With the setting up of the Africa FinTech Foundry (AFF), App developers and entrepreneurs in the financial technology (FinTech) ecosystem will find a platform to exhale and set their financial applications for global competitiveness.
The Africa FinTech Foundry, which is a concept by Access Bank Plc, is a full-fledge, independent foundry supported by Microsoft, IBM, SAS and other technology firms. The AFF will provide African FinTech start-ups seeking to launch their products, with the capacity building and training in business development. It will also provide connectivity to global innovative grid, facilitate access to capital, create opportunities for partnerships and showcase best practices successes in African-led innovation solutions.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, Head, Africa FinTech Foundry, Victor Okigbo noted that AFF will be building, nurturing and sponsoring FinTech entrepreneurs.
Also speaking, Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuokwu pointed out that any financial institution that want to grow must become innovative, especially in the face global trends that are shaping the financial market.
Etuokwu observed that the quest to use FinTechs to change the world will either be done through the use of product development, market development or hybrid development. He noted that Access Bank has chosen hybrid, hence the setting up of the Foundry.
Speaking on the vision of the AFF, he said: “In years to come, the place will influence, health, defense, agriculture, and other areas. We want to impact the world.”
The Access Bank E.D further explained that innovations help financial institutions grow their market shares and have a good acceleration in growth; and helps them follow global trend in developing accelerator programmes.
While noting that AFF will gather team of investors to secure funding, Etuokwu assured that the AFF is open and available to every FinTech that wants to develop for the world. “Innovating is the only insurance against irrelevance. We (AFF) are open to any financial institution that wants to come in and be part of it.”
AFF seeks to create new opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa by providing a platform designed to inspire and challenge African innovators and entrepreneurs. “We want to engage with start-ups at the locations we visit,” disclosed Business Solutions Architect, Africa FinTech Foundry, Adeleke Adekoya.
Adekoya, who is also the event coordinator for the AFF Disrupt Conference coming up in December 14, further noted that the forum will create a very good opportunity for start-ups to take advantage of the partner networks created by AFF Disrupt and its partners establish networks that can help grow their businesses.
The vetting and selection process for 12 start-ups out of the registered 400 start-ups is ongoing. The selected 12 start-ups will have the opportunity of exhibiting at the AFF Disrupt 2017 conference holding in Lagos and also be part of the AFF’s 3- month accelerator programme. The registration portal is open for applying start-ups until December 1, 2017.
The Foundry will be launched officially as part of the 1st edition of the annual AFF Disrupt Conference, a forum which will be subsequently rotated among other African countries in subsequent editions.
Partners to the Foundry include Microsoft, Systemic Logic, Kantar, IBM, SAS, TNS and Access Bank Plc.
Speakers at the event will include Former Minister of Communications Technology, now Lead General Partner, Ticom Capital, Omobola Johnson; Chairman, Zinox Technologies, Leo Stan Ekeh; Managing Partner, Grand Central, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu; Account Executive, Rest Of Africa, SAS, Antoinette Edodo and CEO, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Adebisi Shonubi, among others.