State, private sector must partner to ride out Fourth Industrial Revolution – Zulu

“The only way to ride the wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is through partnership,” Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said today at the announcement of a partnership between the state and a Cape Town incubator.

The official announcement of Cape Town hardware technology incubator Savant‘s partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) follows an already two-year partnership between the two entities. The announcement was made at the incubator’s offices in District Six, Cape Town.

Zulu said the SEDA Technology Programme is one of her department’s flagship programmes. She added that there was still a need to upscale support given by the government.

She said that her department has chosen to work with Savant as it is helping to commercialise the intellectual property (IP) of higher educations institutions.

“Savant differentiates itself from many different incubators in that it is in it for the long-haul,” she added.

Savant has been working with SEDA since 2015, with SEDA providing R9-million in funding

Speaking to Ventureburn on the sidelines of the launch, Savant Director Kate Turner-Smith said the incubator has been working with SEDA since 2015. To date Savant has received R9-million in funding.

“In the two years since partnering with SEDA, we have taken on an additional 12 businesses and are in the process of finalising due diligence on another two,” said Savant CEO Nick Allen.

SEDA CEO Mandisa Tshikwatamba said SEDA’s Technology Programme helps to address “market leakages” as it is helping to link entrepreneurs to the market.

Tshikwatamba added that SEDA presently supports 62 incubators and has created 18 746 jobs in the last 10 years.

Among the startups Savant has worked with are Leatt, Formfoods, Balancell and Smartblade.

A participant of  Savant’s incubator programme, Incitech founder Dineo Lioma said Savant had assisted Incitech to secure funding and develop a working prototype which is set to be launched next year in March. Incitech is a medtech startup that is busy developing an HIV-self testing kit.

Lioma said Savant had also helped Incitech prepare for and win the Global Entrepreneur Congress pitching competition held earlier this year in March.

Featured image: (from left to right) The Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu, Savant CEO Nick Allen, Technology Innovation Agency head of technology stations and IATs Vusi Skosana, SEDA CEO Mandisa Tshikwatamba and Savant director Kate-Turner Smith

Daniel Mpala


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