Kizito Okechukwu, left, the co-chairperson of GEN Africa, and former statistician-general Dr Pali Lehohla during their recent visit to Business Report’s Johannesburg offices.Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency/ANA
JOHANNESBURG - The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa 22 on Sloane has launched its 2019 start-up residency programme, which aims to attract more than 100 start-ups to join its start-up campus in Bryanston. This will mark the second year of its residency programme.

The GEN operates a platform of programmes in 173 nations aimed at encouraging the start and scale of new and young businesses. The 2019 applications will focus mainly on inviting Tech-based start-ups from the AgriTech; E-Commerce, EduTech, EnergyTech, FinTech, Gaming, HealthTech, Robotics and TransportTech sectors.

In addition, start-ups from the agro-processing and large-scale manufacturing sectors are also invited to apply. 22 on Sloane will be enlisting additional mentors and programme managers with technical expertise to support 100 of the start-ups, which qualify for the 2019 residency programme.

This year saw the appointment of the former statistician-general, Pali Lehohla, as a resident Research Adviser at 22 on Sloane and a few more appointments of learned and technical colleagues will be made over the next few months.

In 2018, 22 on Sloane selected 87 start-ups that joined its 2018 programme and have made a cash and kind investment to start-ups from its 2018 programme. More than 1000 applications were received in 2017 and 87 start-ups were selected for 2018 residency. The current number of resident start-ups is now 60 with a combined revenue of more than $7m (R100m), employing more than 200 staff.

During the Global Entrepreneurship Week, which takes place from November 12 to 16 at 22 on Sloane, start-ups will get the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges for an opportunity to join the residency programme.

During one week every November, thousands of events and competitions in more than 170 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity, while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors.

Powered by the Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of more than 15000 partner organisations.

The Global Entrepreneurship Week programme of the week will include:

Monday, November 12: The Global Entrepreneurship Launch and Policy Day to be led by the Department of Small Business Development.

Tuesday, November 138: Agro-Processing and Manufacturing Day to be led by the Industrial Development Corporation and Nestlé.

Wednesday, November 14: Technology Day to be led by Microsoft. Microsoft will launch its HeadStart programme for Tech start-ups in South Africa.

Thursday, November 15: Social Entrepreneurship Day to be led by SAB Foundation and Industrial Development Corporation.

Friday, November 16: Funding Day to be led by various Venture Capitals, and Development Financial Institutions.

Microsoft’s HeadStart programme aims to support 10 tech-based start-ups by providing access to customers, mentors and the platform to build their products and services.

These chosen few will be selected from 22 on Sloane’s annual call for 2019 residency at its campus.

For more information

Kizito Okechukwu is the co-chairperson of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa - 22 on Sloane is Africa’s largest start-up campus.

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.