Applications open for Dubai fintech accelerator

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The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has opened applications for its ‘FinTech Hive at DIFC’ accelerator programme, which aims to help early and growth-stage fintech startups accelerate product and business development by gaining exposure to top financial institution executives.

Disrupt Africa reported in January the DIFC had partnered professional services firm Accenture to launch a fintech accelerator that will support startups from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Applications are open until May 28 for the programme, with successful applicants to be offered the opportunity to develop, test and modify their innovations in collaboration with senior representatives from DIFC Authority, Accenture, and financial institutions such as Citi, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Visa, Emirates NBD, and Mashreq.

The programme will also provide access to mentorship from leading technology partners such as Facebook and Envestnet | Yodlee.

“FinTech Hive at DIFC will connect innovators in financial services technology with the banks, financial institutions and service providers within our dynamic ecosystem at DIFC,” said Arif Amiri, chief executive officer (CEO) at DIFC Authority.

Omar Boulos, regional managing director of Accenture in the Middle East and North Africa, said emerging technologies are playing a pivotal role in the transformation of financial services.

“As Dubai evolves towards its smart city vision, and the broader MEASA region looks to accelerate and connect through investment ventures, fintech becomes critical,” he said.

“FinTech Hive at DIFC opens up opportunities for those who understand the regional challenges well, and offers a chance to those international entrepreneurs who are able to apply lessons from around the world.”

Initial selection will be based on maturity, life stage, market traction and financing profiles. Applicants will need to have a well-defined prototype or service implemented in at least one market and will be looking at growing into the MEASA region.  

The programme will culminate with up to 10 participants presenting their solutions at a demo day to an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives.

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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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