Wells Fargo is granting investments opportunities for up to $1,000,000 to FinTech startups and promising minority stake in the invested company.
The Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator is a hands-on program designed to advance startups that create solutions for enterprise customers — inside and outside the financial industry. The annual boot camp is looking to work with firms that are interested in breaking into the Fortune 500 market or financial services vertical market, have an innovative product that is demonstrable, backed by an implementation, and possibly, have existing customer experience.
Eligibility:Entrepreneurs from around the globe who have innovative ideas can apply. Ideally, you should be a startup targeting large enterprises as your ultimate customers.
Number of Awardees:
6 investments in 5 companies.
Duration of Program:
Value of Program:
Up to $1,000,000 in investment along with support in the following areas.
Accelerator: The program has a vested interest in your company’s success. It is primarily to encourage innovation, so Wells Fargo will maintain only a minority equity stake in your company.
Resources: Our intensive program helps companies understand what it takes to become part of the corporate stack. After the program, companies may continue to work with us on proof of concepts across different business lines within Wells Fargo.
The review process includes technical and executive reviews. First stage review results are typically emailed 5-10 days after an application period ends.
After a company is selected, one or more advisors are assigned to collaborate on developing the partnering strategy with Wells Fargo and if applicable, assist in the execution of proof of concept projects.
Startups will be provided with networking opportunities and connect them with industry leading experts, mentors, executives, and venture capitalists.
US seed accelerator Y Combinator (YC) has opened applications for its winter 2019 funding cycle. Yesterday we published an article about how Kobo360 raised pre-seed funding from Y Combinator, you can read about it here.
This announcement was made on Monday last week and the deadline for interested start-ups is 2 October 2018. Y Combinator invests $120K in start-ups for 7% equity in return. On its website the accelerator notes that sometime between late October and early December, it will invite the best startups to meet with its representatives in Mountain View (Silicon Valley), California where it will then select the companies it will invest in. The founding teams of the selected startups will be expected to relocate their companies to San Francisco’s Bay Area. YC will assist founders in creating a US company into which the accelerator will invest in.
What you need to know
If you want to apply, please submit your application online by 8 pm PT on October 2. Startups that submit early have a small advantage because we have more time to read their applications. And you can submit after the deadline – though keep in mind that the later you apply, the harder it is to get in.
On October 23, by 10 PM, we’ll invite the startups that seem most promising to meet us in Mountain View either in late October, November, or early December. We’ll reimburse reasonable travel expenses.
We decide what startups to fund after each day of interviews.
If we invest in your startup, your company’s founding team is expected to move to the Bay Area for January–March 2019. You can, of course, relocate the company afterward if you want, but it’s a good place for a startup to be.
Y Combinator doesn’t supply office space. We have space your company can use if you need to, but we expect your startup to work out of wherever you find to live. It is no coincidence that so many successful startups have started this way; it’s the ideal setup for the initial phase.
During the 3 month cycle, we’ll have dinners every Tuesday for all the founders. At each dinner, we’ll invite an expert in some aspect of startups to speak.
We have regular office hours year round for startups who want to talk about what they’re building, or get advice on dealing with investors. We also have occasional events at YC.
During and after the 3 months we introduce startups individually to people who could help them. The founders of other YC-funded companies tend to be especially helpful. Today the YC alumni network is probably the most powerful network in the startup world.
About 11 weeks in, we organize an event called Demo Day at which the startups present to a carefully selected, invite-only audience.
YC doesn’t really end after 3 months; only the dinners do. We continue to give advice and make introductions as long as our startups need—-and so does the informal network of YC-funded companies.
Who we fund
How do we choose which startups to fund?
We’ll fund companies from anywhere in the world. We fund companies doing everything from building mobile apps to diagnosing cancer.
We’ll happily fund companies that just started and have nothing more than an idea. And we’ve funded companies that had over $20M in annual revenue and over 50 employees.
International founders, please note: if your company is already incorporated as a non-United States company, to participate in YC you will need to convert your foreign company into a United States corporation (usually with a foreign subsidiary). While lawyers will drive this process, it will require a significant effort on your part.
You must have at least 10% equity in the startup to be considered a founder by Y Combinator. Only founders can come to interviews if invited or attend batch events if accepted.
