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People 'n' Issues

Gauteng Accelerator Programme calls for innovators

Youth, females, people living with disabilities, and previously disadvantaged individuals are eligible to enter the competition, run by the Innovation Hub.

The Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP) has launched the 13th annual edition of a competition for entrepreneurs, innovators, and researchers working on ground-breaking technologies to improve the quality of life of South Africans.

The Innovation Competition, run by The Innovation Hub (TIH), has over the years assisted numerous entrepreneurs in launching businesses with seed funding. Youth, females, people living with disabilities, and previously disadvantaged individuals are eligible to enter the competition.

 “Our theme for this year’s iteration of the GAP Innovation Competition is Ignite Your Innovation,” says Thibi Matshele, TIH’s acting CEO. “It’s a theme we crafted with the understanding that the country is filled with many creative and innovative entrepreneurs across our country.

“We are a country that is regarded as one of the strongest economies not only in our continent but beyond. Based on that, our economy needs the kind of sectorial competitiveness that will not only respond to problems but come up with innovative solutions. Our researchers and innovative entrepreneurs have continuously proved to be leading lights for innovation.”

The GAP Innovation Competition is being run with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), Emory University Business School, and Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ).

A focus area identified as one of the strongest pillars of the Gauteng government is the township economy, where TIH has invested in identifying and assisting aspiring entrepreneurs through eKasiLabs, spread across the province’s five economic corridors.

The winners will share in seed funding and cash prizes. The winners can also access incubation services with technical and business mentors and intellectual property specialists. They will also benefit from access to TIH’s wide network of industry and government partners in the Science and Technology Park.

Since inception in 2011, the GAP Innovation programme has attracted more than 1,600 entries across five different categories, invested over R22-million in seed funding ,and provided incubation support to over 135 start-ups.

The GAP Innovation Competition is open until 21 August 2023.

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