Ecobank launches $500,000 start-ups competition


February 10, 2017 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

One of the leading banking groups in Africa, Ecobank, has launched a competition for African technology start-ups to build and deploy innovative fintech and banking solutions across the continent.

A release from the bank stated that they were receiving applications online at  from all 54 Africa countries.

 The competition, which is tagged “Ecobank Fintech Challenge” would be staged at the bank’s global headquarters in Lome, Togo with twenty finalists of the Fintech Challenge to be invited at an award ceremony in Lome.

According to the release, the top three start-ups at the fair will win cash prizes worth US$10,000, US$7,000, and US$5,000 respectively and that they would also be conferred Ecobank Innovation Fellows and will qualify to explore a once-in-a-lifetime partnership opportunity with Ecobank Group.

The bank is challenging Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs to find lasting solutions to the continent’s most pressing banking issues, and that those finalists would also be given a start-up funding worth US$500,000 and a multinational products roll-out for the most commercial viable start-ups to launch their products in 33 Ecobank’s market in Africa.

The release added that the finalists would also be given a mentoring and networking support and those founders would be conferred as Ecobank Innovation Fellows for a year which would grant them access to networking and mentoring from the bank’s global network of technology leaders, and fintech experts.

“This is one of the biggest support packages put together by any bank or investor to support Africa’s technology start-ups. Fintech is the future of banking; that is why we are opening our doors and vast market infrastructure to support Africa’s brightest innovators.” Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group Chief Executive Officer said.

Ecobank’s Group Executive for Operations and Technology, Eddy Ogbogu, said the core of Ecobank Fintech Challenge is a mission to drive Africa’s fintech revolution and that Ecobank is committing resources to the initiative to support the most serious product innovators and fintech companies to grow.

The continent’s biggest banking ecosystem has slated April 14, 2017 as the deadline for all application.

The bank noted in its release that Ecobank Fintech Challenge was designed in partnership with the advisory firm Konfidants and is supported by several partners across Africa and the world.