Africa FinTech Foundry (AFF), an Access Bank Plc initiative, says it has earmarked $10,000 prize for the startup that has the best financial technology (fintech) initiative.
Head of AFF, Segun Adeniyi, made this known on Tuesday in Lagos during the news briefing on the ”Disrupt 2019 Conference”.
Adeniyi said that five out of 20 startups that attended the AFF Startup Challenge held on May 3 were shortlisted for demo at the ”Disrupt 2019 Conference”, which would be held on May 16.
According to him, the startups will be representing fields in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, robotics and blockchain technology.
”The startup with the best initiative will receive a prize of $10,000.
”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 as 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.
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.
Adeolu Bajomo, Executive Director, Information Technology (IT) and operations, Access Bank, 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 helped to provide opportunities for business to continually expand.
He said that technology served almost as an extra factor of production that helps to provide new ways to work, grow and deliver products and services that meet the needs to customers.