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Golden Opportunity For SA Start-ups

Entrepreneurs seeking to launch digital solutions on the African continent are invited to apply for the Venture Incubation Programme – a partnership between telecommunications giant, MTN and the Solution Space based at the UCT Graduate School of Business.

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Opportunity has come knocking for innovators and tech whizzes with the Venture Incubation Programme (VIP) officially opening applications for 2018. The programme has helped over 30 start-ups in the past two years and is run by the Solution Space and MTN at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (GSB), one of Africa’s top business schools.

Valued at over R300 000, the programme offers start-ups mentorship, workshops and industry expertise to help develop new ventures and validate business models, as well as provide access to funding, networks, exposure and recognition.

Related: Is Venture Capital Right For You?

“We call on digital start-ups from all over Africa who are looking to get a foot in the door to take advantage of this amazing opportunity,” says Sarah-Anne Alman, manager of the Solution Space. She acknowledges that, “the first 90 days of a start-up are the hardest and when entrepreneurs are least supported. This programme is geared to present entrepreneurs with all the tools needed to implement their ideas and bring them to fruition.

Alman also states, “The idea is to inspire, nurture and equip the next generation of entrepreneurs to build a better future for the African continent.”

Since its inception in 2016, the VIP has supported various successful businesses like eating-out app Feastfox and chatting platform Chat2Brand as well as online emotional intelligence platform Mygrow and consumer neuroscience consultancy Neural Sense.

As a proud partner of the VIP, MTN sees this partnership as an opportunity to spearhead the company’s engagement with innovation driven start-ups as potential service providers and develop the ecosystem around MTN’s digital service platforms.

Stephen van Coller, MTN Group VP: Digital Services, Data Analytics & Business Development says, “Innovative ideas and technology disruption are the way of the future and MTN is at the forefront of helping to pioneer solutions that impact and shape the future of the continent.”

Van Coller adds, “The MTN Group is interested in start-ups that are contributing to sustainability on the African continent through digital solutions for commerce, health, education, agriculture, fintech, energy and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Ideal applicants for the Venture Incubation Programme are teams of a minimum of two entrepreneurs, comprising a founder or major shareholder, who are able to attend a 12-week programme, for approximately 30 hours a week at the Solution Space.

Related: The Truth About Venture Capital Funding

Applicants should already have initial concept demonstrating a deep understanding of the market environment and potential problems. They should also pose a compelling solution that is innovation-driven and scalable. A minimum viable product ready to conduct early-market testing and further establish the product/market fit is an added advantage.

Alman adds, “we are looking for people who have commitment and passion. We want the doers, the movers, the makers and the creators to apply for this programme.”

Applications for the Venture Incubation Programme close on 28 February 2018. For more information, please contact Gcobisa Maqanda on +27 (0)21 406 1430 or gcobisa.maqanda@gsb.uct.ac.za or visit http://gsbsolutionspace.uct.ac.za/

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President Ramaphosa To Address SA’s Biggest Board Meeting, The Directors Event

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering a keynote address at The Directors event on 8 June 2018, at the Sandton Convention Centre.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering the keynote address at South Africa’s biggest board meeting, The Directors Event, which will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 June 2018.  Dr Jabu Mabuza, Chairman of Business Leadership South Africa will deliver this year’s Chairman’s Report.

Now in its fourth year, The Directors Event invites industry leaders to unpack three issues of national importance and discuss solutions in a public forum, moderated by highly-respected media personalities.

Youth employment & entrepreneurship, the use of technology to promote inclusive growth, and our political economy will be hot topics in this year’s highly focussed discussion programme which attracts participation from the country’s most prominent business and government leaders, and an audience of 300 ‘board member’ delegates.

“We are honoured to have President Ramaphosa address this important gathering of some of the top minds in South Africa. We invited him as a response to the call he made during his maiden State of the Nation Address earlier this year, calling on all South Africans, in their small corners, to help develop this country. We believe, strongly, that corporate South Africa has a massive role to play and we are very excited that everyone seems to have accepted the President Ramaphosa’s “Thuma Mina” call,” says Bongani Siqoko, editor of the Sunday Times.

Nontokozo Madonsela, Chief Marketing Officer of MMI, the JSE listed holding company for Momentum, Metropolitan and other financial services providers says, “We are incredibly honoured and excited that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be delivering the keynote address at this year’s Biggest Board Meeting. Over the past few months, we have experienced a wave of change in the country that has brought with it much needed confidence in what we can achieve. As a company with deep roots in South Africa serving a broad spectrum of citizens and businesses, we are heeding the President’s call to lend a hand in addressing our challenges. We are saying #CountUsIn, we want to be there. We believe this platform creates a space where we can have constructive dialogue and come up with concrete solutions that can positively contribute to improving the state our country”.

Related: President Ramaphosa’s Support Of Entrepreneurs And SMEs In SONA Had Us Cheering

President Ramaphosa will be the highest ranking government official to address The Directors Event with his keynote message.  Previous keynote speakers at The Directors Event have included Caroline Galvan (Lead Economist & Editor: Africa Competitiveness Report for the World Economic Forum), and Mcebisi Jonas (Former Deputy Minister of Finance).

