Top FinTech accelerators for African startups in 2023

FinTech accelerators for African startups

Are you on the lookout for investment and mentorship to boost your startup? Africa’s dynamic startup ecosystem is experiencing rapid growth, boasting a plethora of incubators and accelerators to choose from. These accelerators not only provide funding but also offer invaluable support in product development, sales, and marketing for aspiring founders.

Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey is no easy feat. It involves various challenges, ranging from securing capital and managing finances to staying attuned to market trends, networking, and establishing a brand identity. These hurdles demand careful consideration and unwavering commitment. For a similar post, read our comprehensive article on the Top Fintech companies in Nigeria.

Now, just imagine having all the essential elements for your startup’s success available in a single place! That’s precisely what startup accelerators deliver—expedited growth for your venture. Through a mentor-based program, they provide intensive guidance, unwavering support, and a structured environment over a predetermined period, usually around three months.

Numerous accelerator programs welcome African FinTech startups with open arms. However, not all of them offer the same level of post-accelerator support or opportunities to connect with prominent investors. This discrepancy can make a significant impact on a startup’s trajectory, considering the exposure and credibility gained from associating with renowned accelerators.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of FinTech accelerators specifically for African startups in 2023. If you haven’t started the application process yet, this piece by A3Techworld will serve as an excellent resource to learn more about these accelerators and the potential they hold for your startup’s future.

Google Black Founders Fund

In the year 2020, a remarkable initiative was born—the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. This transformative program extends its support to Black-led startups not only in Africa, Brazil, and Europe but also in the United States. Its mission: to empower these startups to secure funding, foster thriving communities, and create a lasting, generational impact.

While the fund isn’t exclusively focused on FinTech founders, it welcomes eligible startups that boast a technology-based product or service in either the early stage or growth phase. Crucially, these startups must demonstrate the potential to scale and make a significant mark in their respective industries.

To be eligible for this extraordinary opportunity, startups must have an active Black founder who plays a pivotal leadership role within the company. Moreover, they should be based in one of the eligible countries specified by the program.

For those fortunate enough to be selected, the benefits are truly astounding. Successful applicants gain access to up to $100,000 in equity-free cash, allowing them to fortify their ventures without any strings attached. Furthermore, they receive invaluable support from Google, granting them access to the tech giant’s wealth of knowledge, cutting-edge products, and best practices.

Visa Africa FinTech Accelerator

Exciting news from Visa! The renowned financial services company has unveiled its latest initiative, the FinTech Accelerator program, set to empower Africa’s thriving startup community with a wealth of resources and opportunities.

Through expertise, valuable connections, cutting-edge technology, and significant investment funding, Visa aims to provide up to 40 startups each year with the tools they need to accelerate and flourish. The program spans three months and offers an intensive learning experience that focuses on business growth and top-notch mentoring.

This launch comes on the heels of Visa’s notable commitment to Africa’s digital transformation, with a remarkable $1 billion investment pledge. With a long-term vision of advancing Africa’s economies and fostering inclusive growth, Visa’s dedication to the region is commendable.

The Africa Fintech Accelerator program is a testament to Visa’s unwavering support for the continent’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Startups seeking to elevate their businesses should keep their eyes peeled, as the program will start accepting applications in July 2023. It’s a golden opportunity to harness Visa’s expertise, connections, and funding to propel your startup to the forefront of Africa’s dynamic business landscape. Don’t miss out on this chance to be a part of Visa’s game-changing FinTech Accelerator program!

AWS FinTech Africa Accelerator

Introducing the Amazon Web Services (AWS) FinTech Africa Accelerator, an innovative and equity-free program designed to empower pre-seed and seed-stage FinTech startups in Africa and beyond. This 10-week virtual accelerator harnesses the power of Amazon’s cutting-edge infrastructure and partner network to propel startups to new heights.

The accelerator opens its doors to startups in diverse categories, including Open & Embedded Finance, Big Data & AIML, Blockchain & Decentralised Finance, FinTech-as-a-Service, Financial Inclusion & Sustainability, and many others. No matter where your FinTech project falls, this program is primed to support you.

What makes AWS FinTech Africa Accelerator truly exceptional is its comprehensive approach to nurturing founders. CEOs and CTOs receive invaluable training in strategic planning, tech team management, and product development. Additionally, founders gain essential insights to navigate the intricate world of fundraising successfully. The program equips startups with the tools they need to thrive in the ever-evolving FinTech landscape.

And here’s the best part – Amazon believes in the potential of these startups without demanding any equity or debt in return. The focus is solely on empowering these promising ventures.

