Fintech Incubators and Accelerators in the Middle East
Here’s a list of Fintech Accelerators and Incubators that will help passionate entrepreneurs take their projects and ventures to the next level.
(Let us know anytime if we forget any important Middle East based Fintech accelerator or incubator)
The 1864 Accelerator constitutes the first local fintech startup accelerator program of its kind in Egypt.
Powered by Flat6Labs in partnership with Barclays Bank Egypt, the accelerator aims to foster fintech innovation in Egypt by enabling entrepreneurs to transform their disruptive ideas into commercially viable solutions.
The highly competitive program places emphasis on fintech and disruptive solutions, giving a selected group of innovative startup companies the full access to both Barclays and Flat6Labs’ expansive and far-reaching partnership networks.
To encourage the community to come up with new ideas, Flat6Labs hosts several activities prior to the program, such as themed ideation sessions, a fintech Hackathon, business-focused bootcamp and workshops.
Flat6Labs also provides selected entrepreneurs with seed funding, strategic mentorship, office space, a multitude of perks and services from partners, and entrepreneurship-focused business training and development workshops, all engineered to prepare companies to be investment-ready within 14 weeks.
AUC Venture Lab’s Fintech Accelerator
AUC Venture Lab’s Fintech Accelerator is a 16-week customized program for fintech startups providing entrepreneurs with specialized business finance and technology support.
Selected startups get to understand the ins and outs of working within the regulations of the Central Bank of Egypt, and gain valuable insights from some of the smartest minds in the startup and fintech worlds.
New innovations in the fintech space are rapidly changing the landscape in the banking and finance industry in areas of digital and mobile payments, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, retail trading and investing, customer interface, operations and risk management, banking infrastructure, security and anti-fraud, big data, among others.
To leverage this changing scheme, AUC Venture Lab in partnership with the Commercial International Bank (CIB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) help startups expand on financial innovation in Egypt.
SANDBOX is a startup programme aimed at early stage startups, specifically those that are at minimum viable product to seed stage. The programme is run by the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (DTEC), a tech hub wholly owned by the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA).
SANDBOX is a 12 month-long programme that focuses on enabling early-stage tech startups in their scaling and fundraising efforts. It involves over 200 hours of practical workshops, theory sessions, more than 100 hours of one-on-one mentorship, and networking as well.
DSOA will also provide AED 550,000 worth of partner services, access to venture capital funds and access to diagnostic tools for financial efficiency and legal compliance.
Startups can also expect to receive investments from the DTEC.
Techstars Tel Aviv
The Techstars Tel Aviv Accelerator is focused on helping both local and international startups from its Tel Aviv base. The program is open to startups from a number of verticals, including fintech, and at any stage of development.
The three-month long program was launched in 2020 with up to US$120,000 available for investment. Additionally, although the programme operates from Israel, it connects to Techstars’ global mentorship and partner networks.
Selected startups will work with Techstars mentors, corporate partners, and investors to make headway with their ideas and commercial processes, including aspects such as legal issues, business models, and fundraising efforts.
The Tatweer Entrepreneurship Campus (TEC) is a multi-million dollar initiative aimed at supporting entrepreneurship in Libya.
The programme is run in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and EU.
The TEC runs a business incubator, called the TEC Incubator, alongside a co-working space and entrepreneurship education programmes as well. The incubation programme runs at all three of the TEC’s locations – Benghazi, Tripoli and Sabha.
The programme aims to provide Libyan startups with business support, expertise, services and tools. In addition to consulting, mentoring, and training services, participating startups will also be able to access the TEC’s office space.
The GeeXelerator is a 16-week pre-seed acceleration program run by the Gaza Sky Geeks. It is focused on enabling startups to build and validate a minimum viable product, go to market via online channels, and grow their customer base.
Eligible startups include those that are prepared to scale in large markets, both in the MENA region and globally, or tech-driven startups focused on the local market with rapid revenue generation potential.
Startups gain access to a curated mentorship program, and access to a number of support initiatives, such as launching products from companies like Amazon or Hubspot, and co-working facilities.
Participating startups reaching phases two and three of the accelerator will gain access to up to US$2,000 in grants.
Yalla Xtech is an accelerator program aimed at Arab tech startups. Focused specifically on Egyptian and Jordanian tech startups for its pilot batch, the programme aims to prepare participants for cross-border expansion. The programme was launched just this year.
