Accion Venture Lab launches second edition of Company Builder programme

Accion Venture Lab, the seed-stage investment initiative of global non-profit Accion, has launched the second edition of its Company Builder programme, applications for which will close on 6 March.

Through the programme, Accion Venture Lab works with entrepreneurs to develop inclusive fintech solutions for underbanked consumers in Nigeria, validate their models in the market, and build a business from the ground up.

In an email on Monday (11 February) Accion Venture Lab Company Builder Associate Averi Thomas-Moore said the programme leverages Accion Venture Lab’s global knowledge and expertise in fintech for financial inclusion and provides both financial and non-financial support as entrepreneurs selected for the programme scale their businesses.

Accion Venture Lab’s Company Builder programme aims to build seed-funded fintech startups from the ground up in Nigeria

“We have launched the programme and are now recruiting 15 future entrepreneurs from diverse fields to help lead the effort,” she said.

Company Builder participants are selected based on individual talent and ambition, no business ideas are required as part of the application process. Accion Venture Lab will with the programme participants review research, carry out focus groups, generate, refine and rank ideas over a series of sessions.

Participants will then form teams where they will develop ideas into minimum viable products (MVPs). In a phone call with Ventureburn today (13 February) Thomas-Moore said there will likely be between five to seven teams formed among the selected participants.

Thereafter, those teams that have the most success validating their ideas will be able to pitch Accion Venture Labs for continued support to launch their ventures.

Pre-seed round of up to $100 000

Accion Venture Labs will provide Company Builder teams with up to $100 000 in funding to ensure that participants have the resources they need to pilot their businesses.

The Accion Venture Lab team will continue to assist Company Builder teams with piloting and growing their businesses in areas like product development, customer acquisition and preparing for further investment.

Accion Venture Lab launched its first Company Builder cohort last year, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. Ventures formed from the inaugural edition of the programme include payment agent management and liquidity platform Lever, tuition micropayment solution EduPay.

Daniel Mpala


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