1864 Accelerator celebrates the cycle opening of the first FinTech accelerator program in Egypt

1864 Accelerator, powered by Flat6Labs in partnership with Barclays Bank Egypt, celebrated today the official cycle opening of the program. The 1864 Accelerator program is the first of its kind in the Egyptian market as it embarks international development and supports innovative youth and start-ups in the field of FinTech.

The program will take course over a cycle of 14 weeks and continues to provide the participating start-ups with full-fledged support; through providing them with the suitable environment and technical support needed to accelerate the transforming of their ground breaking ideas into commercially viable solutions.

The start-ups have progressed through a diligent process to reach this stage of the program. “We received more than 200 applications since the launch back on May 30, 2016 and until the closing date on August 7, 2016. A total of 16 teams participated in a five-day boot camp. The program formed a selection committee comprising representatives of Barclays Bank Egypt and Flat6labs, to carefully choose today’s start-ups,” said Willie Elamien, 1864 Accelerator Managing Director.

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Elamien added that the cycle opening event represents a celebration of collaborated efforts so far extended by all parties involved including Barclays, Flat6Labs, 1864 Accelerator teams as well as the start-ups.

The start-ups selection criteria were based on three categories: the business idea or the innovation, the technology that is being used and the credibility of the proposed business model. At the cycle opening event each start-up presented their business idea briefly to the audience and outlined the support they seek during the cycle from all parties involved.

Members of Barclays’ executive committee, Flat6Labs board, 1864 Accelerator Mentors, community partners as well as alumni teams attended the event. The cycle teams had the chance to meet and network with the invitees and exchange views with them.

There is a comprehensive multi-faceted technical and financial support framed throughout the 14-week program. The program will provide support at the highest level by connecting each start-up strategy with a selection of mentors, investors, consultants and experts in their fields. The scope covers many useful training topics and workshops including the logistics, and ways of attracting the right customer base, recruitment of staff as well as a number of technical services.

During the cycle, the entrepreneurs will be busy working on transforming their ideas, building up a prototype, gaining direct user feedback, streamlining team efforts and building up an efficient marketing plan. It is noteworthy to mention that teams have full and unlimited access to the accelerator office space, bonus program and are entitled many other services.

The initiative emphasizes Barclays’ commitment to supporting the development of the banking industry, driven by deep-rooted faith in the potentials of Egyptian youth to innovate and compete in various fields.

In her address to the start-ups, Joman Salama, Chief Operating Officer at Barclays said: “We are delighted to see you all reach this stage of the program, which is aimed at promoting the concept of FinTech ‘financial technology’ in Egypt.”

“We are committed to supporting this cycle and the participating start-ups in their journey towards becoming Egypt’s next wave of FinTech entrepreneurs,” she said.

For her part, Nancy Bassiouny, Head of Digital Channels at Barclays Bank Egypt, said: “The 1864 Accelerator program has interacted with more than 5,900 individuals via events such as launch day and other workshops, hackathon, ideation camp, in addition to its Facebook group.”

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It is noteworthy to mention that Flat6Labs is a regional accelerator program which sponsors and invests in entrepreneurs, who have the passion of creating innovative ideas across health, educational and electronic sectors.