timbuktoo Fintech Startup Accelerator Programme: Call for Applications

May 28, 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? 

Then the timbuktoo Fintech Startup Accelerator Programme is for you!


The timbuktoo Fintech Startup Accelerator Programme is 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 its 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 userbase 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 dominance - ensuring 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.

What are the benefits of the Programme?

The programme will offer Startup founders:

  • Mentorship and coaching from Africa’s leading industry experts and seasoned entrepreneurs.

  • Equity-free funding of up to $25,000 USD to support the startups growth.

  • Access to a network of fellow startup founders and entrepreneurs from across the African continent.

  • A platform to connect with and access potential investors as well as customers.

  • Access to technical resources, tailored to accelerate the growth and impact of the startup.

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.

*This application is limited to citizens of the African Union member states.

How is the Programme structured?


The application portal will be open from May 31st, 2024, to 21st of June 2024. 

Only applicants who have submitted a complete application will be considered for the programme. The application consists of questions to access formal requirements along with information about your startup and motivation to join the programme. You will be required to submit necessary documents which will be used exclusively for purposes of the application.

Selection Process 

The applications will be evaluated by an independent multi-stakeholder committee. The assessment will take into consideration the eligibility criteria and alignment with the mandate of the programme. Overall cohort composition will ensure distribution that ensures equal opportunities for participation across countries and gender.


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. 

Incubation & Acceleration

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 $25,000 USD.

What is the Programme timeline?

  • Applications and Selection Process: May 2024 – June 2024.

  • Bootcamp: July 2024 (Attendance in Lagos, Nigeria from July 7th – 21st 2024).

  • Incubation & Acceleration: August 2024 – December 2024.

How can startups apply to the Programme?