IBM South Africa has launched a start-up accelerator in partnership with Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct. Photo: AP

DURBAN – IBM South Africa has launched a startup accelerator in partnership with Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct. 

The startup accelerator will take place from 8 October 2018 to 16 November 2018 and it is designed to allow for the development of growth stage tech and digital startups, using a bootcamp format that will run over a six-week period. 

IBM spoke about the reasons that they partnered with Tshimologong Precinct for the bootcamp. The company said, "Tshimologong is not only our neighbours at the precinct but are also focused on the growth and development of technology entrepreneurs".

The company added that through programmes like the accelerator they aim to create an environment that cultivates of future tech SMME’s.

The bootcamp will focus on enablement and development through a series of short, intensive and rigorous modules. 

Each module is specifically chosen to address skills, resources, infrastructure and technology growth of the startup.  The bootcamp concludes with an investment proposal and pitch where the winning participants stand in line to win up to R500k in products and services that they require. 

Shaun Randles the Enterprise Development Manager of theTshimologong Precinct said, “Growing technology startups has 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". 

According to Randles, the bootcamp is focused on investment, one of the important elements of any growing business. 

He added that they are looking forward to working with the teams to make a bottom-line investment in tomorrow’s future technology leaders. 

To win the investment, the tech startups need to show how the investment will be used to advance the business. The growth curve the investment will produce must be based on real outcomes simulating financials and show growth in revenue or job creation.  

The startup will pitch its reasons why IBM should invest in the development of their startup at an awards evening at Tshimologong Precinct that will take place during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018.

Participants need to ensure that the business has a minimum of one-year trading as a CIPC registered business. The growth stage tech startup should be Black South African owned and managed. 

Between R120k to R50 million per year needs to be the turnover of the business plus the owner must be an active participant in the business. 

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