockchain Technology.
According to him, ”AFF is focused on technology start-ups in the growth phase of their business lifecycle. This includes EduTech, HealthTech, InsureTech, FinTech, AgriTech and RegTech.
”AFF leverages on its extensive partner networks and relationships to offer start-ups cohorts access to markets, customers, funding, educational and mentorship opportunities.
”Successful start-ups are exposed to a plethora of networking opportunities to meet venture capital firms, angel investors, corporates and other qualified investors.
”Startup cohorts from the AFF continue to receive ongoing support post Demo-Day, as well networking opportunities with the extensive AFF partner network.”
The start-ups will also receive formal and informal referrals, voluntary quarterly check-ins and invitations to mentor current cohorts in the accelerator programme, and most importantly, continued access to funding,” Adeniyi added.
He said the AFF aimed to nurture, fund and accelerate the growth of technology start-ups in Africa through its mentorship and accelerator programmes, adding that the foundry will fast-track the growth and maturity of start-ups to deliver relevant solutions to the market, providing greater access to financial services to the financial excluded across the continent.
According to him, the growth of technology startups in Africa is very instrumental to the survival of the continent on a larger scale.
”New ideas translate into new businesses, which inevitably drive employment opportunities and become an enabler of both social and economic development.
”In addition, these key players help ensure that the economy is diversified, as there is less concentration on one sector.
”Another important benefit is the increase in investments obtained by these startups from both local and international organisations.
”All of these have led to more structured economic infrastructure, creation of more jobs and a lift in income for the average earner,” he said.
Executive Director, Information Technology and Operations at Access Bank, Adeolu Bajomo, said through the ‘Disrupt 2019 Conference’, the bank will position Nigeria as a melting point for innovation in Africa.
Bajomo said the conference was to build awareness around AFF and position Access Bank as the most innovative African bank.
He further explained that the programme would provide platform for strategic partnership and collaboration between Access Bank and investors, experts, regulators, innovators and technology companies to create a new era of technological disruption in the banking industry.
According to him, collaboration between technology start-ups and large corporates is key for fostering innovation in Africa.
”This kind of relationship is extremely beneficial to all parties within the ecosystem. In the long run, this helps corporates enter and create new markets, while start-ups are able to develop feasible and scalable products,” he said.