Johannesburg offering $88k funding to green startups

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The City of Johannesburg’s Challenge Fund has launched The Green City Startup, which seeks to develop revolutionary or immediately scalable ideas with up to ZAR1 million (US$88,000) in funding.

The Green City Startup is inviting applications from entrepreneurs with ideas in energy, waste, water, transport or building, for the chance to gain funding as well as mentorship and guidance from Resolution Circle, the University of Johannesburg’s technology commercialisation company and incubator.

“The challenge is steep – only those who have revolutionary or immediately scalable ideas stand the chance to be one of the green companies of the future. If you make it you will receive the support and financial backing to make your idea fly,” the City of Johannesburg said.

An awards panel of serial entrepreneurs and distinguished researchers will select eight finalists from the applicants, with each finalist receiving ZAR250,000 (US$22,000) to demonstrate the viability of their idea.

Two winners will be selected by the panel six months later to receive up to ZAR1 million each to turn their idea into reality, with the entries open to startups, small and mediym enterprises (SMEs) and partnerships

A “revolutionary” idea is defined as one that may lead to a breakthrough new product or process, that is far-reaching and technically challenging. On the other hand, an immediately scalable idea is one that is ready to enter the market within the next 6-12 months, with a prototype already developed and a market clearly identified.

Applications for the competition can be made online, and close on January 30.

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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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