Supporting entrepreneurship is the task of our time as we look to tech innovation to unlock solutions in healthcare, energy, education, agriculture, financial inclusion, the green economy and others. But many entrepreneurs in Africa are struggling to access the right support, limiting the potential impact of tech innovation on the continent.
The TechTribe Accelerator (TTA) is a new online training platform which will offer online training to thousands of African entrepreneurs.
The TTA is expected to launch on 13 September 2019 at the SA Innovation Summit, which will take place in Cape Town. Thereafter, applications will be accepted from across SADC. The first intake will focus on ventures from Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
The TTA is aimed at post-revenue tech and IP driven impact ventures from a variety of sectors, that are seeking to become grant and/or investment-ready.
In January 2020, at least 100 ventures will join the seven-month acceleration cohort, with the top 30 being awarded virtual mentorship by regional experts.
The TTA is born of the need to bring pan-African ecosystem partnerships together to solve continental issues at scale.
NEPAD SANBio Network Manager, Ereck Chakauya, says, “Innovation happens everywhere, and the major issue African entrepreneurs face is the lack of quality education, acceleration services, and access to networks, in cities, towns and villages outside of the major tech hubs throughout the SADC region.”
The TTA is reportedly the first-ever SADC public-private partnership which seeks to:
Train hundreds of tech-enabled ventures to become investment ready using an online learning management system, alongside virtual mentors who can operate anywhere on the continent;
Connect entrepreneurs through a closed online social network;
Provide access to grants, debt and equity investors through online and live deal rooms;
Work with other ecosystem actors on the continent (universities, hubs, accelerators) to deploy acceleration services locally.
The TTA will be data-driven, focusing on monitoring the progress of ventures and their impact over a long period of time, and iterating itself according to outcomes.
Chair of the SA Innovation Summit, Dr Audrey Verhaeghe, says, “The TTA is the first real attempt to educate, accelerate and connect SADC based impact and tech entrepreneurs regionally, and develop a digital-enabled tribe.”
The initiative is a result of funding by the SAIS2 (Southern African Innovation Support) Programme, and involves a collaboration between Impact Amplifier, MHub Malawi, SA Innovation Summit, and NEPAD's Southern African Network for Biosciences (SANBio).
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