TIA, French embassy initiative offers SA startups chance to enter European market

Featured image: Walkerssk via Pixabay

Do you have a South African startup that’s developing an artificial intelligence (AI) solution? Are you interested in accessing the French and European market?

The Embassy of France in South Africa and the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) are calling on SA startups to apply for the Young Enterprise Initiative South Africa (Yei SA).

The initiative, which is part of the global Yei programme, provides science-based early-stage startups with the opportunity to develop and grow their businesses in France.

The programme is organised by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with Hello Tomorrow.

Applications for the Young Enterprise Initiative in South Africa close on 22 November

Participants of the accelerator programme will get to know the French research and innovation environment as well as gain access to market access opportunities in French and global markets.

Applications for the programme will close on 22 November, with winners set to be announced next month.

Shortlisted candidates will be selected via video investor-pitch style interviews which will take place between 25 and 29 November.

To qualify for the programme, startups must:

  • Be in the process of developing a new technology that is based on AI, in any industry
  • Clearly show and motivate the product’s potential for French and European markets
  • Be working on a technology project that is at an early stage of development, that is seed-phase or Series-A
  • Be registered South African companies in early-stage or pre-commercialisation
  • Have a team of at least two but less than 30 employees and less than $2-million or R30-million in annual revenue
  • Not be a past Yei programme beneficiary

TIA and the French embassy said in a joint statement last week that the programme will not only increase the global competitiveness of South African startups, but will also assist the French technical experts selected from a network of incubators to identify and nurture innovative technologies.

The programme will be implemented in parallel with similar programmes in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Singapore and Taiwan.

As part of the programme, three South African companies will be selected to travel to France early next year to attend the attend the 2020 Hello Tomorrow Global Summit and spend to meet with potential partners, connect with the best resources and set up business operations.

In addition to attending training sessions on how to do business in France, and meeting with technical and business partners, participants will also get to explore the innovation ecosytem outside Paris with a tailored programme in a pre-identified incubator or accelerator

The French embassy will cover the return airfare, accommodation, Hello Tomorrow Summit entrance fee and costs related to training and meetings. In addition, the embassy will contribute to accomodation costs in Paris during the first week of the initiative.

TIA will cover the accommodation and ground transport costs for the second week of the programme.

Featured image: Walkerssk via Pixabay



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