IBM South Africa and the Johannesburg-based Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct have announced the launch of a startup accelerator, designed to enable the development of growth-stage tech startups.
The programme, which will run over a period of six weeks from early October using a bootcamp format, will focus on enablement and development through a series of short, intensive and rigorous modules.
Each module is specifically selected to address skills, resources, infrastructure and technology growth within the startup. The bootcamp culminates in an investment proposal and pitch whereby the winning participants stand in line to win up to ZAR500,000 (US$33,000) in required products and services.
“Growing technology startups has long been a focus of the precinct and we are pleased to partner with IBM South Africa to further develop this vital segment of the market. This bootcamp is centred on investment, one of the critical elements of any growing business. We look forward to working with the teams to make a bottom-line investment in tomorrow’s future technology leaders,” said Shaun Randles, enterprise development manager at Tshimologong Precinct.
The accelerator is an initiative of the Enterprise Development Programme (EDP), one of the three streams of the IBM South Africa Equity Equivalence Investment Programme (EEIP). The EDP is focused on the enablement of entrepreneurs and businesses with a highly specialised ICT focus in globally relevant areas of technology such as Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things and Cybersecurity, amongst other things.
To win the investment, the tech startups need to demonstrate how the funding will be used to accelerate the business. The growth trajectory the investment will yield must be based on tangible outcomes simulating financials and thus demonstrating an increase in revenue or job creation.