Youth-run educational organisation Speak Afrika, along with the Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (CASA) and the US Embassy in Pretoria, have launched the Desert Startup Bootcamp in Tshwane this week.
The Desert Startup Bootcamp was co-founded by Mandela Washington Fellows Mhlanganisi Madlongolwana and Sam Beckbessinger.
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“This is particularly close to my heart as I come from these communities where access to markets and mentors is a big challenge for startups,” said Madlongolwana in a statement.
The bootcamp will select 55 aspiring entrepreneurs from 180 applicants from Tshwane and will put them through a three-month “experiential learning programme”.
The Desert Startup Bootcamp aims to ‘create a vibrant culture of youth entrepreneurs’
The entrepreneurs will meet for weekly workshops, mentoring, engagement sessions and pitching sessions to hone their products and presentation skills.
All these activities will take place at the American Corner in Pretoria. The hub provides the participants with high-speed internet, equipment as well as digital resources to aid them during their time in the bootcamp.
This will all be done in preparation for a pitching competition held in August which will be the foundation for the Desert Startup Bootcamp participants to build a larger client base, networks and to land possible investments.
“Together we’ll create a vibrant culture of youth entrepreneurship that is ‘plugged-in’ to a national and international ecosystem of entrepreneurs, experts, industry leaders and mentors, whilst still recognising the local challenges that young entrepreneurs face in our market,” said Beckbessinger, the other co-founder of the bootcamp.
Featured image: SA Tourism via Flickr (cc 2.0 resize)