Also read this guide on what the accelerator looks for in successful submissions.
FCMB in partnership with Wennovation Hub is set to host the 2018 Agritech incubation program. The incubation program is set out to guide early-stage entrepreneurs to test and validate their ideas as well as gather their first set of customers or pivot if need be. This will be achieved through a combination of financial support, guidance and training.
Up to ₦2.25 million will be given to the top two selected startups.
Unrestricted access to the fully serviced workspace.
Intangibles (company registration, audit services, developer toolkit etc) worth $10k 4. Access to our local & international networks
6 months mentorship with one on one mentor-mentee pairing.
Access to market by leveraging Wennovation Hub’s existing community.
Competence of team
The viability of idea Innovation
Market and Scalability
Registered companies would be an advantage.
Female-led teams would also be given a considerable advantage.
How to Apply
Application deadline is 20th of June 2018. Visit the link to register.
Piggybank.ng closed $1.1M in seed funding and announced a new product — Smart Target, which offers a more secure and higher return option for Esusu or Ajo group savings clubs common across West Africa.
Founded in 2016, by Somto Ifezue, Odunayo Eweniyi and Joshua Chibueze, Piggybank.ng offers online savings plans — primarily to low and middle income Nigerians — for deposits of small amounts on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis. There are no upfront fees. Savers earn interest rates of between 6 to 10 percent, depending on the type and duration of investment.
Users need an account with one of PiggyBank.ng’s bank partners to use the products. The startup generates returns for small-scale savers (primarily) through investment in Nigerian government securities, such as bonds and treasury bills. PiggyBank.ng itself generates revenue through asset management and from the float its balances generate at partner banks.
The startup looks to grow clients across younger Nigerians and the country’s informal saving groups.
“The market that we are trying to serve is largely the millennial market, though we do not exclude anyone,” said Eweniyi, the company’s chief operating officer. The venture also looks to meet a demand in Nigeria for accessible investment options, citing a survey they conducted indicating that as a top priority for people with discretionary income.
“Piggybank offers savings, but our vision is not just savings, but to become a holistic platform — a financial warehouse — where other financial providers can plug in their services for PiggyBank users,” said Eweniyi. She cited banks, investment houses, insurance, and pension funds as possible partners.
The company currently has 53,000 registered users — 60 percent of whom are Nigerian Millennials — who have saved in excess of $5M since 2016, according to a release.
Joshua Chibueze, Co-Founder and CMO of Piggybank says, “Today’s announcement allows us to expand and capitalise on the many opportunities that the market presents us with. Our growth so far has been stimulated almost entirely by peer-to-peer advocacy and our investment in the highest quality customer service, so we know the market is there, and the product has been built, modified, tested and ratified by users. With this fundraiser, we can invest significantly in our people and products, as we build a digital financial warehouse accessible to millions of Africans whose savings woes we want to put firmly behind them.”
In addition to securing its seed funding of $1.1 million, Piggybank.ng has recently acquired a micro-financing license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which provides the relevant regulatory cover, allowing them independence from partnering with banks.
Lidya, a financial services platform focused on improving access to credit for small businesses, has just announced raising $6.9m in Series A funding. This is coming only 14 months after it raised a $1.25m seed round in March, 2017.
Lidya was founded in 2016 by Africa Courier Express (ACE) duo, Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin, both of whom previously worked for Jumia before leaving in 2013/2014 to start ACE and, eventually, Lidya in 2016.
The fintech start up claims to have made over 1,500 business loans since then to help MSMEs in the farming, hospitality, logistics, retail, real estate, technology, and health sectors get the capital they need to grow their operations.
Lidya was recently accepted into the MasterCard Start Path Programme, a global effort to support innovative startups developing the next generation of commerce solutions.
Diamond Bank Plc on Tuesday and Wednesday played host to some of Nigeria’s techpreneurs and users for Techfest 2018.
TechFest, an event organised to bring “a community of like-minded participants to showcase Nigeria’s best talent ideas and businesses with a focus on technology” was held at the Landmark Event Centre in collaboration with MTN, VISA, NIBBS, Microsoft, Interswitch, Deloitte, and The Beat 99.9FM.
