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For the second time this year, the LaunchLab initiative is offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their ideas to win their share of R80 000 in seed funding.
With a slight change this time round, Stellenbosch University has partnered with the University of the Western Cape to make the Pitching Den “bigger and better” than the previous round help earlier this year. With a Microsoft BizSpark sponsorship, the pitching venues will be taking place on three university campuses, namely Stellenbosch University, the University of the Western Cape, and the University of Cape Town.
Although the Pitching Den will be taking place at universities, applications are open to all.
The LaunchLab is part of Stellenbosch University’s Innovus initiative which is responsible for technology transfer, entrepreneurial support and development among students. Anita Nel, CEO of Innovus, elaborates on the significance of the partnerships:
“Such collaboration, enhances the trust of industry and the government to invest in our entrepreneurs and their businesses. When we take hands to jointly look after our emerging business leaders, we can achieve far more than pursuing smaller individual efforts and create much stronger networks and results. Consequently, we will attract the best students and researchers to the Western Cape which becomes an innovation region in which our own spin-off companies will flourish.”
A networking culture and sharing of ideas are high in demand for South Africa’s entrepreneurial scene to mature. Douglas Sanyahumbi, Director of the University of Western Cape’s Technology Transfer Office reiterates saying, “the entrepreneurial environment thrives on networks and so, as we grow and foster a strong culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Western Cape, we are excited about our collaboration with the LaunchLab and the opportunities it offers aspiring entrepreneurs.”
The pitching will kick off at the University of the Western Cape from September 16 – 18 before moving on to the University of Cape Town from September 23 – 25 and concluding at Stellenbosch University from September 30 – October 2.
Participants can pitch general business ideas to win seed funding sponsored by the Western Cape Government, the IDC and Business Partners or take part in one of the sponsored challenges outlined below.
Alchemy-A (EMSS) Challenge
Develop a disruptive software or electronics idea that will provide a technology solution that will aid economic development in Stellenbosch and help to make it a Smart City.
Develop a social change enterprise designed to make a positive and sustainable impact on any of the vulnerable communities of Stellenbosch.
Develop a business idea for an innovative technology/service/process that can substantially contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions or enable energy access through a sustainable clean energy solution.