Xcard, a fintech startup, has been named winner of the inaugural edition of Hub One’s EPIC Pitch and will receive a cash grant of $300 (₦100,000) and other benefits such as the chance to attract partners & investors, and potentially partner with FCMB.
EPIC Pitch is a newly introduced event by Hub One, a coworking space/innovation hub owned First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and managed by Leadspace.
The event is designed to help budding entrepreneurs get quality product feedback, funding, partnerships, etc by exposing their tech startups to top players in the ecosystem, venture capitalists, investors, and potential partners.
“It is our way of supporting early-stage start-ups by providing candid and valuable feedback around the product they have developed, and also to constructively critique their pitching skills,” Babajide Asegbeloyin, Team Lead, Techspace Ecosystem Business at FCMB said.
He added, “We also want to use it to connect and expose them to early-stage investors within and outside our network.”
Over 100 entrepreneurs applied in a space of a few days to participate in the first edition of the event, which was slated for March 2020 but postponed indefinitely due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
5 of them — Gradforth, One Kiosk Africa, Friendsvow, Xcard & StanLab — were selected for the final following a transparent selection process involving representatives of FCMB & Passion Incubator, partner of the event.
On May 28th, the final took place online. After a pitching round that lasted up to 45 minutes, Maya Horgan Famodu, Managing Director at Ingressive Capital; Osita Nwoye, Executive Director at TechCircle; and Victor Ekwealor, Managing Editor at TechCabal named Xcard the winner of the event.
There are problems associated with cash and POS/Card payments at points of sale — cash is risky and inconvenient while POS/Cards are unreliable & unsafe. These are the problems Xcard is trying to solve.
Through its mobile technology, users can consolidate all their bank accounts into one and make payments to offline merchants at points of sale. The solution works on WhatsApp and via SMS, meaning it can be used on any feature phone. Xcard hopes to drive Africa’s transition into a contactless payment system.
“Congratulations to Xcard. Again, finance is very very critical and the team was able to explain very clearly what they have done,” Oo Nwoye, one of the judges, said.
By winning the event, Xcard will receive a cash grant of $300 (₦100,000) for growing its business and other benefits such as access to mentorship, partners & investors, an invitation to all FCMB’s sponsored tech ecosystem events and potentially partner with FCMB.
Together with the other finalists (Gradforth, One Kiosk Africa, Friendsvow & StanLab), Xcard has already had the first in a series of planned meetings with FCMB to discuss areas of potential partnership