The event hosted conversation around various aspects of technology and the economy in Nigeria. Here are the various facets.
Women in Tech
‘The Tech Girl Rising: Women Shaking Up the Tech World’. The panel included Titi Odunfa, founder CEO, Sankore; Oluwakemi Okunsanya, VP, VISA West Africa; Linda Quaynor, Partner & West Africa Strategy & Operations Leader, Deloitte & Touche; Lynda Saint Nwafor, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN; Banke Alawaye, Program Manager, CodeLagos; and Ola Williams, Director, Solution Sales Microsoft Nigeria. The panelists shared ideas and posits based on their own experiences, they also discussed the challenges women in tech deal with, and the opportunities available in the ecosystem.
Big Data for Small Businesses
During the session tagged ‘Big Data for Small Businesses’, Diamond Bank CEO, Uzoma Dozie and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Co-Founder & MD, Flutterwave; and Wale Olokodana, Director Business Development, Microsoft, moderated by Chuka Mordi, CEO, CBO Capital,covered a range of topics from big data applications for small businesses to the role banks have to play in the march for financial innovation and inclusion through options easily accessible to small businesses.
Attracting and working with Angel Investors This was a panel session aimed at discussing the intricacies of angel investment in the Nigerian tech ecosystem. This session included Neku Atawodi-Ekun, Country Director MEST Africa; Akintunde Oyebode Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund; and Collins Onuegbu, founder, Signal Alliance; it was moderated by Onyi Sunday, producer/presenter – CNBC Africa.
The panel consisted of Yewande Kazeem, founder/MD, Wandieville Media; Lois Sankey, Head, AgricFinance Diamond Bank; Onyeka Akumah, Founder CEO, Farmcrowdy; Kola Masha, MD, Babban Gona; and Dami Runsewe, Senior Manager, Segment Enterprise Unit, MTN. The panelists discussed the agriculture supply chain, technology applications and the importance of educating farmers (who aren’t typically literate) on the benefits and long term implications of leveraging technology in their operations.
“Communication, Content and Sharing in a Digital World” was the last panel session of TechFest and it featured Uzoma Dozie, CEO, Diamond Bank; Akin Alabi, founder, NairaBet; singer/entrepreneur, Dapo Oyebanjo (D’Banj); Celebrity photographer, Kelechi Amadi-Obi; Jason Njoku, CEO, IrokoTV; and Chris Ubosi, MD, The Beat 99.9 FM. Panelists shared ideas on world of digital media and opportunities available to creators, investors and other players in a unique market like Nigeria.
One of the highlight of the day was the startup competition which involved pitches by startups from pre-selected hubs around Nigeria with a N5 million prize at the end of the tunnel. Over the two days of TechFest, startups pitched their ideas and fought the good fight but at the end of it all, Beat Drone, a startup that provides tech solutions using drones and data, was named winner to take home the N5 million prize.
Techfest partners, who expressed excitement about the success of the event, said it would go a long way in increasing homegrown innovations from the players in the country.
Picture touching app Touchabl raises US $20,000 funding from Hubly
Port Harcourt based startup Touchabl, an AI based picture touching and identification app, has secured seed funding of US$ 20,000 for product development and aggressive marketing. Touchabl, which describes itself as the “Shazam for pictures”, allows a user that sees something they like – such as a dress, shoe or wristwatch – in any picture, whether on their timeline in the app or in their phone photo gallery, to simply touch it and receive more information about it. In an exclusive chat with Techative, Gabriel Eze, Touchabl CEO revealed that the funds will be used for product development and product marketing. “Since launching in public beta, we have collected some interesting feedback and have significantly modified our technology and value proposition. We will build upon our technology using this feedback” he said. The funding comes from Hubly (formerly Genesys Tech Hub), through their Genesys Start zone program, an “incubator for promising startups that provides them with the necessary support to grow and thrive in a competitive world”. Hubly will also provide the Touchabl team with training, mentorship and critical personal feedback to position them into becoming a hugely successful business. This will last for a 6- month period and is actually a condition for funding. Touchabl which launched officially in October 2017 and reached a milestone of 1k users in February, had previously received equity-free funding from Ibom LLC at StartupSouth 3 and from Office of ICT Innovation & Entrepreneurship (OIIE) – a subsidiary of NITDA – at the Startup Friday in Uyo.
