Application Deadline: May 28th 2020
Village Capital and MetLife Foundation are launching an investment readiness program for Middle East and North Africa (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. We’re encouraging applications from entrepreneurs building high-growth, scalable solutions focused on the following regional challenges:
Overall factors we consider:
• Focus on addressing inequity: Solutions supporting communities facing financial health inequities based on race, age, gender, geographic location, income level.
• Focus on non-”HENRYs”: Solutions primarily focused on low-to-moderate income communities as end beneficiaries, as opposed to “HENRYs”.
• Focus on agency: Solutions that empower users with agency over their financial decisions.
• Cultural and behavioral sensitivity: Solutions that use a creative, cultural, and behavioral lens.
Eligible startups must have:
• For-profit market-based solution that tackles a financial health challenge for low-to-moderate income communities in MENA or Turkey
• Operations in or have the ability to expand business to the MENA or Turkish market
• Have a minimum viable product (MVP), and raised less than $1M in equity
• Have at least one full-time founder based in the MENA or Turkey
• Have meaningful customer or business validation (not limited to revenue, can also be successful pilot studies, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships)
• Top two (2) peer selected startups will receive a MetLife Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Grant of $70,000 (USD)
• Ability to network and receive mentorship from potential strategic partners, customers, and founders
• Ability to network and receive mentorship from MENA and Turkey-based investors
• Diverse and inclusive network of mentors and founders within financial health and fintech
• Startups will receive a stipend for one (1) founder/C-suite member to travel to selected emerging fintech cities in MENA and Turkey for workshops
• 10-12 days of interactive workshops tailored to help your company identify early milestones and prepare for your next round of capital (if relevant)
• Access to an investment analyst who will coach you 1:1 on building a financial model, identifying unit economics, and on using financial metrics to drive both the business and investor diligence
• Participate in mock board meetings with representatives from financial institutions, corporates, fintechs, and investors that can help your organization scale
• Exposure on Village Capital’s program website and other communications collateral