Cape Town’s RLabs opens applications for InnovIA accelerator

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Cape Town-based social impact incubator RLabs has opened applications for the 2016 cycle of its Innovation, Incubation and Accelerator (InnovIA) Programme, aimed at turning innovative ideas into scalable social enterprises.

Founded by Marlon Parker in 2008, RLabs is a global movement and registered social enterprise that provides innovative solutions to address various complex problems.

Its core activities are skills and training, community development, social and disruptive innovation, mobile and internet solutions, social enterprise incubation, impact investing and social franchising.

Disrupt Africa reported in November the incubator showcased 10 new startups that graduated from the InnovIA programme, bringing the total number of innovations it has produced in four years to 47.

“The RLabs InnovIA programme, now in its fifth year offers an exciting and invaluable opportunity for innovators and social entrepreneurs to grow and build their enterprises. This 12-week programme is designed to assist participants during their startup’s most vulnerable period, and support taking an idea or product to market,” RLabs said.

Aspirant social innovators and entrepreneurs are invited to apply online, with applicants to be subjected to a selection process. If successful, they will be expected to commit themselves or one team member to the programme.

The projects showcased in November included design and creative startup Design Lunatics, audio streaming widget CatchUP, which this week began a pilot period with the BBC World Service, jobs platform Kaazi, educational service RLabs U, and web-based innovation hub management platform HubBox.

Also showcasing was the mToto initiative, a flagship early childhood development (ECD), and its mToto bitcoin crowdfunding platform. Rewards solutions Zlto, informal trader ordering solution Spazaa and RLabs Radio, an incubator for digital radio innovations, completed the list.

“Following the RLabs incubation and support programmes, we believe that these projects have the best possible chance of success,” said Parker.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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