The two-month programme is meant for tech startups that are especially focused on expansion. It requires that startups be at a mature stage, with an operational product or service, an existent customer base, growing revenue, and an operations and management team. Business set-up fees under the programme amount to AED 9,500.
The Yalla Xtech accelerator is run by German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in partnership with Fintech Galaxy.
Ahli Fintech Seed Programme
Jordanian financial institution Ahli Bank runs a seed programme for fintech startups. The programme aims to help fintech founders in Jordan develop their business models within the Ahli Sandbox environment, and with access to Ahli Bank’s global network of advisors, mentors, and partners.
The programme aims to incubate startups working on customer-facing applications, with access to over 200 APIs from a sandbox-like environment. Participating startups can also pilot their solutions within Ahli Bank’s customer network across all jurisdictions in which the bank has a presence.
Participating startups are eligible for funding up to US$200,000 through the programme. However, entry fees amount to US$30,000.
Flat6Labs Seed Programme
Flat6Labs runs a MENA-based startup seed program and early stage fund that runs for four months. The programme is active in Cairo, Egypt (launched in 2011), Beirut, Lebanon (2017), Tunis, Tunisia (2017), Bahrain (2018) and its most recent location, Amman, Jordan (2021).
Cash funding is provided to the Flat6Lab Seed Program by the city. For instance, in Egypt, 8-10 selected teams gain access to up to US$95,000 in funding, with follow-on funding opportunities of up to about US$190,000. Meanwhile, in Lebanon, initial funding tickets are sized at US$30,0000 to US$30,0000, with follow-on funding of between US$150,000 – US$500,000.
Additionally, startups are also provided with strategic mentorship, office space, business training, and one-on-one subject matter sessions.
Oasis500 is a Jordanian pre-seed and seed fund and accelerator. The six month-long programme is focused on enabling startups to reduce their time to market.
Participating startups can expect to secure funding of around US$30,000 to US$100,000 against equity.
Additionally, the programme also provides technical support on product development, networking opportunities with industry stakeholders, and specialised consultations for areas beyond the founder’s expertise. Other amenities include office space, accounting, auditing and legal support and other value-added services.
Applicants with successful pitches are invited to attend the programme’s Business and Entrepreneurship workshop, while those with more mature pitches go directly to the investment stage.
Flat6Labs launched the ‘Flat6Labs Ignite’ Programme in partnership with Abu Dhabi-based holding company ADQ. The programme works as a seed and early stage funding initiative, with participating startups receiving funding of US$100,000 to US$150,000 on being accepted.
Follow-on funding of between US$200,000 to US$500,000 is also available. Investments will be made in IP residing entities, and not their branches or subsidiaries.
Other facilities include strategic mentorship, office space, business training, and one-on-one subject matter sessions.
The programme is open to startups registered as a private company, with at least a minimum viable product that has been pilot tested (and preferably revenue generating). The company must have an inclination to set up a long term presence in Abu Dhabi.
MINT Incubator is an incubator run by Egyptian Gulf (EG) Bank, in partnership with Cairo Angels. The incubation programme does not take any equity from enrolled startups. The three-month programme focuses on start-ups that have a ready product.
Startups are paired with a mentor for the duration of the program, and also have access to workshops by EG Bank and its partners. The workshops cover various business aspects such as finance, growth hacking, and legal. Other benefits include free tools and applications, a co-working space and networking avenues.
The sector-agnostic programme targets startups with a highly scalable business model, and backed by a team. It is open to founders as young as 16 years of age, up to 35 years.
EFG EV Fintech
EFG EV is combining the financial know-how of EFG Hermes and entrepreneurial expertise of Egypt Ventures to provide the country’s most powerful fintech-focused startup accelerator.
EFG EV invests in rising fintech startups with the potential to grow domestically and expand beyond the Egyptian market. It also provides these innovators with the fully integrated services they need to thrive – from funding to mentorship, to training and office space.
EFG EV invests in up to 10 startups per year through two cycles of the EFG EV Accelerator program. Early-stage and seed-level startups are eligible to receive up to EGP 500,000 in funding through our Accelerator program while later-stage startups can apply for up to EGP 2 million in funding through our direct investment track. The program runs for four months.
Startupbootcamp Fintech Cairo
The Startupbootcamp Fintech Cairo accelerator program supports innovative early-stage fintech startups in Egypt, with a targeted focus of financial inclusion. The accelerator brings a unique focus in Egypt and helps develop the ecosystem and drives the next generation of technology startups to success.
