Accion Venture Lab's Company Builder

Accion Venture Lab’s Company Builder is bringing together extraordinary people to build inclusive fintech startups from scratch in Nigeria.

Our goal is to support the development of inclusive fintech startups that can eventually raise a seed round – and for Accion Venture Lab to invest in those companies.

We believe that start-ups can re-imagine what is possible and bring transformative innovations to the financial services sector. We have invested in more than 30 startups around the world that leverage innovative technology and business models to offer financial solutions. These startups offer solutions that are higher in quality, less expensive, faster, safer, and more accessible than the status quo – including Nigeria’s own Lidya.

We are taking this belief a step further by launching Accion Venture Lab’s Company Builder, a program that recruits a diverse pool of talented future entrepreneurs to create innovative fintech startups that will increase access to, improve the quality of, or reduce the cost of financial services for unbanked and underbanked consumers that we will invest in and support.

Applications for the Company Builder cohort will be accepted through Monday, November 27th, 2017. 



How Accion Venture Lab’s Company Builder works:

Once admitted to the program, participants will meet and collaborate with each other to generate and validate business model ideas with the goal of launching an inclusive fintech startup. In support of this goal, Accion Venture Lab will help participants:

Generate ideas with future co-founder(s)

  • Meet co-founders – We are recruiting approximately 15 potential founders with a diverse set of skills to generate ideas and form startup teams
  • Develop and refine ideas –We select our cohorts based on individual talent and ambition alone and do not require business ideas as part of the application process. We will review research, conduct focus groups, and generate, refine, and rank ideas over a series of sessions

Validate your idea with your potential co-founder(s)

  • Set clear expectations – We will work with the team to develop a validation plan detailing the proof points and metrics needed to verify the idea
  • Translate ideas into minimum viable products (MVPs) – We will help move ideas from theoretical to practical through development of a MVP during the validation period
  • Test potential co-founders – We will encourage participants to work together to determine who they work best with

After eight weeks, the teams who have had the most success validating their ideas will be able to pitch Accion Venture Lab's Company Builder for continued support. This program is highly competitive and not every participant of the team will receive support in launching their venture; for those who don’t make it, we’ll stay engaged via an alumni network. Those that move on will be able to:

Build a company 

  • Raise pre-seed investment for the new company – This is a core phase in which participants deliver proof points needed to raise a seed round. We will provide up to $100,000 to ensure that participants have the resources needed to pilot the business full time
  • Receive continued mentoring– Participants will continue to work with the Accion Venture Lab team and be pushed towards piloting and growing the business by focusing on product, customers, and preparing for further investment
  • Be the majority owners - Unlike most company builder programs, we will not take majority stakes in the companies created through the program. This ensures that the founders are fully engaged in and responsible for the success of their venture

Accion Venture Lab's Company Builder is highly competitive; we are looking for those with exceptional founder potential at any stage of their career. This is the best program to find potential cofounder(s) and build a seed-funded fintech startup from scratch in Nigeria.  If your ambition outweighs your current career status, apply to join us.