First bank diaspora

AFRICA‌ ‌FINTECH‌ ‌FOUNDRY‌ ‌TO‌ ‌BOOST‌ ‌INNOVATION‌ ‌AND‌ ‌‘TECHPRENEURS’‌ 
WITH‌ ‌2021‌ ‌‘ACCELERATOR’‌ ‌PROGRAMME‌ 

Access Bank Plc

Africa’s‌ ‌foremost‌ ‌innovation‌ ‌hub,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Africa‌ ‌Fintech‌ ‌Foundry‌ ‌(AFF),‌ ‌has‌ ‌opened‌ ‌up‌ 
its‌ ‌registration‌ ‌portal‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌2021‌ ‌Accelerator‌ ‌program.‌ ‌August24news.com has learnt.
The‌ ‌initiative,‌ ‌which‌ ‌is‌ ‌being‌ ‌executed‌ ‌in‌ ‌partnership‌ ‌with‌ ‌Access‌ ‌Bank‌ ‌Plc,‌ ‌seeks‌ ‌to‌ 
fast-track‌ ‌the‌ ‌growth‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌best‌ ‌start-ups‌ ‌operating‌ ‌within‌ ‌the‌ ‌African‌ ‌technology‌ 
ecosystem.‌
‌The‌ ‌‘Accelerator’‌ ‌programme‌ ‌will‌ ‌fast‌ ‌track‌ ‌and‌ ‌assist‌ ‌the‌ ‌selected‌ 
start-ups‌ ‌to‌ ‌navigate‌ ‌issues‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌start-up‌ ‌pricing‌ ‌and‌ ‌competitiveness,‌ ‌creating‌ 
endearing‌ ‌customer‌ ‌experiences,‌ ‌support‌ ‌and‌ ‌retention,‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌and‌ ‌people‌ 
management,‌ ‌scaling‌ ‌for‌ ‌growth‌ ‌and‌ ‌product‌ ‌development‌ ‌cycle‌ ‌fundamentals‌ 
amongst‌ ‌others.
 
Speaking‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌launch‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌initiative,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Head‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Africa‌ ‌Fintech‌ ‌Foundry,‌ 
Daniel‌ ‌Awe,‌ ‌said,‌ ‌“Research‌ ‌has‌ ‌shown‌ ‌that‌ ‌90%‌ ‌of‌ ‌start-ups‌ ‌fail‌ ‌due‌ ‌to‌ ‌various‌ 
reasons‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌lack‌ ‌of‌ ‌funding,‌ ‌‌being‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌wrong‌ ‌market,‌ ‌a‌ ‌lack‌ ‌of‌ ‌research,‌ 
mis-aligned‌ ‌partnerships,‌ ‌ineffective‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌and‌ ‌poor‌ ‌competitive‌ ‌positioning‌ ‌to‌ 
name‌ ‌a‌ ‌few.
90%‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌high‌ ‌percentage‌ ‌rate‌ ‌of‌ ‌failure.‌ ‌This‌ ‌indicates‌ ‌that‌ ‌many‌ 
things‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌go‌ ‌right‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌business‌ ‌to‌ ‌succeed.‌ ‌Enabling‌ ‌start-ups‌ ‌to‌ ‌grow,‌ ‌scale‌ 
and‌ ‌remain‌ ‌relevant‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌tech‌ ‌space‌ ‌is‌ ‌where‌ ‌we‌ ‌play‌ ‌a‌ ‌major‌ ‌role‌ ‌as‌ ‌AFF.”‌  
“Since‌ ‌its‌ ‌establishment,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Africa‌ ‌Fintech‌ ‌Foundry‌ ‌has‌ ‌progressively‌ ‌demonstrated‌ 
leadership‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌areas‌ ‌of‌ ‌innovation,‌ ‌financial‌ ‌technology‌ ‌and‌ ‌entrepreneurship.‌ ‌We‌ 
recognize‌ ‌the‌ ‌vast‌ ‌array‌ ‌of‌ ‌talent‌ ‌possessed‌ ‌by‌ ‌Africans‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌wider‌ ‌global‌ ‌players‌ 
and‌ ‌the‌ ‌immense‌ ‌potential‌ ‌that‌ ‌our‌ ‌technological‌ ‌start-ups‌ ‌have.
 
Hence,‌ ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌Accelerator‌ ‌programme‌,‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌providing‌ ‌cohorts‌ ‌with‌ 
mentorship‌ ‌and‌ ‌clinic‌ ‌hours‌ ‌from‌ ‌leading‌ ‌entrepreneurs,‌ ‌investors‌ ‌and‌ ‌industry‌ 
experts.‌ ‌They‌ ‌will‌ ‌also‌ ‌get‌ ‌access‌ ‌to‌ ‌funding,‌ ‌unrivalled‌ ‌business‌ ‌insights,‌ ‌access‌ ‌to‌ 
markets‌ ‌and‌ ‌networking‌ ‌opportunities‌ ‌with‌ ‌our‌ ‌partners‌ ‌at‌ ‌various‌ ‌stages‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ 
program,”‌ ‌he‌ ‌said.
 
