AlphaCode, an incubation, acceleration and investment vehicle for early-stage FinTech businesses, has announced that applications are now open for their AlphaCode Incubate programme. The AlphaCode Incubate programme will be looking to find high potential, innovative financial services entrepreneurs to boost the development of FinTech and financial services in South Africa.
The successful 8 FinTech businesses to be selected from a group of 16 that will be invited to pitch will complete a customized 12-month programme and will benefit from an entrepreneurial package worth R2 million each.
2017 winners of the AlphaCode Incubate programme.
“We are raising the level and the rewards this year. We want to help take courageous entrepreneurs with seriously disruptive financial services business models to the next level. We are looking for businesses across the financial services spectrum including payments, insurance, savings and investments, advisory, data analytics and blockchain. We will consider early-stage ideas and businesses not older than two years which are 51% black-owned and managed,” said Dominique Collett, Head of AlphaCode.
Wanted: FinTech startups in South Africa
Over and above the 12-monthe programme and its stated benefits, the selected South African FinTech startups also get R1 million in grant funding, R1 million worth of support including mentorship, monthly expert-led sessions, exclusive office space in Sandton, marketing, legal and other business support services as well as access to Rand Merchant Investments' networks.
Previous participants of AlphaCode Incubate include Isazi Consulting, a machine learning business which used the funds to build a data visualization tool and made a 266% return on the investment. Another beneficiary, Livestock Wealth, has been able to attract a global audience. They joined the programme having sold ten cows and have now sold more than 1 400, and have also been able to attract additional funding.
“The AlphaCode Incubate support unlocked critical opportunities that the Heritage Capital Fund was working on at the time, specifically our ability to continue fundraising and introductions to a relevant network of industry participants. Therefore while the cash grant was instrumental, the access to relevant networks such as Royal Bafokeng Holdings was equally vital in reaching the fund’s first close,” said Kedibone Imathiu, founding partner of Heritage Capital, a previous AlphaCode Incubate participant.
The programme is being run in partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch South Africa and Royal Bafokeng Holdings. To date, AlphaCode Incubate has disbursed R13 million to 15 black-owned businesses over the last 3 years.
“AlphaCode identifies, partners and grows next-generation financial services entrepreneurs. We take in high potential businesses that we can nurture to prepare them for the next phase of growth. Our aim is to transform them into tomorrow’s market leaders, leveraging our scale and access to capital to help them realize their true potential,” concluded Collett.
Cover image credit: The 2017 AlphaCode Incubate pitch day event.