FINTECH INCUBATORS AND ACCELERATORS IN AFRICA
This is the most comprehensive list of accelerators and incubators targeting Africa-based fintech entrepreneurs you’ll need.
AB Accelerator is a fintech-focused corporate accelerator by Arab Bank. The accelerator is focused on developing solutions based on emerging technologies within the bank. It allows startups to test their solutions for a proof-of-concept, with the possibility of a pilot agreement with Arab Bank. It also allows for integrating with Arab Bank’s systems through its open banking developer portal.
The programme accepts application on a rolling basis, and accepted applications undergo investment thesis and business need validation. Further to this, a group of sponsors work with each applicant throughout developing the proof-of-concept, including scoping sessions deliverable, success criteria and timelines, across three to six months.
1864 Accelerator is a fintech-focused accelerator by Flat6Labs in Egypt. The accelerator is run in partnership with Barclays Bank Egypt. The programme provides mentorship, office-space, entrepreneurship-focused training, one on one subject matter sessions, and perks and services from partners. Flat6Labs also conducts themed ideation sessions, a fintech hackathon, a business-focused bootcamp and workshops
1864 Accelerator runs for three months, and focuses on developing a minimum viable product, customer acquisition and possible pivots. It concludes with a demo day where participating startups pitch to accredited venture capital investors, angels, entrepreneurs, mentors, and partners.
AUC Venture Lab Fintech Accelerator
The Fintech Accelerator by AUC Venture Lab is a 16-week program for fintech startups. It is Egypt’s first university-based incubator and accelerator at The American University in Cairo (AUC). The accelerator is powered by the Commercial International Bank in partnership with the International Finance Corporation. It seeks out fintech entrepreneurs with original scalable businesses looking to commercialise, and those that have a minimum viable product or working prototype.
The customised programme provides specialised business, finance and technology support for applicants. It also provides entrepreneurs with exposure to working with evolving government regulations, and insights from startup and fintech experts.
EFG EV Fintech is a fintech-focused startup accelerator by EFG Hermes and Egypt Ventures, in partnership with Falak Startups. The accelerator accepts up to 10 startups every years, with funding of up to EGP 1 million for 5-10% of equity.
Startups can access two separate investment tracks – through a venture capital arm or the accelerator. The VC arm is available for late-stage startups with up to EGP 5 million in funding. The accelerator is meant for seed and early-stage startups, and provides EGP 300,000+ in support functions per startup, along with up to EGP 1 million funding.
The accelerator provides training and mentorship, four months of shared office space, business and marketing strategy support, and legal, tax and accounting support, along with other benefits.
Startupbootcamp Fintech Cairo is an accelerator programme aimed at early-stage fintech startups based in Egypt and focused on financial inclusion. The six month programme provides hands-on mentorship from 100+ industry experts, office space and access to a global network of fintech investors and corporate partners. The programme enrols up to ten fintech startups per cohort.
Startupbootcamp Fintech Cairo has also partnered with Visa, the International Finance Corporation, and GIZ to provide its early stage applicants with expertise, exposure and access to fintech industry professionals.
Key focus areas of the programme include payments, investments, insurance, capital markets, SME lending, financial inclusion, identity authentication and blockchain.
GreenHouse Lab (GHL) is a flagship fintech accelerator run by African fintech investment fund GreenHouse Capital. The accelerator is aimed at early stage fintech startups with solutions across financial services, insurance and remittances. Startups can receive up to US$10,000 in funding from GreenHouse Capital.
The accelerator takes place cross six weeks, with experts presenting specialised seminars on strategy and growth, data analysis, machine learning and more. It also opens up access to the investor and corporate network at GreenHouse Capital, along with exclusive sessions and product credits by partners such as AWS, InsiderPR and Google for Startups.
Location: Cape Town, South Africa/Virtual |
Fintech is one of the verticals of focus under the ASIP Accelerator by Startupbootcamp AfriTech (SBC AfriTech). The programme is supported by anchor partner Telecel Group, and is suited for startups that have a mobile tech focus.
The remote three-month programme provides benefits worth over EUR 500,000, including credits from AWS, Google Cloud Services, and others. Along with this, startups receive EUR 15,000 in funding from SBC. Focus areas include alternative finance, regtech and KYC, cross-border payments, and financial inclusion.
The programme also gives participating startups the opportunity to pilot and test proofs of concept with corporate partners, with the potential for longer term commercial agreements.