The‌ ‌AFF‌ ‌Accelerator‌ ‌programme‌ ‌will‌ ‌span‌ ‌12‌ ‌weeks,‌ ‌with‌ ‌formal‌ ‌and‌ ‌informal‌ 
mentorship‌ ‌from‌ ‌established‌ ‌founders,‌ ‌investors‌ ‌and‌ ‌pioneers‌ ‌across‌ ‌various‌ 
industries.‌ 
Ade‌ ‌Bajomo,‌ ‌Access‌ ‌Bank’s‌ ‌Executive‌ ‌Director‌ ‌for‌ ‌Information‌ ‌Technology‌ ‌and‌ 
Operations,‌ ‌highlighted‌ ‌the‌ ‌need‌ ‌for‌ ‌increased‌ ‌corporate‌ ‌investment‌ ‌in‌ ‌tech-focused‌ 
capacity‌ ‌building‌ ‌initiatives.‌ ‌He‌ ‌said‌ ‌“Technology‌ ‌can‌ ‌serve‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌catalyst‌ ‌for‌ 
solving‌ ‌many‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌problems‌ ‌faced‌ ‌across‌ ‌various‌ ‌industries.‌ ‌We‌ ‌also‌ ‌believe‌ ‌that‌ ‌it‌ 
holds‌ ‌the‌ ‌potential‌ ‌to‌ ‌resolve‌ ‌social‌ ‌and‌ ‌economic‌ ‌challenges‌ ‌faced‌ ‌across‌ ‌the‌ 
African‌ ‌continent.‌ ‌Therefore,‌ ‌as‌ ‌Africa’s‌ ‌gateway‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌world,‌ ‌we‌ ‌have‌ ‌partnered‌ 
the‌ ‌continent’s‌ ‌leading‌ ‌accelerator,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Africa‌ ‌Fintech‌ ‌Foundry,‌ ‌to‌ ‌create‌ ‌a‌ ‌platform‌ 
that‌ ‌will‌ ‌nurture‌ ‌the‌ ‌brightest‌ ‌minds,‌ ‌providing‌ ‌them‌ ‌the‌ ‌needed‌ ‌resources‌ ‌to‌ ‌develop‌ 
and‌ ‌scale‌ ‌their‌ ‌projects,‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌benefit‌ ‌of‌ ‌all.‌ 
Start-ups‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌considered‌ ‌for‌ ‌admission‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌programme‌ ‌include‌ ‌those‌ ‌that:‌ 
have‌ ‌a‌ ‌tech-enabled‌ ‌solution;‌ ‌offer‌ ‌a‌ ‌unique‌ ‌solution‌ ‌or‌ ‌unique‌ ‌application‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ 
regional‌ ‌setting;‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌cross-functional‌ ‌team‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌deep‌ ‌understanding‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ 
market -‌ ‌which‌ ‌includes‌ ‌technical‌ ‌lead(s)‌ ‌and‌ ‌founder(s)‌ ‌that‌ ‌are‌ ‌fully‌ ‌committed‌ ‌to‌ 
the‌ ‌business;‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌defensible‌ ‌position‌ ‌(IP;‌ ‌network‌ ‌effects;‌ ‌domain‌ ‌or‌ ‌region‌ 
expertise);‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌in‌ ‌operations‌ ‌for‌ ‌at‌ ‌least‌ ‌6‌ ‌months,‌ ‌amongst‌ ‌others.‌ 
Interested‌ ‌participants‌ ‌can‌ ‌visit‌ ‌‌www.africafintechfoundry.com‌ ‌for‌ ‌more‌ ‌information.‌ 
Those‌ ‌who‌ ‌meet‌ ‌the‌ ‌required‌ ‌criteria‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌required‌ ‌to‌ ‌fill‌ ‌an‌ ‌online‌ ‌application.‌ 
Entry‌ ‌deadline‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌disclosed‌ ‌as‌ ‌Saturday,‌ ‌31‌ ‌January‌ ‌2020.‌ 
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Ajagbe Adeyemi Teslim is the founder and publisher of Nigerian number one online platform known as August24news.com Ajagbe was born on the 24th of August 1983 into the family of Mr and Mrs Ajagbe who hail from Kwara state of Nigeria, Ajase-Ipo precisely. Ajagbe is a journalist, a blogger, a social media warrior, farmer, a YouTube and an ornithologist respectively.

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