5 startups named winners of Nedbank fintech challenge

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Five startups will share ZAR80,000 (US$6,000) and enter an incubation programme after being named the winners of the Nedbank Fintech and Big Data Innovation Challenge.

Disrupt Africa reported in August the LaunchLab incubator at Stellenbosch University had partnered South Africa’s Nedbank to host an innovation challenge in fintech and big data.

The competition has now concluded, with five winners named. They are digital marketing solution MoWallet, airtime purchase platform Airbuy, P2P lending platform Inku, stokvel management platform StokVella, and online payments system Fingertips.

The five startups each won seed funding and incubation support from the LaunchLab, which they will use for the next six months to launch and grow their business ideas. Nedbank will be carefully monitoring the development of these business ideas during this time to gauge their potential and see if they can add value to Nedbank’s service offering.

“This Fintech and Big Data Challenge gave entrepreneurs the opportunity to not only win incubation support for their fintech solutions but to also gain access to the exciting market that Nedbank can provide. The LaunchLab facilitates the relationship between the startups and our corporate partners to ensure a win-win scenario for both parties,” said Philip Marais, chief executive officer (CEO) of the LaunchLab.

Ideas were either pitched at participating campuses or submitted online, and then narrowed down to nine finalists. The finalists pitched their ideas during the final event held at the LaunchLab on October 20 to a judging panel consisting of members of the the innovation and business development teams from Nedbank.

“We are encouraged by the depth of exciting ideas and entrepreneurs we engage with through the LaunchLab. Most importantly, the fast-growing traction of fintechs and usage of big data intelligence gives us a great sense of comfort that South Africa is firmly poised not just to participate in the global innovation arena – but to lead it,” said Chris Wood: executive head of emerging payments, strategy and regulatory at Nedbank.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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