Applications open for Johannesburg-based Digital Lab Africa

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Applications have opened for the third edition of Digital Lab Africa (DLA), an incubation platform for African creatives in digital content.

Initiated by the Embassy of France and French Institute in South Africa (IFAS) in 2016, the programme is managed by South African innovation hub Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct.

For the first time, this edition of DLA is a full-fledged programme of the Digital Content Hub of Tshimologong, which is supported by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The objective is to provide a springboard for the creators of next-generation content and to make their project happen, with the support of French and Sub-Saharan African leading companies such as Triggerfish Animation, ARTE, TRACE or Lagardère Studios.

The call for projects is open to anyone from the field of digital content creation: artists, producers, designers, startups, SMEs, collectives, students or entrepreneurs. All applicants should either be based in Sub-Saharan Africa or be nationals of a country in this region.

It targets developing projects in need of partners and financial support. The projects need to be innovative from the perspective of form, storytelling, content and technologies used, in one of the five following categories of multimedia production: web creation, virtual reality, gaming, digital music and animation.

“The call for a greater volume of authentic African voices in the global digital space is growing and we are well poised with our relationship with the DLA and through our Digital Content Hub to fill that gap with meaningful content,” said Lesley Donna Williams, chief executive of the Tshimologong Precinct.

Selected projects will claim a ZAR42,000 (US$2,900) cash prize and a Digital Lab Africa Incubation Pass to accelerate the projects’ development. Each of the projects’ holders are mentored by both French and African experts to benefit from the expertise of several ecosystems.

Alongside the mentorship programme, DLA mentees take part in residency programmes within digital clusters and also participate in industry events in France or in Sub-Saharan African region. The expected outcome of Digital Lab Africa programme is market-ready content and productions showcasing African creativity at its best.

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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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