SA startups invited to apply for Netherlands-funded #cocreateSA

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The Netherlands has announced applications are open for its #cocreateSA Fund, which is offering ZAR500,000 (US$40,000) in projects combining Dutch and South African knowledge providing innovative solutions to local challenges.

Startups applying for the #cocreateSA Fund are required to have developed innovative solutions to challenges in the sectors of agriculture and food, energy, life sciences and health, logistics and water.

Bonnie Horbach, consul general of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Cape Town called on South Africans with innovative ideas to find a Dutch counterpart and apply by June 1. Applicants will be assessed by a professional jury, with winners announced at the #cocreateSA Fund awards on June 25.

“To me, international trade relations can only be successful when we take our time to build genuine and long-term partnerships so that we truly understand the demand and the local challenges,” Horbach said.

“Luckily, I am not alone in this. When we launched the #cocreateSA Fund last year, we were overwhelmed by the number of South African and Dutch projects that were based on exactly that vision.”

Last year’s awards took place during World Design Capital Cape Town 2014, and saw nine projects awarded funding.

“Last year’s winning projects included incredible, ambitious projects that are now starting to report their first results,” Horbach said.

“A great example is the Ikwhesi Clinic near Khayelitsha where they are working to drastically reduce the waiting times and improve the waiting experience through innovative design-thinking. Things like this encourage me to continue this fund. If we can help kick-start these types of projects, we can truly make a difference and co-create innovations for South Africa.”

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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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