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Barclays Africa and Techstars invite fintech startups for Barclays Accelerator programme
Barclays Africa announced its collaboration with Techstars for Barclays Accelerator programme and has called fintech entrepreneurs and startups for its open global application.
The Barclays Accelerator programme is an initiative that is aimed at finding the smartest fintech startups by working with exceptional fintech entrepreneurs, innovating Africa's financial services industry. The programme made a debut to Africa earlier this year that saw a significant success, with Barclays Africa signing initial collaboration agreements with 7 of the 10 participating startups.
The collaboration will provide 10 qualifying fintech startups, with a game-changing opportunity. These selected startups will undergo a 13-week programme beginning in May next year, based out of the Rise fintech innovation hub in Woodstock, Cape Town.
"I truly believe that being part of Techstars gives companies such an advantage when it comes to scaling globally. The depth of experience that the Techstars team and global mentor network has in working with and investing in over 900 start-ups is unprecedented for the African continent. The Accelerator pushes for one year's worth of traction in three months. At the end, your company won't come out the same, regardless of stage," Yossi Hasson, Managing Director of Techstars said, in a release.
The startups that are selected for the accelerator will have the opportunity to enter or expand their presence in the African marketplace with the help of Barclays Africa Group's customer, product, and technology teams. The participating startup projects will leverage the global footprint of Rise and will have a chance to scale globally through Rise sites in cities like London, New York, Mumbai, among others. The accelerator provides the selected startups with a proven curriculum, and lifelong access to the Techstars global network of mentors, investors and venture capitalists.
In terms of investment in African tech startups, 29% goes to those focused on fintech, a Disrupt Africa African Startups Funding Report 2015 stated. This indicates a substantial opportunity for innovative ventures in the sector.
"Africa has a tremendous untapped potential to not only pioneer its own creative solutions for its unique contexts but to also create solutions that the rest of the world can adopt for their own contexts," Yasaman Hadjibashi, leading the innovation agenda for Barclays Africa said.
The program will see mentors including industry experts who will be working closely with the participating startups. Mentors include David Cohen, founder and managing partner of Techstars; Ashley Vaesey, group CIO of Barclays Africa; Evans Munyuki, head of Digital Banking Services at Barclays Africa, among others.
Fintech companies, who wish to take part in the accelerator to take their venture to new heights, can apply to the programme by February 5th, 2017. The program will begin on 9th May 2017 and will have an internal demo day on 31st July 2017, followed by an external demo day on 2nd August 2017.