CALL FOR APPLICATIONS | UNDP Timbuktoo Africa Initiative Seeks Startups to Join its Accelerator With $25,000 in Equity-Free Funding

Applications are open to technology-focused entrepreneurs and startup founders across Africa aged between 18 and 35, who can build, or are already building fintech startups that are citizens of an African country, based in Africa, have an MVP, and contributing towards SDGs.

The Timbuktoo Fintech Startup Accelerator has issued a call out to citizens of the African Union (AU) member states with startups to apply to join the programme with the application deadline on June 21 2024.


“Are you a technology-driven startup, passionate about leveraging innovations in the financial services sector to solve Africa’s most complex development challenges? Do you have a scalable solution with a defensible position and clear monetization strategy?”

– Timbuktoo


As reported by BitKE, the accelerator programme, which was launched in January 2024, is described as a Pan-African initiative of the Timbuktoo Fintech Hub in Lagos, Nigeria, supporting startups that:

  • Are deploying technology solutions in the financial services sector: These are startups that have a technology-enabled solution at their core, utilising digital tools and platforms to drive innovation and efficiency in the financial sector
  • Are contributing towards the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs): Startups whose solutions contribute towards one or more of the SDGs by promoting growth, industrialisation, trade, education, health, and inclusive governance among others
  • Are highly scalable: Startups that demonstrate high scalability either through digital distribution channels or the ability to scale their user base rapidly across markets in Africa
  • Hold a defensible position: Startups that have a defensible position, whether through Intellectual Property (IP) rights, network effects, domain expertise, or regional market dominancenensuring sustainable competitive advantage in the fintech landscape
  • Have a strong monetisation strategy: Startups with a clear and sustainable monetisation strategy showcasing a path to profitability and long-term financial viability



Who Can Apply to the Programme?

Applications are open to technology-focused entrepreneurs and startup founders across Africa aged between 18 and 35, who can build, or are already building fintech startups that meet the following criteria:

  • Startups with founders who are citizens of an African country
  • Startups must be locally owned and based in any African country
  • Startups leveraging technology in the financial services sector to capitalise on complex development opportunities and solve challenges
  • Startups with a minimum viable product
  • Startups with existing corporate governance systems, accountability, social, and environmental safeguards

Bootcamp, Incubation and Acceleration

Part of the program is an immersive 4-week build-a-thon including:

  • Pitching sessions with Africa’s leading investors
  • Masterclasses with fintech experts, and
  • Fireside chats with industry executives

will take place.

It will support product development, go-to-market strategies, and market testing of startups. The bootcamp will be conducted in a hybrid format, with continuous virtual support, whilst also including a 2-week physical residency in Lagos, Nigeria from July 7th – 21st 2024.

The most promising startups from bootcamp will receive long-term tailored support for 5 months from August 2024 to December 2024.  With this curated approach coaching, product refinement and scaling will be provided to startups.

Additionally, partnerships will be facilitated to spur product iterations, market access, and capital raising for the startups. Startups selected for incubation and acceleration will have the opportunity to receive equity-free funding of up to USD $25,000.


Interested parties are encouraged to apply here.




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