Bandwidth Barn, Telkom in “multimillion” rand partnership

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Cape Town-based government-funded technology incubator Bandwidth Barn has signed a three-year multimillion rand innovation and technology partnership with part state-owned operator Telkom, aimed at opening up more opportunities in the digital economy for entrepreneurs and startups.

The Bandwidth Barn, which is part of the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) group of organisations and has four physical co-working and collaboration environments in the Western Cape, said the deal with Telkom would further enable it to play a major role in developing and operating accelerator programmes for tech entrepreneurs.

The two organisations first worked together in 2008, when Telkom was the headline sponsor of the Bandwidth Barn’s inaugural incubator.

“One of our core strategic objectives is the fostering of inclusive innovation. This partnership with Telkom enables us to leverage and convert our historical enterprise development success into tech enabled innovation, incubation and acceleration goals which are aligned with Telkom’s innovation and enterprise development objectives. We are committed to taking our long and successful relationship with Telkom, to a new level,” said Ian Merrington, chief executive officer (CEO) of CiTi and the Bandwidth Barn.

Three primary initiatives will be implemented through the partnership. The MediaTech Initiative will deliver market intelligence informing and seeding business ideas with the potential to be further developed and commercialised, while the InnoTech accelerator programme will be launched for entrepreneurs focusing on software, mobile applications and serious game development.

Meanwhile, an Acceleration Support Programme will also be launched in order to assist high-impact black-owned SMMEs in the development, production and deployment phases of their businesses.

“We have the capacity, appetite, technical ability and leadership commitment to pursue high-impact projects and ideas with like-minded partners,” said Ian Russell, chief procurement officer of Telkom. “We are delighted to deepen our partnership with the Bandwidth Barn in the context of our FutureHub initiatives.”

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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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