PUBLISEER SELECTED FOR DISRUPT AFRICA LIVE PITCH COMPETITION
Leading Nigerian digital publishing company, Publiseer, have been selected to take part in the inaugural Disrupt Africa Live Pitch Competition, which takes place in Nairobi next week.
The Live Pitch Competition, the first of its kind to be launched by Disrupt Africa, will be co-located with AHUB East, taking place at the East Africa Com event on Wednesday, May 16 at the Radisson Blu in Nairobi’s Upper Hill.
According to Disrupt Africa, the event “will see up to 10 tech startups selected to pitch their innovative solutions live on stage in front of an esteemed jury and audience of potential investors and corporate partners.
As part of the 10 tech startups selected, Publiseer will have three minutes to pitch on to a judging panel formed of Stephen Gugu, manager of the Viktoria Business Angels Network (VBAN); Aaron Fu, managing director of MEST; Hannah Clifford, director of Nairobi Garage; and Gabriella Mulligan, co-founder of Disrupt Africa.
“The winning startup will earn an all-expense-paid trip to Cape Town to pitch their startup at AfricaCom, Africa’s premier tech conference, in November 2018.” Other prizes to be won at the competition include a marketing package worth US$500 from Disrupt Africa, Africa’s foremost startup news outlet, and a six months free membership of the Nairobi Garage Club SPace on Ngong Road.
According to Tom Jackson, a co-founder of Disrupt Africa, ” For more than three years now, Disrupt Africa has been the vital link between innovative African tech startups and investors, partners and other opportunities to grow their businesses. It only seems right that we expand our mission into the physical arena, and we are delighted to hold our first live pitching competition at AHUB East in Nairobi in May.” “We’re very excited to offer a new platform for Africa’s startup community to show off its innovative flair. We look forward to selecting the cream of East Africa’s startup crop to join us for our inaugural Live Pitch Competition – we’re sure it will be an inspiring show, and we hope it unlocks great new opportunities for all involved,” said Gabriella Mulligan. The competition received several applications from African startups that are less than five years old and the team reviewed and selected the top ten startups with original solutions able to disrupt the social or economic status quo, have a proven traction and looking for funding in order to take their business to the next level. This news comes three months after Publiseer was accepted to the Ayada Lab Incubation program local workshop in Abuja, organized by the Goethe Institut and Institut Francais, in partnership with Ventures Platform Foundation.
Opportunities for funding: Receive up to $150,000 USD in funds from Katapult Accelerator , participate in the Busicon competition and win N1M in app challenge among others
Apply for VC4A’s AgriHack competition and you could win up to $15K.
The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), with the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and in collaboration with the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRA), Women in Tech Africa, Wennovation Hub (Nigeria) and Suguba Africa, is launching Pitch AgriHack 2018. The theme for this year’s edition is Women entrepreneurs innovate for agricultural transformation in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. 50% of finalists will be women and special women prizes will be awarded. The ultimate objectives are to help develop business services offered by young e-agriculture startups as well as to contribute to accelerating the adoption of innovations for stronger productivity in the agrifood sector. The competition is open to both male and female founders and co-founders of e-agri start-ups offering ICT services to the agricultural sector. Applicants must be aged between 18 to 35 years old. The final will be held in Rwanda in the framework of the 2018 edition of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF 2018) in September 2018. Winning start-ups will receive from CTA, AfDB and other partners, up to Euros 15,000 in cash (grant) to advance their services, apart from additional support that may be facilitated by stakeholders involved. apply here
Female-focused community: Win up to N2M in She Leads Africa (SLA) 3-month accelerator program.
Female-focused community She Leads Africa (SLA) is a social enterprise dedicated to supporting young African women and their journey towards professional success. The organisation has been featured on CNN, CNBC Africa, Black Enterprise and Fox Business and has more than 400,000 community members across Africa and the diaspora.
(SLA) is currently taking applications from Nigerian female tech founders who want to participate in its 3-month accelerator program. You could get up to N2 million in funding, amongst other goodies.