The intensive six-month program provides up-to ten selected fintech companies with hands-on mentorship from over 100 industry experts, office space in the heart of Cairo, and access to a global network of investors and corporate partners from across the fintech industry. In addition to the acceleration program, Startupbootcamp also supports the startups to scale their businesses in collaboration with established players in Cairo.
Startupbootcamp Fintech Cairo is partnered with Visa, IFC, and GIZ.
Citi Accelerator Tel Aviv
Citi Ventures accelerates innovation at scale through strategic partnerships and a comprehensive set of programs that combine the best of the external innovation ecosystem with Citi’s internal efforts to embrace new skills and new ways of working.
Citi Ventures pursues a multi-pronged approach to innovation that actively explores startup technologies regardless of formal investment. Citi was one of the first banks to launch a fintech accelerator in 2013.
SigmaLabs is a “for founders, by founders” three-month accelerator program focusing on reaching product validation, market fit and building the right fundraising strategy.
The SigmaLabs Fintech program supports early-stage fintech and insurtech startups with in-depth mentorship, in collaboration with MAX, Israel’s most innovative financial services company. Selected startups gain access to the financial institution’s network and C-level executives.
Bahrain Fintech Bay’s Venture Acceleration Program
Bahrain Fintech Bay’s Venture Acceleration Program (VAP) is designed to catalyze fintech growth, provide a launch pad and bespoke go to market strategies for innovative fintechs looking to maximize opportunities in the MENA region, Singapore and the US.
The program offers finrechs the opportunity to gain priority access and exposure to BFB’s growing number of influential partners across the financial services industry and corporate sector.
Qatar Fintech Hub
Qatar Fintech Hub (QFTH) is a global fintech hub created with the purpose to support fintechs succeed in Qatar and globally. It is chaired by Qatar Development Bank under the aegis of Qatar Central Bank and supported by local and global financial institutions, technology partners, and fintech hubs.
QFTH currently offers two startup programs:
The Incubator, a 12-week program for budding entrepreneurs and early-stage fintechs with a minimum viable product (MVP) who want to transform their prototype into a sellable product, build traction and raise funds; and
The Accelerator, a 12-week program designed for mature fintechs looking for global expansion with a proven product market fit. The program focuses on cultivating business collaborations between fintech and QFTH partners including the Qatar Fintech taskforce via proof-of concepts.
Accelerator StartechEUS FinHub
Accelerator StartechEUS FinHub launched operations in May 2019 to provide fintech startups with mentorship, a fintech office space, as well as access to international markets and to Series A funding of between US$100,000 and US$2 million per company.
The program provides selected startups with funding, state-of-the-art fintech office space, relevant trainings delivered by domain experts through our training academy, market research studies and market access to European Union (EU) and the US, continuous support and guidance.
A key pillar in Arab Bank’s digital innovation strategy, AB Accelerator was set up in 2018 to accelerate the integration of startup solutions within Arab Bank’s operations.
AB Accelerator works with startups to accelerate their product validation and commercialization through granting them access to customers and markets within Arab Bank footprint.
The program is focused on helping startups commercialize and validate their product. As such, to ensure partnership generates real value for all involved, each program is tailored to fit each startup unique offering and product.
AB Accelerator accepts applications year round.
Jordan Fintech Bay’s Venture Acceleration Program
Similarly to Bahrain Fintech Bay’s VAP, Jordan Fintech Bay’s VAP is a customized program designed to accelerate fintech companies to the next growth stage of commercialization and expedite partnership opportunities with them.
The program leverages the organization’s strong partnership base to significantly improve startup growth and expansion outcomes. The “outbound VAP” program aims to accelerate companies based in Silicon Valley by introducing their innovative products and services to untapped markets in Asia and the Middle East through influential partners. Similarly, the “inbound VAP” serves as a gateway for startups to setup operations in Silicon Valley.
The program allows selected businesses to connect with industry professionals and users of digital innovations across the value chain. Applications for the VAP Program are received on an on-going rolling basis.
Plug and Play Abu Dhabi Fintech
Plug and Play Abu Dhabi, powered by Abu Dhabi Investment Office, is an innovation platform in the Middle East uniting startups across the financial, healthcare and industry 4.0 sectors with the tech expertise of Silicon Valley and major corporations for a changing world. The program’s mission is to attract high quality entrepreneurial talent to Abu Dhabi who can work proactively with both public and private institutions in the Middle East.
The Plug and Play Abu Dhabi Fintech program was launched in 2018 and connects financial institutions across the region with the most disruptive fintech companies sourced from across the globe. Some key focus areas of the program include security, payments, wealth management, data analytics, and customer engagement.
