Flat6Labs And Barclays Launch 1864 Accelerator To Focus On Fintech In Egypt With a large section of Egypt's population being underserved in their access to financial services, the country is emerging as a hotbed for fintech ventures.

By Sindhu Hariharan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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1864 Accelerator
The 1864 team and guests at the launch of the Accelerator program

With a large section of Egypt's population being underserved in their access to financial services, the country is emerging as a hotbed for fintech ventures. Recognizing this momentum, Flat6Labs in partnership with Barclays Bank, Egypt has launched 1864 Accelerator, a fintech-focused startup accelerator to support fintech innovation in Egypt. In a statement, commenting on how 1864 can benefit aspiring entrepreneurs in Egypt, Ramez M. El-Serafy, CEO, Flat6Labs, said, "Those who excel during the selection process qualify for seed funding from Flat6Labs to establish a strong foundation for their projects, and [they] will be mentored by a team of experts to ensure the success and sustainability of their startup companies."

Ahmed El Alfi, Chairman & Founder, Sawari Ventures & Flat6Labs and other guests at 1864's launch event.Image credit:1864 Accelerator.
When considering applicants, 1864 Accelerator will primarily be looking at scalability and monetization strategy of the ideas, and also evaluate "the character and potential of each team." The accelerator proposes to choose eight to ten teams for its first cycle, which lasts for 14 weeks. "Each team will receive up to EGP150,000 in seed funding [from Flat6Labs], and a whole host of other services that include, but are not limited to $300,000 in perks and services from our partners, industry support by Barclays Bank Egypt, as well as legal support," says Omar Badr, Communications Manager, Flat6Labs. By providing six months of shared office space to the selected startups, the accelerator also plans to create a community of fintech innovators in Egypt through weekly pitch nights and business networking events. Badr says the accelerator hasn't yet planned for subsequent cycles, as it is currently focused on executing "the best in class experience and support for fintech ventures in Egypt." As part of the partnership, Barclays Bank, Egypt is also contributing to the program with its financial and banking expertise, and will also offer other kinds of support. Flat6Labs, on the other hand, will bring in their know-how of running accelerator programs and will be responsible for 1864 Accelerator's execution.

Ramez M. El-Serafy, CEO, Flat6Labs at 1864's launch event.Image credit:1864 Accelerator.

Discussing the reasons for choosing Egypt as the base, Badr says that the country has a large scope for fintech proliferation in both the low end and high end of the market. He cites success stories of Fawry, Egypt's leading electronic bill payment platform, as evidence of the country's potential. With fintech ventures ranging from alternative forms of lending to payment processing systems, Flat6Labs believes that "if these companies can exist elsewhere, then why not in Egypt or the Middle East." While it is a nascent concept for the Egypt ecosystem, fintech holds promising growth opportunities, but educating customers on going digital for their financial activities continues to be a key challenge- and one that 1864 hopes to address.

Interested persons can apply to the accelerator program through the official website www.1864aaccelerator.com, which also contains required information.

Related: Surging Ahead: Fintech Startups In The Middle East

Wavy Line
Sindhu Hariharan

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Sindhu Hariharan is the Features Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East.  She is a financial consultant turned business journalist with a FOMO when it comes to everything technology.

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