Ecobank Group Announces 2021 Fintech Challenge
The pan-African banking group, Ecobank group, is inviting African Fintech entrepreneurs to join the 4th edition of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge. The Fintech Challenge is in line with the Bank’s commitment to championing digitization by giving innovative African start-ups the opportunity to promote their fintech solutions. The start-ups can potentially partner with Ecobank to scale their solutions across Ecobank’s 33 African markets as well as its international operations in France.
Applications have opened for entries from all start-ups and developers in any of Africa’s 54 countries and global Africa-centered Fintechs. (https://Ecobankfintechchallenge.com)
All selected Finalists will be inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship following the Finals and Awards ceremony slated for November 2021. The selected top three winners will receive cash prizes worth $15,000, $12,000 and $10,000 respectively.
All Fellows will however qualify to explore the following opportunities with the bank:
Multinational product roll out: an opportunity to pursue integration with Ecobank and potentially launch products in parts of Ecobank’s Pan African 33-country ecosystem. Service provider partnerships: Ecobank may select start-ups as pan-African service partner within the bank’s ecosystem. Access to Ecobank’s Pan-African Banking Sandbox: Fellows will be given access to Ecobank’s APIs to test and improve their products for the pan-African market. Mentoring and networking support in the network of global and African partners of the Group. Priority Access to Ecobank’s VC partners for funding exploration.
Mr. Ade Ayeyemi, Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group, reiterated Ecobank’s dedication to support innovation across the continent, stating “The global impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the dire necessity to digitize and transform banking operations. As a banking group, we are convinced now more than ever that innovation and technology are the future of banking and therefore reaffirm our continuous commitment to identify and support Africa’s brightest developers to promote their solutions and help improve our services through the Ecobank Fintech Challenge”.
The Challenge resulted in Ecobank successfully launching the Ecobank Investor App, originally developed by Finance Mobile, a start-up from the 2017 Ecobank Fintech Fellows cohort. Following the successful rollout of the app in 9 Ecobank markets and currently launching in additional countries, Ecobank is working on finalizing other such partnerships with Fellows from the 2020 Fintech Challenge.
Dr. Tomisin Fashina, Operations and Technology Executive, Ecobank Group said, “We are firm believers that Africa’s talent pool is enormous and requires specialized and targeted mentorships to fully crystallize and ready Fintech startups for business engagements. Through the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship, we are creating a learning experience through mentorship sessions with in-house, high-level technical teams and with our global partners to help shape and reshape the strategy and focus of African Fintechs”.
The Ecobank Fintech Challenge was designed in partnership with the advisory firm Konfidants and is supported by several partners across Africa and globally including ACCION, Catalyst Fund, Nedbank VC and Cellulant. Applications will close on 20 September 2021.