South African fintech incubation, acceleration and investment vehicle AlphaCode, has opened applications for its Incubate programme, which seeks to identify and reward high potential and innovative entrepreneurs to leapfrog the development of fintech and financial services.

Powered by Rand Merchant Investment. Holdings (RMI), AlphaCode, which focuses on early-stage financial services business is looking for businesses or ideas that could change the face of financial services to apply for AlphaCode Incubate.

In partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch South Africa and Royal Bafokeng Holdings, AlphaCode Incubate has disbursed ZAR13 million ($990,000) to 15 black-owned businesses over the last three years.

In this year’s edition, Sixteen businesses will be invited to pitch for eight places on the programme, with these final eight startups completing a customised 12-month programme and benefitting from an entrepreneurial package worth ZAR2 million ($150,000) each.

“We are raising the level and the rewards this year. We want to help take courageous entrepreneurs with seriously disruptive financial services business models to the next level.” said Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode.

Past Participants

Previous participants of AlphaCode Incubate include Isazi Consulting, a machine learning business which used the funds to build a data visualisation tool and made a 266 percent return on the investment. Another beneficiary, Livestock Wealth, has been able to attract a global audience. They joined the programme having sold 10 cows and have now sold more than 1 400, and have also been able to attract additional funding.


  • ZAR1 million ($75,000) in grant funding
  • Another ZAR1 million worth of support including mentorship, monthly expert-led sessions, exclusive office space in Sandton, marketing, legal
  • Other business support services

Eligibility Criteria

  • Entrepreneurs with innovative financial services business models i.e., payments, insurance, savings and investments, advisory, data analytics, blockchain.
  • Entrepreneurs with an early-stage idea, concept or business not older than 2 years.
  • Entrepreneurs with courage and resilience to make the idea, concept or business a success.
  • Must be black-owned (at least 51% owned and managed by black South Africans).

How to Apply

The first round of applications closes August, Friday, 31 and the programme will begin on November, Thursday, 1 2018. Interested entrepreneurs can apply through the website.

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