The Venture lab at the American University in Cairo (AUC Venture Lab), the university-based startup accelerator in Africa and the MENA region, and Temenos, the banking software company, have announced their intention to collaborate and strengthen the fintech ecosystem in Cairo. Temenos will support financial innovation in Egypt by providing startups with access to the world’s number one core banking solution to be used as their development environment.
A key aspect of the collaboration will see Temenos provide a sandbox service to the startups utilizing the accelerator. This sandbox, a non-production cloud-based version of the best-selling Temenos T24 core banking system, will enable startups to integrate their solutions with banking data and functionality as well as to test them for scalability and robustness. It will also allow them to plug into the 11 major financial institutions in Egypt already running Temenos T24.
Temenos and AUC Venture Lab will also collaborate on events and other community-building activities. It is envisaged that the AUC Venture Lab would play host to Temenos events, such as the upcoming “Meet the Marketplace” in October of this year, where global fintechs who are existing members of Temenos Marketplace will be invited to showcase and demo their solutions to a number of Egyptian financial institutions. These fintechs will demonstrate solutions, which can cater to opportunities and challenges relevant to the Egyptian market such as financial inclusion and literacy, digital engagement, security, risk and compliance.
Commenting on the announcement, Jean-Paul Mergeai, Regional Director Temenos Middle East & Africa at Temenos said: “We are excited to be working with the AUC Venture Lab in accelerating and empowering digital innovation in Egypt. The Egyptian market is currently in an ideal position to take advantage of a rich fintech ecosystem that will help drive digital transformation across the banking industry. At Temenos, we are proud to help make this a reality and deliver value to the growing number of Egyptian banks, which take advantage of our solutions and our partnerships with leading fintech firms both globally and regionally. Innovation is part of our DNA and the Temenos MarketPlace was founded on the notion of bringing together banks and fintechs in a win-win situation. I am optimistic that our partnership with AUC Venture Lab will continue to foster the spirit of innovation in Egypt and help to pave the way for fintech startups for years to come.”
Ayman Ismail, Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship at AUC’s School of Business and Director of AUC Venture Lab added: “The emerging fintech space in Egypt has the potential to transform the industry and expand access to financial services in one of the largest regional markets. At AUC Venture Lab, we understand the technological challenges that fintech startups face. Our partnership with Temenos responds to this challenge by offering our startups an exclusive opportunity to build their products on the Temenos platform and to accelerate their development cycle. This contributes to faster rollout of new innovative products and services to the Egyptian market.”
Launched at the start of 2016, the Temenos MarketPlace is a platform for facilitating the exchange of value between fintech providers and financial institutions. Its value proposition is based on curating the very best fintech solutions from around the world, certifying and integrating these solutions with the Temenos Suites, and making these solutions as easy to provision as possible. Today, MarketPlace is the world’s largest fintech store, with over 100 applications from more than 50 fintech providers.
AUC Venture Lab is Egypt’s first university-based accelerator at The American University in Cairo (AUC). The Lab provides acceleration services to innovative startups in Egypt, leveraging AUC’s intellectual capital, world-class facilities and research capacities. It connects innovative startups with AUC’s network that includes alumni, faculty, mentors and investors. Over the past five years, the Lab has accelerated 115 startups.
The AUC Venture Lab FinTech Accelerator is a specialized program targeting FinTech startups, with the objective of growing this space in Egypt and region. Over the past two years, the program accelerated 18 FinTech startups in partnership with banks and other industry stakeholders.