Ecobank, a Togo-based leading independent pan-African financial services group, is making plans to support and empower startups from across the continent.
The regional lender this week announced the finalists for the 2nd edition of the annual Ecobank Fintech Challenge, a competition for Africa-focused technology start-ups. The list includes eleven fintech start-ups from across the continent and beyond.
The Ecobank Fintech Challenge is designed in partnership with the advisory firm Konfidants and is supported by partners across Africa and the world.
An Innovation Fair and Awards ceremony will honour the start-ups on August 30th, 2018 at the global headquarters of Ecobank in Lomé, Togo.
At the ceremony, the start-ups will exhibit and pitch their products to a jury for the Ecobank Africa Fintech Prize, which will be awarded the top innovator and two runners-up. The top three innovators will win cash prizes worth $10,000, $7,000, and $5,000 respectively.
After the Awards ceremony, Ecobank will enroll all eleven finalists into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship.
The Fellowship will run for a period of six months during which Ecobank Fintech Fellows will benefit from an opportunity to further explore partnerships with the Ecobank Group.
Benefits of the program will include multinational product roll-out support for the start-ups deemed commercially viable to grow their businesses across any of Ecobank’s 33 markets in Africa.
Ecobank will provide service ecosystem partner deals for start-ups with deep capabilities to become product partners within Ecobank’s ecosystem.
The lender will also provide technical and mentoring support. During the six months fellowship period, fellows will benefit from technical support from Ecobank’s global network of technology leaders, fintech experts, investors and management coaches.
The eleven start-ups include Nala from Tanzania, Virtual Identity from South Africa, Litee from Benin, Lypa from Kenya, Wallet.ng and Secapay from Nigeria, SESO Global from South Africa, InvestED from Sierra Leone, Eversend from France, MojiPay from Togo, and Awamo from Germany.
“At Ecobank our digital strategy is spectacularly successful and has changed the landscape of African banking,” said the lender’s Group CEO, Ade Ayeyemi.
“So it goes without saying that we see fintech as a vital component for the economic transformation of the continent and the prosperity of its citizens. We want to do all we can to encourage the next generations of fintech entrepreneurs as they will be a driving force in propelling Africa into a globally-competitive power in commercial services, enjoying significantly increased market share,” Ayeyemi explained.
“Africa has a proud history of innovation, and today’s fintech start-ups are the potential giants of tomorrow,” commented Eddy Ogbogu, Ecobank Group Executive for Operations and Technology.
“We’re delighted by the quality of our Fintech Challenge finalists and have high hopes that they will capitalize on the mentoring and support opportunities of the Ecobank competition on their journeys to future success,” he concluded.