For selected startups, the benefits extend further. They become part of AWS’ Activate program, offering Activate Credits of up to $25,000 and access to other essential services. Workshops and one-on-one sessions with industry experts further enhance the experience, addressing specific challenges and fostering growth.

Startup Wise Guys SaaS Accelerator Program

Meet Startup Wise Guys, a trailblazing startup accelerator program that has been empowering B2B SaaS businesses for the past decade. With a global presence spanning multiple locations, from Eastern Europe to Africa, they’ve been making a lasting impact on the startup landscape.

For African startups, their program offers an exciting opportunity to grow and flourish over a period of 5 months. If you’re a B2B SaaS startup hailing from Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, or Ghana, you’re welcome to join their transformative journey.

What sets Startup Wise Guys apart is their comprehensive approach to nurturing startups. Their program includes a range of offerings that equip founders for success. Imagine having access to top-notch training classes and invaluable mentorship from a vast pool of over 250 mentors, as well as insights from an impressive network of over 500 alumni. Such guidance is priceless on the path to prosperity.

But wait, there’s more! For startups admitted into the program, a funding boost of up to €65k awaits. In exchange for 12% equity, these startups gain the financial backing to fuel their ambitions and drive their visions forward.

African FinTech Foundry

Africa FinTech Foundry (AFF) stands as a remarkable initiative by Access Bank, aiming to foster, finance, and expedite the growth of FinTech startups across Africa through its commendable mentorship and accelerator programs.

This impactful program operates on an annual basis, conducting two cohorts each year. The first cohort spans from January to April, while the second cohort runs from August to November. Within each cohort, the accelerator program warmly embraces six promising technology startups and facilitates their connection with potential investors.

The benefits bestowed upon successful applicants are nothing short of impressive. These fortunate startups gain access to a vast market encompassing Access Bank’s extensive customer base and subsidiaries. As they embark on their growth journey, they receive a precious 12-week mentorship to guide them towards success. Moreover, each startup is granted services worth $25,000, offering crucial support for their development. Additionally, they enjoy the added advantage of discounted cloud services, hardware, and software subscriptions, courtesy of Access Bank’s tech partners.

ARM Labs Techstars Lagos Program

The ARM Labs Techstars Lagos program is a unique and remarkable accelerator initiative by Techstars, renowned as the most active pre-seed investor globally, providing invaluable access to capital, opportunities, and essential connections to early-stage entrepreneurs. This accelerator program collaborates with ARM Labs, an innovation program based in Lagos, Nigeria.

Dedicated to supporting startups across Africa, the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator focuses on fostering innovative companies in key sectors such as FinTech, Mobility, E-commerce, and TalentTech. Held in person over a three-month period in Lagos, Nigeria, the program offers an enriching experience for participating startups.

Throughout the program, startups benefit from extensive hands-on training, refining their value proposition, and gaining exposure to an impressive array of over 100 Techstars mentors. Tailored workshops and personalized one-on-one support from prominent ecosystem operators and successful founders further enhance the startups’ growth potential.

A key highlight of the program is preparing startups for successful fundraising endeavours and cultivating strong investor relationships. Remarkably, successful startups that secure a spot in the program can receive equity funding of up to $120,000. At the culmination of the program, these startups have the exciting opportunity to pitch their ventures to investors at an impactful demo day.

MEST Africa Training Program

Say hello to MEST Africa, a thriving pan-African startup hub and incubation program that’s been transforming the technology startup landscape since its inception in 2008.

What started as a training centre for budding entrepreneurs in Ghana has now evolved into a dynamic powerhouse with offices in four key African cities: Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, and Cape Town. MEST’s reach spans far and wide, having incubated over 80 startups to date, hailing from a remarkable 30 different countries.

At MEST, they believe in empowering entrepreneurs with the right tools and knowledge. To achieve this, they offer comprehensive training programs covering various aspects, from engineering to marketing, equipping aspiring founders with a diverse skill set to tackle the challenges of the modern business world.

But that’s not all—MEST goes above and beyond with not one, but three distinct programs to cater to different startup needs:

  1. MEST Seed: An intensive 18 to 24 months incubation program that gives startups the nurturing they need to thrive. During this period, startups receive funding ranging from $50k to $250k, providing them with the financial boost necessary to make their dreams a reality.
  2. MEST Express: A swift 20-week incubation program designed to refine startups’ business models and pitch decks. This invaluable support helps them put their best foot forward, culminating in a grand Demo Day, where they have the opportunity to secure crucial funding.
  3. MEST Scale: An accelerator program with backing from the Mastercard Foundation, tailored for SMEs that have already achieved product-market fit and a commendable track record of generating revenues for over three years.

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