Online registrations for entry into South Africa’s new technology innovation competition have been phenomenal. In the month since entries opened for the Step Up Technology Innovation Competition, many South Africans aged 17 and older have submitted their applications.
The Technology Innovation Agency, together with Sasol ChemCity, will evaluate entries for inclusion in an extensive range of financial and non-financial support programmes – whether an initial idea or existing innovation business.
It is in this light that individuals or small and medium-sized businesses who have developed or are pioneering some form of technology innovation, no matter what size, or from where in the country – are encouraged to enter online at www.step-up.org.za.
Entries close on 30 September
“Although the deadline is 30 September 2013, entrants would do well to enter early, as this will give them sufficient time to polish their entries and document uploads,” says Martin Feinstein, former founding CEO of Proudly South African and Enablis, who manages the competition.
“Because their pitches can be saved, entrepreneurial hopefuls can return to the site as many times as they wish, once they have registered.”
Focus on certain sectors
Offering access to prestigious local and international networks, mentorship and funding to get to the next level, this programme seeks innovations in the following sectors:
- Health and biotechnology
- Mining and manufacturing
- Information and communication technologies
- Food and agriculture
- Green environment.
Finalists and winners stand to benefit hugely
Finalists and winners stand to benefit from global introductions to business leaders through the international partnership group, The SABLE Accelerator (South African Business Link to Experts).
With access to knowledge and networks also critical, Step-Up finalists and winners will share in the vibrant regional network-building and mentorship capacity of enterprise development bodies such as Enablis and SAINe, while those whose innovations involve software development, and who qualify, can enter into Microsoft’s Bizspark developer programme.
All winners will receive up to four hours of high-value consulting time with selected SABLE advisers, as well as a 3-month engagement with experienced and reputable industry mentors.
In partnership with the SA Business and Technology Incubation Association (SABTIA), entrants who would benefit from incubation will be referred to appropriate incubators.