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South African clean-tech start-ups and entrepreneurs will vie for the attention of international and local investors at the Green Energy Africa Summit held on 5 October in Cape Town. The highly influential group collectively holds investments worth more than $100 billion.
As an initiative of the Hyve Group, the company behind the Mining Indaba, Africa Oil Week and Green Energy Africa Summit, the pitching event will gather together a group of clean-tech projects to present their start-ups before an audience.
Hyve Group is partnering with the Saldanha Bay Innovation Campus (SBIC) and advisory firm RIIS, so as to identify local start-ups and entrepreneurs that might fit the bill. The Saldanha Bay Innovation Campus is an initiative of the Saldanha Bay Industrial Zone (SBIDZ) purposely to support Saldanha to be a world-class maritime and energy industrial centre; at the forefront of research, development and innovation. Following an initial application process, a shortlist of candidates will make their way to the pitching event in October.
Chief executive of the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone, Kaashifah Beukes, says that the pitching event offers an incredible opportunity not readily available to local start-ups.
“Finding suitable investment partners can be an extremely challenging task, even for the most seasoned of companies. For start-ups and entrepreneurs, with limited resources, not being able to find the right funding avenues is an inhibiting factor that works against South Africa’s development goals,” says Beukes.
Not only will shortlisted candidates have access to investors through the pitch opportunity, they will also receive free business training in preparation for the event. CEO of RIIS, Davis Cook, explains that entrepreneurs and start-ups are typically focused on prototyping and product development, with less attention given to business imperatives.
Cook says, “Taking a business to market requires specific considerations from an investor perspective, and while they may display technology readiness, young businesses are seldom business-ready. We believe that by providing the shortlisted applicants with support prior to the pitching session will enable them to derive the most out of this tremendous opportunity.”
The Hyve Group is eager to see the results of the Energy Investment Village, which is the official name given to the pitching event. Paul Sinclair, vice president of energy and director of government relations for Africa Oil Week and the Green Energy Africa Summit, believes that the pitch session could well be a feature of Green Energy Africa Summit going forward.
“As the demand grows in South Africa to put viable and innovative green energy solutions on the table, Green Energy Africa Summit is eager to play a part in enabling the emergence of such ventures, which can ultimately shape the future of Africa,” says Sinclair.
The pitching event, known as the Energy Investment Village, is a half-day, parallel session at Green Energy Africa Summit, which is taking part alongside its sister event Africa Oil Week. Applicants interested in applying to take part in the pitch opportunity are required to apply online at the Green Energy Africa Summit website.
Submissions close on 19 August 2022.