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IBM, Tshimologong support digital start-ups


IBM SA has collaborated with Wits University's Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, to launch a six-week start-up accelerator programme designed to support growth stage digital start-ups.

The Start-up Accelerator is an initiative of the IBM Enterprise Development Programme, one of three streams of the IBM SA Equity Equivalence Investment Programme.

During the pitch session, entrepreneurs must demonstrate how the R500 000 investment will be used to expand their business.

Taking place from 8 October to 16 November, the bootcamp will focus on assisting tech start-ups with enablement and development support, through a series of short, intensive and rigorous modules.

Each module, according to Tshimologong, is specifically selected to address skills, resources, infrastructure and the use of technology within the start-up.

The bootcamp culminates in an investment proposal and pitch, with the winning participants standing to win up to R500 000 in products and services.

"Growing technology start-ups have long been a focus of the precinct and we are pleased to partner with IBM SA to further develop this vital segment of the market," says Shaun Randles, enterprise development manager at Tshimologong Precinct.

"This bootcamp is centred on investment, one of the critical elements of any growing business. We look forward to working with the teams to make a bottom line investment in tomorrow's future technology leaders."

To win the investment prize, the tech start-ups need to demonstrate how the R500 000 investment will be used to accelerate and expand the business. The growth trajectory the investment will yield must be based on tangible outcomes simulating financials and demonstrating an increase in revenue or job creation.

The investment must include their technology requirements for both internal operations and product scaling, notes the precinct.

The Tshimologong Precinct is hosting an awards evening during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018, where entrepreneurs will be given an opportunity to pitch their start-up concepts.

Last year, the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct partnered with BCX to introduce the BCX Innovation Programme, aimed at providing local tech start-ups with both financial and development support.

Interested participants need to ensure the business has a minimum of one-year trading as a CIPC-registered business, with a turnover of between R120 000 to R50 million per annum.

For more information, visit the Tshimologong Web site.



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