Benefits of joining the Plug and Play Abu Dhabi Fintech program include gaining access to Plug and Play’s corporate network, the ability to collaborate with leading financial institutions on PoCs and pilots, and access to a network of regional investors and mentors.
DIFC Fintech Hive
DIFC Fintech Hive gives fintechs, insurtechs, regtechs, and Islamic fintechs access to accelerator programs, mentorship from leading financial institutions and insurance partners, a dedicated space to work, and a community of like-minded individuals.
These programs have been developed to help startups create solutions for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region’s largest financial industry and insurance partners, and are designed to provide selected startups with access to funding, regional business intelligence, and market access, all with a focus on growing their potential.
DIFC Fintech hive collaborates with senior executives of leading banks and insurance companies to deliver industry-driven accelerator programs that addresses the region’s financial sector needs.
Startupbootcamp Fintech Dubai
In partnership with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Visa, and Mashreq Bank, Startupbootcamp Fintech accelerates fintech startups from the MENA region as well as from around the world.
The three-month Startup Fintech Dubai program provides all the tools to take a startup from its initial launch to developing a highly scalable business with solid revenue growth. Selected startups get support from Startupbootcamp’s global network of entrepreneurs, investors and industry corporations, free co-working space, EUR 15,000 to cover living expenses and over EUR 450,000 worth of partner deals.
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia |
Fintech Accelerator program is a brand new and unique innovation and entrepreneurship program launched by Fintech Saudi and powered by Flat6Labs. This carefully crafted program is set to help fintechs grow and designed to transfer best practices, tools, and resources available for fintech companies to develop and scale their solution-driven businesses.
The intensive three-month Fintech Accelerator program accelerates up to ten fintech. Selected fintech companies get exposure to investors, their teams are mentored and coached by renowned professionals and the companies have the chance to perfect their pitches and showcase their innovative solutions at regional events.
Misk 500 Accelerator Program
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia |
Misk 500 is a pre-accelerator program that takes place semi-annually. The team of growth hackers, investors, and mentors come to MENA for 14 weeks to impart knowledge on 15-20 hand-selected startups.
The 14-week program is based on 500 Startups’ world leading flagship accelerator program based in San Francisco, and tailored for startups from the MENA region that want to learn from 500 Startups’ global team of mentors and network of entrepreneurs and build a strong foundation across all disciplines of starting a successful tech-enabled company.
The program is open to pre-seed and seed stage tech-enabled startups in the following fields: B2B, B2C, e-commerce, fintech, edtech, healthtech, IoT, robotics, artificial intelligence, SaaS and messaging services.
Participants in the program receive mentoring, growth hacking learnings, and access to 500 Startups’ extensive ecosystem, as well as consideration to receive an investment by 500 Startups and Misk Innovation and their affiliates.
Misk Growth Accelerator
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia |
The Misk Growth Accelerator is a three-month, post-acceleration program for MENA startups with product market fit that are seeking for a scalable growth model.
With a three on-site bootcamps and a demo-day in Riyadh, the hybrid (virtual/on-site) program permits startups to stay close to their customers all the time, while benefiting from constant coaching from in-house growth and external growth experts.
Companies get a US$100,000 total investment from two renowned investors Seedstars and Vision Ventures, and a chance to get follow-on of up to US$1 million.
The program is open to tech startups from any sector.
Misk Startup Bootcamps Powered by Flat6Labs
The Misk Startup Bootcamps Powered by Flat6Labs is an unique and exciting innovation and entrepreneurship program focused on fostering the local Saudi talent.
Selected entrepreneurs and teams get to build up their experience in topics like product management, marketing, accounting and finance, human resources, communications and more, in an exciting number of bootcamps happening across different cities within Saudi Arabia.
The program is open to ideas and startups in the following sectors: fintech, social/online media platforms, education tools and platforms, healthcare, renewable energy, big data and analytics, retail and commerce, and sustainable innovation.
Finance Forward MENA
Finance Forward MENA is an accelerator program for MENA and Turkey-based startups that are using tech to help low-income individuals and families manage their day-to-day finances, build short- and long-term savings and wealth.
The accelerator is a collaboration between Village Capital, MetLife Foundation, and PayPal. It is looking for entrepreneurs building high-growth, scalable solutions focused on the following regional challenges: gender inequality, youth unemployment, access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and digital identity.
Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) Accelerator
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) is a federal initiative conceived and launched by the UAE Ministry of Finance. The initiative seeks to identify and nurture high potential innovations both within the UAE and abroad. It aims to enhance growth potential of innovative businesses and shape the future of the UAEs economy. Currently, the MBRIF consists of two programs: the Guarantee Scheme and the Innovation Accelerator.
The MBRIF Accelerator focuses on identifying, equipping and providing bespoke services to the highest potential innovators to thrive. The program differentiates itself from others in the market by offering a personalized journey aligned to entrepreneurs’ most pressing needs.
DIFC Fintech Hive Scale Up Program
The DIFC Fintech Hive Scale Up Program is a funding accelerator for Series A+ and fundraising startups that is powered by venture capital (VC) firms, family offices, corporate and government funds, private equity firms, and investment banks.
This program is designed to scale these startups in the MENA region through strategic partnerships and investment resources of the DIFC Fintech Hive ecosystem. Throughout the program, startups get exposed to interviews with a VC panel and direct introductions to investment committees of interested VCs.
Benefits of joining the DIFC Fintech Hive Scale Up Program include the ability to accelerate funding rounds, gain access to the region’s leading investor network and tap into partners’ resources.
Eligibility criteria include having raised a Series A funding round and looking to raise Series B onwards, being able to demonstrate that the fintech solution is highly scalable, and targeting the MENA market in the next stage of growth.
AccelerateHer, by the DIFC Fintech Hive, is a female-focused career mentorship accelerator that aims to equip young aspiring executives with the necessary tools and experience to broaden their knowledge and reach in the industry and play a more active role in shaping the future of the financial landscape.
The program is open to young women from different organizations within the financial services sector who are at an early stage of their career and are seeking mentorship and advise from seasoned professionals in the industry.
Selected women get exposed to a diverse range of experiences and are able to build their network, skills and knowledge through gaining access to the different activities at the DIFC Fintech Hive such as mentorship, workshops, networking opportunities and more.
Benefits of joining the AccelerateHer program include gaining access to one-on-one mentorship from industry executives, exposure to DIFC Fintech Hive events and activities, networking opportunities, and access to fintech ecosystem and leading financial institutions.
Eligibility criteria include having between six months to three years of career experience, being ambitious, and having a career within the field of financial services.
FasterCapital Grow Your Startup
FasterCapital is an online incubator, accelerator, and service provider that helps startups and small businesses worldwide and invest in them in a work-per-equity model. It provides either technical development per equity or business development per equity. It also helps startups and SMEs that are raising capital from angel investors, VCs, micro VCs and other funding sources.
FasterCapital invests in startups from different industries, including fintech, edutech, healthtech, entertainment, media, software, e-commerce, blockchain and more, and from different stages. Though FasterCapital is based in Dubai, it is country agnostic.
FasterCapital’s Grow Your Startup program helps startups by opening new markets for them, get their product internationalized, find the right pricing in each market, and provide them with marketing strategy consulting.
This program targets startups that have a product and are looking to expand their reach to new markets and users, increase their sales and revenues, find new sales funnels, find a marketing/sales team, find a business development manager. The program offers other business development services, outsourcing content creation, market strategy consulting, and outsourcing sales management.
In addition to the Grow Your Startup program, FasterCapital also offers the Raise Capital program, which focuses on helping startup raise the money they need to grow and expand their venture; the Idea to Product program, which helps entrepreneurs move their idea to the “investable idea” stage; and the Technical Co-founder program, which provides selected startups with the technical skills needed to build their tech product.
startAD Corporate Sprint Accelerator
startAD is an Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator steering seed stage technology startups to launch, develop and scale their ventures. The accelerator enables startups to pilot solutions with industry leaders, while enabling corporates to innovate with startups disrupting their core businesses.
Anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi and powered by Tamkeen, an Abu Dhabi government-owned company, startAD provides access to a global network of investors, mentors and experts, and manages a seed fund for UAE-based startups. Since startAD’s launch in 2016, participating startups have raised US$8 million in investment, secured numerous pilot projects, and have been recognized with global design and product awards.
The startAD Corporate Sprint Accelerator program immerses startups in robust local customer discovery and validation activities through a combination of training, mentorship, 1-1 meetings with corporate partners, and investor pitches. Within four weeks, the startups are equipped to pilot solutions with industry leaders, while corporates are enabled to innovate with startups disrupting their core businesses.
The program culminates in a high-caliber market access day and an investor demo day in which the participating startups have the opportunity to pitch to regional industry leaders and investors for business and investment opportunities.