Cape Town’s Bandwidth Barn opens applications for InnoTech accelerator

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Cape Town-based incubator the Bandwidth Barn, in partnership with operator Telkom, has launched the InnoTech incubation and acceleration programme, inviting applications from startups focused on the themes “Better Living”, “Sustainable Business”, “Smart Cities” and “Greener Planet”.

Disrupt Africa reported in May the Bandwidth Barn, which is part of the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) group of organisations, had signed a three-year multimillion rand partnership with part state-owned operator Telkom, aimed at developing and operating accelerator programmes for tech entrepreneurs.

The InnoTech accelerator is the first manifestation of this partnership, with applications now open for the programme, which will run until March 2016. It is focused on web and mobile application development, software development and design and gaming, and looks to stimulate the creation of new businesses and support the growth of existing startups through the uptake of technology and innovation capability.

The Bandwidth Barn said it was looking for small businesses with big ideas, and talented teams that can use the power of ICT for good. It cited examples such as gaming for improved matric maths scores, smart grids for renewable energy integration, optimised video for community news, and real-time data for disaster management.

Selected startups will receive office space, connectivity, mentorship, business training, and access to markets and additional funding via Telkom’s Enterprise Development Fund.

“This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurially-inclined developers to get really robust business support through our incubation programmes. This is the ideal initiative to springboard these coders and developers into the marketplace, equipped with skills to run sustainable businesses,” Michelle Matthews, programme head of InnoTech at CiTi, told Disrupt Africa.

Ian Merrington, chief executive officer (CEO) of CiTi, said successful candidates would join a league of entrepreneurs who have successfully come through such programmes over the last 15 years.

“Being backed by this legacy makes this programme more than just a pat on the back; it is a formula for business success,” he said.

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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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