Applications have opened for the Barclays Accelerator programme, powered by Techstars, an initiative aimed at uncovering the next M-Pesa or Paypal by working with exceptional fintech entrepreneurs innovating Africa’s financial services industry.
Application Deadline: 5th February, 2017
Eligible Countries: African countries
To be taken at (country): Cape Town, South Africa. The chosen startups will also be able to leverage Barclays Techstars Accelerator programme offices in London, New York and Tel Aviv
About the Award: The Barclays Accelerator Powered by Techstars is a three month intensive startup accelerator focused on innovations in financial services. This partnership between Barclays and Techstars brings two global networks together into one accelerator programme that offers entrepreneurs unprecedented access not only to a world leading bank but also to Techstars’ mentor and investor relationships across 13 locations.
This collaboration between Barclays Africa and Techstars offers a game-changing opportunity to 10 qualifying fintech startups, which will take part in a 13-week programme beginning in May next year, based out of the Rise fintech innovation hub in Woodstock, Cape Town.
The Barclays Accelerator first came to Africa at the beginning of this year and was a significant success, with Barclays Africa signing initial collaboration agreements with 7 of the 10 startups that were part of the programme.
Yasaman Hadjibashi, leading the innovation agenda for the bank says: “Africa has 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.”
According to the Disrupt Africa African Startups Funding Report 2015, 29% of investment in African tech startups goes to those focused on fintech, suggesting a substantial opportunity for innovative ventures in the sector.
Selection Criteria: The Barclays Accelerator is looking for great founders with ideas that solve real problems or create meaningful innovations. For us, it’s about the team and because of this, we’re less likely to accept single founder companies. The best things you can do to strengthen your application are:
- Round out your team with business, technical, and other necessary skills.
- Make progress on your prototype or product and reference it in the application.
- Show us you’ve really thought about your business and have actually done something about it.
Your team must be capable of designing your solution and be ready to launch by the end of the 13-week programme. We are looking for impressive teams with an ability to execute.
Number of Awardees: 10
Value of Programme: Selected startups will be given the opportunity to enter or expand their presence in the African marketplace via Barclays Africa Group’s customer, product, and technology teams. Leveraging the global footprint of Rise, the selected startups will also have the chance to scale globally through Rise sites in London, New York, Mumbai, Tel Aviv and Vilnius. The Accelerator offers companies an advantage over others by providing a proven curriculum, and lifelong access to the Techstars global network of mentors, investors and venture capitalists.
Duration of Programme: 3 months. The Cape Town 2017 accelerator program will commence at RISE Cape Town on May 9th 2017. The program culminates on Demo Day on August 2nd, 2017.
How to Apply: Fintech companies should click here to apply