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CiTi has been very active in the last few months. Since new CEO Ian Merrington came on board, the tech and innovation initiative has opened up a hub for entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha, while some of its alumni made names for themselves at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. More recently, it’s joined forces with ABSIP and UCT in an effort to support more student entrepreneurs.
Known for its incubation spaces and mentorship programmes, the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) in partnership with The Association of Black Securities and Investment (ABSIP) is now offering student and entrepreneurial support from its Campus Barn Hub in order to help University of Cape Town (UCT) students bring their ideas to market, among other things.
“Entrepreneurs and innovation are the source of solutions to problems that ordinary people face every day,” explained Alan Maguire, programme facilitator. “We want to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas into viable products and services, so that these solutions find the people. Not to mention the financial and job creation implications these entrepreneurs can have on our economy and communities.”
Reza Handley, CEO and founder of Dream Mobile, is the scheduled keynote speaker. Reza is a UCT graduate as well as a success story from the Bandwidth Barn’s incubation programme. Voted as Africa’s Most Innovative Company by Ventures Africa, Reza has been on a mission to drive internet accessibility across the world via cost-effective devices and affordable data a reality.
“Dream Mobile’s success is largely based on the belief and support we received from The Barn,” Handley said in a media release. “I think it is fantastic that they are now offering this support directly to students.”
“This collaboration will mean stronger support for entrepreneurs with a focus on tech and innovation, as well as women in business,” said Fred Ajusi, project manager of the programme. “We are excited about the possibilities that will arise from this collaboration.”