Assets & Resource Management Holding Company (ARMHoldCo) on Tuesday, July 19th 2022 in Lagos, held the fireside chat themed “Building the next set of African Unicorns” in anticipation of the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator program slated to begin in August 2022.
The ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator program is a partnership between ARM and Techstars, an American Seed Accelerator focused on providing funding and support to Fintech and Proptech start-ups who are poised to use innovation in solving problems across Africa.
Speaking at the event, which had startups and organizers of the accelerator program in attendance, amongst others, the Chief Executive Officer of ARM, Jumoke Ogundare, noted that the future of financial services is fintech stating that technology continues to transform fintech as startups are growing more agile and efficient in innovating quickly.
To be at the forefront of change and support startups is the basis for ARM’s collaboration with Techstars to birth the accelerator program, Jumoke emphasized.
She said this collaboration will contribute to the country’s economic growth in the areas of employment, reaching the unbanked people and promoting social development.
According to her, startups that the firm supports in the accelerator programme would have access to ARM’s market, network and build a platform where they can develop capacities.
Speaking on the dearth of female founders in the industry, Jumoke said that ARM through the accelerator program is building an ecosystem where other female founders can support upcoming women startups. She advised female founders to build their confidence and believe in their vision while having successful women as mentors to help bridge the gap.
Speaking about the partnership with Techstars, the Director for Digital Transformation in ARM – Ina Alogwu – said the firm is a global accelerator company that has run 50 such programmes in 35 cities in 14 countries across the world.
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Ina revealed that Techstars has a portfolio of about 3,000 companies that have passed through their various programmes worldwide and invested $21.3 billion, adding that the startups that passed through Techstar programmes typically raise on average, about $ 1 million.
Speaking further, he pointed out that 12 startups in the Accelerator programme will get a collective $120,000 in investment and equity. They will also get access to over 7,000 mentors in the Techstars network and 20,000 global investors in the same network.
“So it is not just an investment that you get, you get access to a network and a company that can give you immediate access to an existing customer base and help with any regulatory challenges that you may have. So joining the programme is not only about equity investment, but you get access to other things,” Ina noted.
Chief Executive Officer of Techstars, Maelle Gavet revealed that Techstars has been active in Africa since 2011. She said that having seen an increasing number of African founders applying to their programmes, they decided to establish a presence on the continent. This decision sparked the relationship and eventual partnership with ARM, a firm which shared a common passion for innovation and seeing startups succeed.