The competition process involves applying and then participation in a series of training by the SLA team and finally presenting your Business plan to room of stakeholders.
The first, second and third price will receive 2M,1M and 500,000 NGN respectively. Apply here, deadline is May 30th.
Norway-based Katapult Accelerator is taking applications into its 3-month program and will invest up to $150K in selected startups.
Katapult is an accelerator that is focused on making a positive impact in the world and building great business opportunities They support companies that do good but also generate significant financial value.
Applications are due by May 21st, 2018, and the program will start in August 2018, in Oslo, Norway. You’ll receive up to $150,000 USD investment into your company as part of the program in exchange for 8% equity. There is a $50K program fee that will be deducted from your investment. So you receive $100K net. The program runs for 3 months with selected companies having the opportunity to do a 1 month follow-up program in NY.
Their focus is primarily Environmental domains, Clean energy, Resource efficiency, Smart cities, Circular Economy, Ocean and Land use, Food and water, Education among others. Apply here.
Slush Global Impact Accelerator (GIA) Program
Slush Global Impact Accelerator (GIA) is a program created in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and other multiple partners globally. The purpose is to support impact-driven startups and showcase exciting business opportunities in emerging markets, which are also vital for implementing the Agenda 2030 and solving complex challenges. In addition, the program focuses on strengthening the networks between the impact actors, engaging the Nordic community with the global impact entrepreneurs, and enhancing the mobilization of capital towards businesses. GIA 2018 brings impact-driven entrepreneurs from emerging markets to Helsinki to accelerate their business, attract additional financing, and build long-lasting networks. For all selected entrepreneurs, we offer one-on-one, pre-event coaching online and Helsinki BootCamp program from November 27–December 7, 2018
Criteria for Selection: • Have the vision to solve pressing challenges globally • Have a business idea that has gained some traction, but is still in an early phase • Have a solution that supports the sustainable development goals (SDGs) • Have potential to scale • Have skills and drive to succeed • Have at least one working prototype
The Busicon App Challenge is an initiative of Busicon Group, a foremost IT firm in Nigeria. The Busicon App Challenge is a solution driven contest that will allow tech enthusiast come up with fantastic ideas which will be in form of an web/mobile application that will provide solutions to prevalent challenges in the business terrain.
The contest will last for six weeks. The first two weeks will be for entry submission, while contestants will spend the remaining four weeks to develop their ideas. As the project progresses, contestants will be called in to defend their ideas and walk us through the work-ability of such indigenous proposal. A winner will be announced at the end of this rigorous task in June and he or she will walk away with One Million Naira. But beyond the prize money, participants will enjoy exposure to both local and international companies that are ready to either partner or fund tech Startups in Nigeria.
1.The winning entry must provide a solution to an existing challenge. 2.The solution must be implementable and achievable with a minimal budget. 3.The contest is open to both male and female App developers between the ages of 18-35 years old.
Contestants are to write about their idea on their site, which will be sieved and the ones considered interesting and problem solving will be noted and the contestants that sent them in will be engaged to take part in the competition. Apply
The €500,000 Dutch Postcode Lottery’s Green Challenge.
The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is one of the world’s largest competitions in the field of sustainable entrepreneurship. Green start-ups from all over the world can submit their promising sustainable business plans.
The winner will receive €500,000 to further develop the product or service, and to bring it to market. The runner-up will receive €200,000 and the three other finalists receive €100,000 each. An international jury selects the winner and runner-up. How does the competition work? People from all over the world could (free of charge) submit their sustainable business plans until 1 June 2018. Mid-July, the organization will announce the 25 nominees who will have a chance of becoming a finalist.
Five finalists will then be selected Mid-August for the final round of the competition, where they will present their business plan in front of a selected audience and an international panel of experts during the grand final in Amsterdam on 13 September. After the decision round the judges will announce the winner of the €500,000 as well as the runner‐up and the three other finalists who will receive €100,000 each. As this is an international competition, all entries must be submitted in English. The competition requires strict adherence to guidelines as they receive applications from over 80 countries.
If you have been selected as one of the finalists, you will be invited to come to Amsterdam to present your plan to the international panel of experts. Keep in mind that your presentation should be held in English as well. apply here