Techstars Accelerator comes to Lagos

Techstars Accelerator comes to Lagos

Techstars, one of the most influential accelerators in Africa has announced the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator for early-stage fintech and proptech startups across the continent.

The ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator will receive applications this June through August. Up to 12 startups will be selected on an annual basis to participate in the program and benefit from up to $120,000 in funding, curated startup programming, and access to Techstars’ vast network of 7,000+ mentors, 20,000+ investors, alumni, and corporate partners.

The programme is a collaboration between Techstars and ARM Labs, the innovation hub of ARM, an asset management group in Nigeria.

“Techstars has been investing in Nigerian and African startups for years, and through our partnership with ARM Labs we look forward to bringing the value and reach of the Techstars’ global network to the increasingly prominent Nigerian startup ecosystem,” Techstars general manager Nancy Wolff said in a press release.

“Lagos has built a successful startup ecosystem that merits more global exposure, investments and resources, and we see extraordinary potential in the market,” Wolff added.

In a statement, the Accelerator said “the choice of Lagos, Nigeria for the location of this accelerator program is the result of the growing global relevance of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem. Global venture capital investment data shows Lagos is one of the fastest growing ecosystems worldwide and the number one African startup city as of 2021.”

Techstars’ work in Africa is more than a decade old, with its investments and mentorship programs dating back to 2011. Since then, the accelerator programme has hosted more than 400 Techstars Startup Weekend events across 40 African countries. In 2016, the company launched its first Africa-based accelerator, Techstars Cape Town; that was the same year it operated the Barclays Accelerator Programme, which supported fintech innovators in South Africa.

Similarly, through its other programs, it has invested in 14 Nigeria-based startups like Healthtracka, FarmCrowdy, and Rent Small Small. A notable Nigerian Techstars alumnus is Onyeka Akumah, two-time Techstars founder and current Co-Founder and CEO of Treepz (formerly Plentywaka).

“Over the years, ARM has been on a mission to support African fintech startups that are solving key problems in innovative ways,” said Jumoke Ogundare, CEO of ARM. “Our partnership with Techstars is the logical next step in propelling the African continent to become the future global capital of fintech and transform how Africans access financial services.”

The ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator Programme will also allow the partnering companies to tap into Africa’s ever-lucrative fintech sector. Investment tracking platform Partech reported that 63% (or $3 billion) of Africa’s total VC funding went to fintech companies in 2021.

This new program furthers Techstars’ mission to support entrepreneurs everywhere and give startups the advantages they need to succeed, regardless of their location or background. Startups can learn more about the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Acceleratorn here.