The LaunchLab incubator at the University of Stellenbosch has opened applications for the second edition of its Ideas programme, aimed at early-stage businesses looking to validate their concepts or improve their technology offering.
The LaunchLab has partnered Nedbank, Mercedes-Benz SA and WineTech to launch the programme, through which it provides access to a client network actively looking for startups to partner with, which aids in the validation process.
Startups from multiple industries, including AI, agri-tech, insurtech, fintech, education and cleantech, are invited to apply for the programme, which helps startups validate their concepts with real market players and starts their journey towards the maturity required to acquire customers and obtain investment.
“The wide range of industry focus areas this year means that you will find a place for your innovative business idea. This is a great opportunity to accelerate that business idea towards market readiness. The impact that engaging with our corporate clients offers cannot be underestimated,” said Philip Marais, LaunchLab chief executive officer (CEO).
“We find that startups that engage with our clients can accelerate their growth faster than startups following the traditional route to market because the client does not only help provide finance for the startup but access to market as well.”
LaunchLab will be holding information sessions at various partner campuses around South Africa to provide further context and engagement around the Ideas programme, while to apply entrepreneurs must submit a three-minute video with the entry form which can be found on the LaunchLab website. The deadline for online submission entries is September 28, with the 10 finalists be notified by the second week in October.