NAIROBI—July 12, 2021—DFS Lab in collaboration with the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has launched a call for applicants for a Blockchain Bootcamp, designed to give early to mid-stage startups in Africa an opportunity to build on Stellar, an open-source blockchain network for financial services and products.
The bootcamp is a three-day design sprint allowing participating companies to answer critical business questions with hands-on technical support and guidance from DFS Lab and SDF. Companies will define a problem, storyboard a solution, and develop a rapid prototype of their innovation. This is an exciting opportunity to support the blockchain-oriented ideas of African developers and startups, equip them with practical tools and education, and provide support to create viable solutions that fit local needs.
The most promising solutions will be awarded prizes from 5,000 to 20,000 USDC. There will be opportunities for follow-on funding for additional grants, including potential investment from SDF’s and other investors who will be present at the demo day. Interested fintech companies, blockchain native companies, and crypto-curious companies operating in Africa and looking to advance existing services or embed digital asset solutions into their models for the first time are all encouraged to apply before August 20, 2021.
“We are excited to see what role blockchain can play in the future of digital commerce in Africa from cross-border payments to financial inclusion, and we’re excited to offer this opportunity for startups to see where the Stellar blockchain network can benefit them,” said Jake Kendall, Partner at DFS Lab.
Viable use cases that could be explored include cross-border payments, access to financial services, or payment processing. Companies could also explore new models across asset management, compliance, NFTs, gaming, charity donations, trade finance, liquidity, and more.
"We're thrilled to collaborate with DFS Lab to support early-stage startups building the future of digital commerce in Africa. It’s part of SDF’s effort to increase financial access and inclusion specifically with solutions rooted in local needs and expertise. It's an honor to be a resource for bootcamp companies building on Stellar. We can't wait to see how they innovate," said Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of Stellar Development Foundation.
Solutions built on Stellar are already being deployed by companies including Franklin Templeton, Samsung, Leaf Global Fintech, Airtm and Tribal. The speed and scale of the Stellar network will enable new opportunities for bootcamp participants and their end users to quickly and easily transfer value, no matter where they are in the world. Stellar’s presence is growing across Africa, particularly in East and South Africa. Companies building the future of digital finance across the continent are encouraged to apply.
About DFS Lab
DFS Lab is an early-stage investor that helps founders build solid foundations and matches the world’s smartest capital with Africa’s most promising founders leading the next generation of digital commerce in Africa. DFS Lab brings both global and local mentorship to its flagship accelerator program, and its portfolio companies have gone on to raise capital from firms like Accel, Anthemis, 500 Startups, Y Combinator, Flourish Ventures, NYCA, and Accion Venture Labs.
Stellar is a decentralized, fast, scalable, and sustainable blockchain network for financial products and services. It is both a cross-currency transaction system and a platform for digital asset issuance, designed to connect the world’s financial infrastructure. Financial institutions and fintechs worldwide issue assets and settle payments on the Stellar network, which has grown to over 5 million accounts. For more information, visit stellar.org.
About the Stellar Development Foundation
The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) is a non-profit organization that supports the development and growth of Stellar, an open-source network that connects the world’s financial infrastructure. Founded in 2014, the Foundation helps maintain Stellar’s codebase, supports the developer, fintech, and business communities building on the network, and serves as an independent industry voice to regulators and institutions. The Foundation seeks to create equitable access to the global financial system, using the Stellar network to unlock the world’s economic potential through blockchain technology. For more information visit stellar.org/foundation.
Head of Communications at DFS Lab