The SABLE Accelerator, a recently formed mentoring network of South African experts living in Silicon Valley and other technology hubs, today announced new partner and portfolio company agreements during a visit to South Africa by two of its co-founders.
Aimed at activating and engaging South Africa’s untapped brains trust and knowledge network of expatriate assets around the world, The SABLE Accelerator was launched in August this year to help the country be more competitive in realising a better return on innovation and entrepreneurship across both the private and public sectors.
The international partnership group is dedicated to helping South African entrepreneurs, new venture start-ups, academic institutions and companies commercialise technology innovations, promote and protect intellectual property, fund new business concepts, finance growth, as well as expand into global markets.
Organisations, funding sources and university technology transfer offices that have recently affiliated with SABLE (South African Business Link to Experts) in both South Africa and the USA, include:
- The South African Innovation Network (SAINe)
- Silicon Cape Initiative
- Technology Innovation Agency (TIA)
- Business Unity South Africa (BUSA)
- African Entrepreneur Academy / No Picket Fence
- South African Venture Capital Association (SAVCA)
- Convergence Partners
- Impulsa XL
- Seed Engine
- Nomad Ventures
- Battery Ventures
- ICCG Capital
- The Homecoming Revolution
- University of Cape Town
- InnovUS – Stellenbosch University
“SABLE partners have spent the last three months reviewing and interacting with dozens of promising South African early stage, emerging growth and middle market ventures that might have potential in global markets,” notes co-founder and managing partner Werner Mansfeld. “We have also been determining where these enterprises can benefit from international coaching, consulting and funding support from trusted expatriate sources and subject matter experts around the world.”
SABLE portfolio candidates range from solution providers in marketing automation, business analytics and customer experience solutions to those in human resource management, enterprise collaboration, and interactive entertainment. In addition, SABLE partners have evaluated innovators in the fields of medical technology, mobile applications, digital media, film animation, event virtualisation, and renewable energy. Many of these companies are profiled on SableNetwork.com and have also been introduced by SABLE to prospective customers, partners and funding sources abroad.
The SABLE Accelerator was formed by three Global South Africans living in Silicon Valley and London and features a core consulting team of influential South African expatriates holding senior positions at international technology, life science and agri-business companies; consulting and professional service firms; venture capital and private equity funds; as well as research and academic institutions, including the new venture spawning ground of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
In efforts to help South African small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access foreign markets, The SABLE Accelerator has designed a new thought leadership program which it plans to implement with public and private sector partners. Dubbed “Know More to Grow More, Globally,” the continuity campaign includes a knowledge portal (MarketingGlobally.com); an audit of SME Global Market Mindset; a best practice study of foreign market entry and expansion; ongoing mentoring and coaching; as well as educational workshops, webinars and webcasts.
A big part of the SABLE value proposition is the formation of an elite online community of expert Global South Africans (GSA) who possess knowledge, expertise, influence and access abroad. SABLE is using a customised version of the MentorCloud SaaS platform to enable GSAs to import their LinkedIn profiles, present their credentials, and specify whether they wish to consult, mentor, coach, speak, lecture, invest, or serve on a board. They will also be able to provide pro bono coaching and mentoring services, extend their professional networks, as well as monetise their time and expertise.
South African-based “Innovators” are able to register and post information about their intellectual property or new business models at the SableNetwork.com web site with the aim of furthering links to experts and sources of funding and business development support worldwide. They are also able to search for compatible and relevant global experts to help them take their intellectual property (IP) or business models to market, as well as provide advice, coaching, mentoring and introductions.