Google for Startups Accelerator Africa
The Google for Startups Accelerator Africa is three-month accelerator for seed to Series A startups based in Africa. The programme looks for startups that use machine learning and AI in their solutions.
The programme currently accepts applications from Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte D’ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
The programme provides equity-free support, mentorship from Google teams, Google product credits, early access to new Google products and tools, and an advanced technical project partnership, amongst other benefits.
I’M IN runs two seed acceleration programmes – a main 10-month accelerator as well as a 3-month virtual pre-accelerator. The programme is aimed at black women-owned technology startups.
The main accelerator provides ZAR 1.5 million in pre-seed capital to accepted startups, along with business mentorship, technology and commercialisation support, and access to markets and follow-on investment. Successful applicants will have a minimum viable product, a team of at least two members, product market fit and exponential growth potential.
The pre-accelerator provides ZAR 100,000 along with technical, financial and business support for 10% equity.
The accelerator programme by Akro Africa is aimed at helping companies become investment-ready and funded within five months of starting the accelerator. The programme spans 20 weeks.
The accelerator is split into two phases, an 8-week Core Phase and an Extended Phase for 12 weeks.
Startups accepted into the program can access business-building support, post-programme mentorship, access to partner networks, resources, investors and co-working spaces, and ZAR 100,000 worth of digital infrastructure services.
The programme is only open to businesses founded by South African passport holders. Further, they must be at least 51% black-owned, and founded in a township, operating in a township or have founders that were born in a township.
Innovate Ventures is a startup accelerator and technology fund located in Somaliland and Somalia. It runs a 12-week accelerator programme aimed at helping startups build and test their business models.
The programme provides mentorship support across product development, technical architecture, customer development, sales, finance and operations. It also allows startups to interact with cohorts from previous Innovate programmes. The programme concludes with a demo day for funding pitches.
Location: Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa |
Grindstone XL is an acceleration programme by female-led post-seed fund Grindstone Ventures. The programme accepts a limited number of scale-up entrepreneurs, and takes place over nine months. The programme aims to help participating startups become fundable.
Following a “deconstructed due diligence approach,” the accelerator covers several business fundamentals. These include value proposition, delivery methods, pricing, customer acquisition and retention, IP, people and financial management, and governance. Applications for the programme open annually, and a maximum of twenty startups gain entry into the programme.
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa |
The AlphaCode Incubate programme is looking at early-stage startups in the financial services industry or other related industries. The programme provides support on funding, mentorship and advisory from experts, and a co-working space. Participating startups also have the chance to raise early-stage investment from AlphaCode.
The programme is split into two phases – a 12-week Jump-Start Programme and a 6-month Step-Up Programme. In the first phase, the incubator works with startups to establish problem-solution fit and business model viability.
It culminates with a demo day, after which the second phase starts. In the second phase, startups work on product-market fit, feasibility and financial viability.
MEST runs three incubation and acceleration programmes for early stage startups. Its seed programme provides 18 to 24-month incubation at MEST hubs along with access to an internal seed fund with ticket sizes of US$50,000 to US$250,000.
The MEST Express programme, meanwhile, provides 20 weeks of hands-on workshops and mentorship led by experts, along with a pitching session for access to equity-free grant funding.
Finally, the MEST Scale is a venture acceleration program is aimed at SMEs in Ghana. It aims to help these SMEs supports operations, address technology gaps, and scale.
MINT Incubator is an incubation programme run by Egyptian Gulf (EG) Bank in partnership with Cairo Angels. The programme takes place across three months, and is aimed at startups that have a minimum viable product. It especially looks out for startups that have a highly scalable business model and a team in place.
The MINT Incubator does not take equity from participating startups, and is open to founders from 16 to 35 years of age.
During the programme, startups gain access to dedicated mentors as well as workshops by EG Bank and its partners. Further, startups can also access free business tools and applications, a co-working space and networking opportunities.
The Pangea Scale Up Programme is aimed at startups in the post-acceleration phase, with a focus on helping them raise funds. The programme is meant for seed to Series A stage startups looking to secure follow-on funding.
The accelerator programme focuses on a number of key verticals including fintech. It seeks out impact-driven and tech-focused startups with a team and traction. Successful applicants can gain access to private funding opportunities of US$50,000 to US$3 million. The program also offers assistance with soft funding applications, support for B2B sales and partnerships, and mentorship and coaching.
The Pangea Scale Up Programme takes a commission of 5% from any investments that are closed, but there are no application costs.