Applications open for SA Venture Incubation Programme

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Applications have opened for the latest edition of the Venture Incubation Programme run by the MTN Solution Space at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (GSB).

The Venture Incubation Programme offers startups mentorship, workshops and industry expertise valued at over ZAR300,000 (US$25,000) to help develop new ventures and validate business models, as well as provides access to funding, networks, exposure and recognition.

“We call on digital startups from all over Africa who are looking to get a foot in the door to take advantage of this amazing opportunity,” said Sarah-Anne Alman, manager of the Solution Space.

“The first 90 days of a startup 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. 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 programme has supported businesses such as eating-out app Feastfox and chatting platform Chat2Brand, as well as online emotional intelligence platform Mygrow and consumer neuroscience consultancy Neural Sense.

“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,” said Stephen van Coller, MTN Group VP for digital services, data analytics and business development.

“The MTN Group is interested in startups 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.

Applicants should already have initial concept development 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.

“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,” Alman said.

Applications for the Venture Incubation Programme close on February 28.

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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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