COVID-19 Innovation Sprint Application

Applications are now closed.

Deadline February 19, 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic will likely have lasting effects that will impact the Egyptian economy for years to come. We see startups playing a part in creating the short term – and long term – solutions for this new reality. 

Under the host of the Central Bank of Egypt and in collaboration with the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), we have partnered with FSD Africa on a COVID-19 Innovation Sprint that aims to unearth, develop, and refine FinTech solutions that directly address the pandemic in Egypt. 

This design sprint will bring together multiple Egyptian banks and financial institutions that are seeking solutions to help them adapt to COVID-19 together with local and international startups who are rapidly creating the products and services that serve their needs.

Why should you apply?

Under the host of the Central Bank of Egypt and in collaboration with the Financial Regulatory Authority, the startups that are selected to participate in this sprint will work closely with the Egyptian banks and financial institutions. Egyptian financial institutions and banks are increasingly adopting FinTech concepts and collaborating with established FinTech startups to leverage their offerings and overcome unprecedented challenges that appeared during COVID-19 and its aftermath to help consumers adapt to the new norm. Participating startups – as well as the banks and financial institutions that startups will be working with – will also be featured in media and PR campaigns for the event.

If you’re building products addressing the following problem statements, we’d love to hear from you:
CategoryProblem StatementCOVID-19 BarriersPotential Technologies
Remote lending and alternative dataSocial distancing prevents potential lending clients from delivering documents in person.Requires no touch/in-person collection and validation of data.Innovations in digital assessment and document processing, alternative data, digital lending flows, and e-KYC.
Remote KYC/onboardingCustomers would like to sign up for bank accounts or other financial products without having to appear in person – especially in rural areas. Requires no touch/in-person, must identify the client. Also provide and validate necessary information and documentation.Digital ID, biometrics, KBA systems, remote sensors, digital document flows, and other digital onboarding solutions.
Data access for regulatorsRegulators cannot access financial data quickly to make decisions.Requires faster and more flexible decision-making.Open data APIs, regtech data dashboards.
Digital invoicing and supply chain payments/financeDifficult to send and track digital invoices and facilitate payments, creating financial history and data from MSMEs for lending.MSMEs need credit to survive massive drop in income.Digital invoicing, SME digitization solutions, factoring, merchant discounting, digital supply chain solutions
Cashless paymentsPayroll, remittances, and other disbursements or remote collections needs to become digitized.Paying employees in cash can be a vector for infection.Prepaid cards, virtual cards, NFC, QR code payments, mobile money, mojaloop, other digital payments.
Queueing and customer servicePeople need to be able to learn about products, resolve customer service issues, and understand loan and other product terms remotely, without queueing in the branch or while queueing in a safe manner.Social distancing makes in person customer service and customer education challenging; and digital channels require new ways of communicating or queueing to assure client needs are met.Full or semi-automated chatbots or IVR that can deal with shared concerns and relay key messages, innovative queueing solutions, other intelligent interfaces or learning programs.
Remote marketing and educationSales, marketing, and customer education channels are largely in-personIn-person customer engagement does not work in a pandemic especially in rural areas.Solutions that allow for digital marketing and digital customer engagement – especially through partner organizations 
Regulatory interactionsPolicy makers are seeking innovative and secure ideas to efficiently conduct inspection remotely during and post COVID19 pandemic.Social distancing makes onsite inspection difficult. Also, remote inspections are more efficient and timelier.Regtech solutions allowing remote data inspection and validation.

Who you’ll get to meet

Not only will you work closely with the DFS Lab team, FSD Africa team, and Egyptian banks and financial institutions under our host the Central Bank of Egypt, but you’ll also work with a network of experts who will serve as mentors during the week. You’ll also get to know the other teams participating in the design sprint. You’ll come away with a stronger network and a stronger product, as well as a possible contract.

Under the host of

Supported by

In collaboration with