Western Cape startups can secure up to $46k funding from Design Innovation Seed Fund


The Western Cape’s Craft and Design Institute (CDI) has opened for the latest Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF), which offers inventors and entrepreneurs with pre-revenue projects access to up to ZAR800,000 in funding.

The DISF is a project of the CDI, managed by CDI Capital and funded by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). Since 2014, it has contracted ZAR17.7 million (US$1.03 million) in grants to support local design innovation. 

Applications are now open for the latest DISF, with Western Cape-based designers, inventors, entrepreneurs and product developers invited to apply. The funding will help recipients to understand their opportunities by designing and building prototypes, and validating their assumptions around the technical and market-related challenges.

Startups from a variety of sectors, including agri-processing; biotechnology and health; construction; advanced manufacturing technology; information, communication technology; and software engineering, are invited to apply.

“We have seen some fantastic, cutting-edge technology-driven innovations emerge from South Africa thanks to the funding we have made available. This new round of grant funding is an enormous opportunity for the next set of local break-through ideas to become a reality,” said Erica Elk, group chief executive officer (CEO) at the CDI.

“We have put a significant amount of work into the grant offering, not only ensuring good governance and appropriate monitoring and evaluation measures, but also realising real and sustainable impact with the businesses we support.”

Applications are open here until 5pm on April 17.


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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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