Africa FinTech Foundry has kick-started an accelerator program, which provides funds and mentorship for promising Nigerian startups. The accelerator program which is spearheaded by the Africa FinTech Foundry (AFF), is an initiative of Access Bank Plc.
The accelerated program officially opened up for entries a month ago and received over 306 entries. These entries were rigorously scrutinized by experts and whittled down to 30.
The 30 remaining applicants were further scrutinized by Head of the Africa Fintech Foundry, Mr. Daniel Awe; Group Head, Emerging Businesses, Access Bank, Mrs. Ayodele Olojede; and Vice President, Investments MBO Capital, and Fintech Consultant, Mr. Oshone Ikazobor, in a bid to narrow it down to 10-15 finalist.
What they are saying
Addressing newsmen at the event, Mr Awe reiterated that the accelerator program is aimed at empowering promising startups with resources to reach their full potentials.
He said “If a start-up has an idea and you throw it into a market of 42 million customers, the acceleration is going to be faster. So, it is using the entire ecosystem of our group to build the future of the country.
“In the next 10 years, these guys coming here we see them becoming a unicorn worth over $100 million and a season is coming where would see these startups becoming the next drivers of our economy.”
On the funding part of the accelerator program, he said, “Funding is based on ideas and what would be required to move the idea forward. We commit about N10 million. After they come into the accelerator program, there are a top-three but the other ones are going to be exposed to investors.
“This initiative would have a direct impact on the economy because it is targeted at the medium scale businesses and these are the businesses that can change economies in terms of reducing employment rate and socioeconomic levels.”
What you should know: An accelerator program is a program that gives developing companies access to mentorship, investors, and other support that help them become stable, self-sufficient businesses.