AlphaCode Wants To Support You To Start Another Discovery Or OUTsurance

Since the inception of the initiative three years ago, 15 black-owned businesses have received R13 million in funding and most of the businesses are live and generating revenue.

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Startup. Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock
Startup. Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

If you have a great idea to challenge the country’s thriving financial services sector,  AlphaCode wants to talk to you to make that business idea a reality to compete with the likes of Discovery and OUTsurance.

AlphaCode, an initiative of Rand Merchant Investments (RMI), has set aside R16 million to identify a new generation of financial services entrepreneurs through its AlphaCode Incubate initiative.

Sixteen businesses will be invited to pitch for eight places on the AlphaCode Incubate programme in partnership with Merrill Lynch South Africa and Royal Bafokeng Holdings.

The final eight businesses will complete a customised twelve-month programme and will benefit from an entrepreneurial package worth R2 million each.

The package consists of R1 million in grant funding, R1 million worth of support including mentorship, monthly expert-led sessions, exclusive office space in Sandton, marketing, legal and other business support services as well as access to RMI’s networks.

The businesses being sought for AlphaCode Incubate are led by entrepreneurs with innovative financial services business models in segments such as payments, insurance, savings and investments, advisory, data analytics, blockchain. They are early stage concepts or businesses not more than two years old with entrepreneurs who will make a success.

The business must be at least 51% owned and managed by black South Africans.

Last year, AlphaCode received over 30 applications. A shortlist of 10 black-owned businesses pitched their business to a formidable panel of judges.

Four of the 10 businesses received R1m each in grant funding. Collett continues, “Because we have substantially raised the bar and the funding this year, we have already had 90 applications.”

Since the inception of the initiative three years ago, 15 black-owned businesses have received R13 million in funding and most of the businesses are live and generating revenue.

“Some have experienced exponential growth and we have been amazed at the level of traction they have received both locally and internationally,” says Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode and RMI senior investments executive.

The first round of applications closes on 7 September 2018 and the programme will begin on 1 November 2018. Apply at www.alphacodeincubate.club

“The RMI board believes it is important to identify, partner and grow the next generation of financial services entrepreneurs so that the group can continue its legacy of innovation with businesses like Discovery, OUTsurance, MMI, and FirstRand,” says Collett.

“Because the South African financial services landscape is changing rapidly due to the rise of new technology, dynamic regulatory environment, increased cyber security risks and a different type of consumer, we need entrepreneurs who can respond to these changing dynamics and build these businesses of the future.”

AlphaCode wants to help them scale their businesses and provides a full range of financing solutions ranging from grant funding all the way to equity funding. 

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