Barclays Africa has launched Tech Lab Africa, a venture programme which promises to change the future of 10 innovative African enterprises.

The world of financial services and digital health and wellness is being disrupted by new technologies, agile companies and innovative products and services. Non-traditional competitors are penetrating the market and long-held competitive boundaries are disappearing.

The future will be defined by those who embrace disruptive innovation and work within the world’s most active innovation ecosystems.

“In order to compete, Barclays Africa needs to connect, shape and scale with these new industry players. We are looking for big, fresh ideas that promise to shake things up – be this in the financial services industry, the health sector, or anywhere else,” says Ashley Veasey, CIO for Barclays Africa.

“We are not limiting our applicants. Ideas must address or better yet solve existing challenges or create opportunities in unchartered territories. As long as the idea or venture thinks differently, we’ll consider it.”

The programme will be run for 13 weeks, hosted in Cape Town and finalists will face a judging panel that will choose the most interesting business propositions or ventures. The final selected ventures will then be afforded access to
prominent business mentors, industry leaders, influencers and experts. The intention is that the end results will boast a fresh portfolio of businesses that will change the face of the financial technology and digital health industry.

“The selected ventures will get access to support and mentorship from Barclays Africa executives and external experts and industry leaders. These enterprises will also be enabled through market days and roadshows to meet potential customers and investors, and may potentially get an opportunity to become a preferred supplier to Barclays Africa.”

Applications opened on Monday, 20 July 2015.

Representatives of the successful entrants must be able to stay in Cape Town for the duration of the 13-week programme (from 7 September to 10 December, 2015).