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Tuesday, May 07, 2019

African FinTech dangles $10,000 on startups - ITREALMS

ITREALMS
The African FinTech Foundry (AFF) is dangling the sum of $10,000, about N3,616,903.83, for the best of the top-five startup finalists at the 2019 Disrupt conference, reports ITREALMS.

The organisers of the conference, disclosed this to ITREALMS in Lagos at a press conference on Tuesday, saying that earlier in the month, some 20 startups attended its Startups Challenge where the top five emerged.

“The startup with the best initiative will receive a prize of $10,000,” the organisers said.

AFF is an Access Bank Initiative aimed at nurture, fund and accelerate the growth of tech startups in Africa through its mentorship and accelerator programmes, fast-tracking their growth and maturity to deliver relevant solutions to the market, providing greater access to financial services to the financial excluded across the continent.


ITREALMS also reports that this is coming as the Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr. Hubert Nwigwe will be part of the key speakers at the 2019 edition of Disrupt Conference, slated for May 16 at Landmark Events Centre in Lagos.

The Head of AFF, Segun Adeniyi disclosed this to ITREALMS, saying the startups will be representing fields in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, robotics and blockchain technology.

''AFF is focused on Technology startups in the growth phase of their business lifecycle. This includes but not limited to eduTech, healthTech, insureTech, FinTech, AgriTech and RegTech.

''AFF leverages on its extensive partner networks and relationships to offer startup cohorts access to markets, customers, funding, educational and mentorship opportunities.

''Successful startups 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.

''Startups 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,'' he said.

Adeniyi said that AFF aimed to nurture, fund and accelerate the growth of Technology startups in Africa through its mentorship and accelerator programmes.

He said that the foundry fast-tracked the growth and maturity of startups to deliver relevant solutions to the market, providing greater access to financial services to the financial excluded across the continent.

As said by 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.

The Executive Director, Information Technology (IT) and Operations, Access Bank, Adeolu Bajomo, said that through the 'Disrupt 2019 Conference'', the bank wanted to position Nigeria as a melting point for innovation in Africa.

Bajomo said that the conference was to build awareness around AFF and position Access Bank as the most innovative African bank.

He said 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.

Bajomo said that technology provides opportunities for businesses to continually expand, stressing that technology equally serves almost as an extra factor of production that facilitates new ways of service delivery.

Remmy Nweke/DoP


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Pix: L- R: Partner, Aluko and Oyebode, Olubunmi Fayokun; Head of Marketing, Kia Motors, Jimoh Olawale; Team member, Africa Fintech Foundry(AFF), Anita Odiete; Executive Director, Operations and IT, Access Bank Plc, Ade Bajomo; Head, Africa Fintech Foundry, Olusegun Adeniyi and Co-founder, Bluechip Technologies Limited, Olumide Soyombo at the AFF Disrupt 2019 Press conference held in Lagos.

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