I noted few hours ago that Honeywell Group had unveiled an innovation ecosystem to seed startups in Lagos. Interestingly, the company is joining corporations like Ecobank and Diamond Bank which continue to put money in African startups. This is the new redesign where companies need to invest in local SMEs to build the economy of the future. In China, Alibaba and Tencent are investing in local companies, deepening their capabilities. In U.S., companies like Apple, Google and Intel have corporate investing funds. Africa needs such models. Today, Ecobank announced new 11 companies it is supporting with capital.
Ecobank, the leading independent pan-African banking group, has 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 (11) fintech start-ups from across the continent and beyond.
An Innovation Fair & Awards ceremony will honour the start-ups on August 30, 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 US$10,000, US$7,000, and US$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 that includes:
- 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;
- Service provider & ecosystem partner deals: for start-ups with deep capabilities to become product partners within Ecobank’s ecosystem;
- Technical & 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 are:
Lypa (Kenya), Wallet.ng (Nigeria), Nala (Tanzania), Litee (Benin), SESO Global (South Africa), InvestED (Sierra Leone), Eversend (France), Secapay (Nigeria), Virtual Identity (South Africa), MojiPay (Togo), Awamo (Germany
Ecobank’s Fintech Challenge is a vehicle to seed African startups largely in the financial sector.