A look at #cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017: deals, partnerships and pilot projects

The 2017 edition of #cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017 came to an end in September. Dutch Consulate representative Romy van Baarsen describes the programme as being a “movement to drive real business and impact”.

“Most of the programme was on the go and involved meetings, connections and customer interactions,” she added.

Launched in 2016, #cocreate2ACCELERATE is an initiative of the kingdom of the Netherlands. It aims to foster enterprise by matching Dutch and South African tech startups in the belief that, by doing so, the startups can co-create solutions to local challenges.

#cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017 focused on agritech, bluetech, edtech, fintech and healthtech

In addition, the programme also aims to facilitate a mutual transfer of knowledge between Dutch and South African startups in ways that will help them to scale internationally.

#cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017 kicked off in August and gave participants an opportunity to attend the Innovation Summit held in September. This year’s programme focused on five sectors, namely agritech, bluetech, edtech, fintech and healthtech.

To be considered for the programme, startups must have been in operation for two years, must have live customers and be able to generate revenue. In addition, the startups are required to prove they have potential to grow and scale.

“Essentially, we looked for startups and scaleups who had a product relevance for the South African markets as well as the intent to grow globally. For the South African startups, it was selecting the top representatives of the sector as well as potential of scaling up,” van Baarsen told Ventureburn.

Read more: Dutch consulate announces names of startups for #cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017

The South African startups that took part in this year’s programme are Aerobotics, RecoMed, Snapplify, SkillUp Tutors and Trade Circle.

Eight Dutch startups also took part in the programme, namely Learnbeat, RanMarine, MEDx eHealthCenter, Trefi, TAHMO, aNewSpring and Talk360. The eighth startup, which has an impending launch in South Africa, requested that Ventureburn not divulge its name.

Partnerships and joint ventures


Earlier this month, South African startup Santerno Health & Wellness signed an agreement to partner with Dutch healthtech startup MEDx eHealthCenter on a healthtech pilot.

The pilot aims to demonstrate how MEDx eHealthCenter’s integrated health technology can simplify health processes.

Read more: #cocreate2ACCELERATE announces deal between SA startup Santerno, MEDx

Van Baarsen said that through the support provided by this year’s programme, another South African healthtech startup RecoMed managed to establish contact with StartupAmsterdam CEO Ruben Nieuwenhuis who has in turn introduced them to high-profile stakeholders in the Dutch medtech space.


Dutch autonomous aqua drone tech-startup startup RanMarine also got into a partnership with South African data analytics company Aerobotics. The partnership will see Aerobotics drones analyse how RanMarine’s autonomous drones remove waste from water.

Van Baarsen said that the two startups have three pilot projects in the pipeline, the first will be at the V&A Waterfront ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race. The other two will be with the City of Cape Town and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.


#cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017 saw Dutch fintech startup Trefi partner with Trade Circle, a South African digital business to business trading platform.

The partnership saw Trade Circle assist Trefi in navigating the South African fintech ecosystem. Van Baarsen said Trefi is eyeing expansion to South Africa within two years and that the two startups would likely carry on working together in the long term.


aNewSpring, a Dutch company that has developed an adaptive learning platform, partnered up with New Leaf Tech, a South African startup developing learning solutions.

The partnership will see the two companies implement adaptive learning in South Africa through aNewSpring’s platform.


Two other Dutch startups also launched pilot projects through #cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017. Learnbeat, an edtech platform for high school and university students, is working on launching a trial in South Africa and has a potential pilot lined up with a Johannesburg-based publisher.

Another Dutch startup, TAHMO, is currently conducting a trial of its weather stations in Johannesburg.

“The goal is to create mutually beneficial and long term relations between Dutch and South African startups. Next year we would like to do the programme again because we think that long lasting relationships are very important and it is the best way to create solutions for local challenges,” said van Baarsen.

Learn more about #cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017 programme here

Featured image: #cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017 participants (Supplied)

Daniel Mpala


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