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Science & Technology, and Enoch Godongwana, Chairperson of the ANC sub-committee on Economic Transformation will also be representing the perspectives of Government and the governing party during the round-table discussions at this year’s event.


The Directors Event programme is tailored for corporates, SMEs, educators, and non-profit organisations who are serious about turning South Africa’s socio-economic crisis around.

The Directors Event will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 June 2018.  To view the 2018 agenda, speaker profiles, or to book tickets: www.thedirectorsevent.co.za 

The Directors Event brought to you by the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies and MMI Holdings Limited, is supported by partners Mancosa (GSB), the Institute of Directors (IoD SA), and Greymatter & Finch.

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The Start-up Hatchery And Greater Tygerberg Partnership Launch Innovative Pitch Competition For Bellville Solutions

Entrants are required to submit their ideas in a 30-second WhatsApp video to 082 936 7544 before 24 May 2018.

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The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) and start-up incubator The Startup Hatchery are launching a pitching competition to surface innovative ideas that, when implemented, could lead to the improvement of Bellville in Cape Town’s northern suburbs. The winning idea will receive a package of business incubation, mentorship, business development support, marketing and branding collateral, legal and intellectual property advice and other prizes, including R5 000 cash.

Launching on 14 May 2018, Innovate Bellville 2.0 is open to new businesses that have been operating for six months or less, who are developing new innovative ideas that could improve public transport, create jobs, create inclusive public spaces, address homelessness, improve health and wellbeing, manage waste, facilitate mobility, attract and retain investment and regenerate the Bellville urban centre.

Related: 3 Actionable Insights To Make Your Investment Pitch Perfect

Innovate Bellville 2.0 forms part of the GTP’s living lab approach to the regeneration of the Bellville CBD, says Warren Hewitt, CEO of the GTP: “We want Bellville to be a test-bed for new ideas that can help us to build a vibrant, prosperous, inclusive city region. Innovate Bellville 2.0 falls directly into that approach. We’re looking forward to seeing the ideas that emerge, and seeing the winning idea implemented in a part of our city that stands on the edge of an exciting future.”

“Innovation starts anywhere,” says Tania Cunningham, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer for The Startup Hatchery, “but we were very excited at the prospect of focusing on finding innovative ideas that could bring about real change to a defined geographical area. Innovate Bellville 2.0 will offer the winning business a solid start in life, with a chance to see their idea become a reality in Bellville.”

Entrants are required to submit their ideas in a 30-second WhatsApp video to 082 936 7544 before 24 May 2018. Twenty semi-finalists will be selected from the WhatsApp pitches, who will each receive training and a pitch deck. From that group, a group of eight finalists will then be selected and invited to pitch their ideas to judges during a pitch event on 7 June.

For more information, contact pitchtank@thestartuphatchery.co.za

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Silulo Business Incubation Is Changing The Future Of Entrepreneurs

Silulo Business Incubation is a unique incubation aimed at empowering and assisting upcoming entrepreneurs.

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Launched in April 2018, the Silulo Business Incubation is a unique incubation aimed at empowering and assisting upcoming entrepreneurs to grow not only their businesses but also their confidence in the business space. The Incubation offers office space, boardrooms, training and conference rooms as well as eighteen shared office space for entrepreneurs in and around Cape Town.

Founder and Director, Mr Luvuyo Rani says: “We have always had a vision for this type of centre – a one-stop-shop where all entrepreneurial needs are catered for but our problem was always funding. With hard-work and dedication, we were able to make our vision a reality, which is exactly what we want to teach and instil for our entrepreneurs.”

The incubation will also offer networking sessions for aspiring entrepreneurs twice a month for two hours. This idea is to offer business insights as well as networking opportunities for entrepreneurs in and around Cape Town. Entrepreneurs will have the option to become members of the SBI Network where they are able to attend networking sessions of their choice. All networking sessions will cover different topics and training manuals will be offered after each session.

Related: Silulo Ulutho Technologies: Luvuyo Rani

Rani continues:

“The main challenge when it comes to this type of business is infrastructure and funding. Silulo is a pioneer and it can go anywhere, there are no boundaries in business. This is a flagship store. We want to replicate this in every province. Silulo’s success lies in partnerships and our business has a passion for empowering.”

Rani, a former teacher, together with his brother Lonwabo Rani started selling computers from the boot of a car more than ten years ago. Silulo Technologies now has 42 branches in three provinces: the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal and 22 franchise stores, some of which are owned by former Silulo employees.

Director and Co-founder, Lonwabo Rani says: “My brother always tells us to think about the bigger picture. It was that bigger picture that kept us going. Back in 2006, what you see today is exactly how it was when we envisioned it.”

About Silulo:

In 2017 Silulo reached a total of 35 000 students trained since inception. It trained 65 students through MIC SETA in both the Eastern and Western Cape.

Related: 10 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 Share Their Start-Up Secrets

Rani and his two directors remodelled the business in 2017 by offering a walk in cellphone repair service (including the service of leading brands such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei) at one of the Silulo branches in Khayelitsha.

Rani, who was part of the Team South Africa to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland in 2018, has received numerous accolades for his social impact business.

He was also awarded a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2016 among his many accolades.

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