The I’M IN entrepreneurial programme has announced the launch of its Ideation Incubator, a three-month programme focused on women students with innovative technology start-up ideas.
The programme aims to provide qualifying women students with an equity-free investment of R50 000, as well as support in the form of participation stipends, data and laptop costs, business skills training, and access to the I’M IN ecosystem. Applications for the programme are open until Friday, 12 May 2023 and can be completed on the I’M IN website.
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“We are looking for exciting and disruptive technology ideas across all verticals. More importantly, we want to partner with Black women students who are excited to use technology to solve real problems in their communities and share our mission-driven approach,” said Palesa Tabai, I’M IN programme lead.
The programme is exclusively available to women students from seven institutions in Gauteng, including the University of Johannesburg (Soweto campus), Tshwane University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology, Wethinkcode, and Girl Code.
The I’M IN Ideation Incubator is designed to empower black women students from non-traditional tech or non-tech-enabled entrepreneurship backgrounds.
By providing mentorship, guidance, and a clear roadmap for securing funding, the program aims to increase the rate of technology adoption in underrepresented communities.
It offers a unique opportunity for women students to develop solutions to address challenges faced by their own communities and contribute to the African tech ecosystem.
Kevin Latter, senior country officer for Sub-Saharan Africa at J.P. Morgan, said, “Business ownership is an important avenue for wealth building across the world, yet equitable access to critical resources needed for business to grow and scale is limited. J.P. Morgan is pleased to be supporting I’M IN’s Ideation Incubator programme to help advance access to mentorship, capital, and other supportive resources to help close this gap for underserved women entrepreneurs in South Africa.”
The first cohort of the Ideation Incubator is set to include 30 start-up ideas. To apply for the program, black women students with technology ideas can visit http://www.imin.business and complete a short form by Friday, 12 May 2023. For any inquiries, interested participants can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’M IN is focused on supporting early-stage technology start-ups in achieving commercial sustainability by providing pre-seed investment, effective business and technical support. While the programme initially targeted businesses with a validated Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and proven product-market fit, the all-women pre-accelerator pilot was launched in 2021 to support women entrepreneurs needing to move from ideation to Proof of Concept (POC) or MVP.
The pilot was successful in assisting four women tech entrepreneurs in reaching MVP. Some of the previous successful participants in I’M IN programs include Lulaloop, cARscan, Zulzi, Droppa, BrandBook, Fixxr, and Lightbulb Education.