The Africa FinTech Foundry (AFF), an initiative of Access Bank Plc has commenced its

accelerator programs

The initiative is set to empower emerging startups, with mentorship programs, advisory and

has committed N10 million in cash to the top three finalists.

The accelerator program which opened its entries last month, received 306 registrations

and after rigorous assessments was later shortlisted to 30 participants.

Theses finalists were further screened by the Head of the Africa Fintech Foundry, Mr.

Daniel Awe; Group Head, Emerging Businesses, Access Bank, Mrs. Ayodele Olojede; and

Vice President, Investments MBO Capital and Fintech Consultant, Mr. Oshone Ikazobor, in

a bid to narrow it down to 10 -15 finalist.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Awe said the AFF was committed to empowering

startups with resources and to ensure start-ups are equipped to scale their businesses.

He said: “If a start-up has an idea and you throw it into a market of 42 million customers,

the acceleration is going to be faster. So, it is using the entire ecosystem of our group to

build the future of the country.”

“In the next 10 years, these guys coming here we see them becoming a unicorn worth over

$100 million and a season is coming where would see these startups becoming the next

drivers of our economy.”

On funding available for the start-ups, he added: “Funding is based on ideas and what

would be required to move the idea forward. We have a commitment of about N10 million.

After they come into the accelerator program, there are a top three but the other ones are

going to be exposed to investors.

“This initiative would have a direct impact into the economy because it is targeted at the

medium scale businesses and these are the businesses that can change economies in

terms of reducing employment rate and socioeconomic levels.”

Also speaking at the event, the Head, Retail Product Insight and Capabilities, Access Bank

Plc, Mr. Rob Giles said: “We are looking for companies with ideas that can solve real world

problems and were we are different from venture capital firms is we offer an environment

where startups can be supported, nurtured, advised and get access to people who are

further ahead on their journey like mentors.

“We have seen three companies that can go all the way and our job is to make sure they

stay the course and structure their foundations from the very beginning that would allow

them to scale.”