Calling all entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative business ideas in the LaunchLab Ideas Programme - winning ideas stand the chance to win seed funding, incubation support and access to our clients!
Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab together with partners, Nedbank, Mercedes-Benz SA and WineTech has officially launched the second season of its 2018 with the aim of accelerating entrepreneurs and startup founders to begin to build from their vision, turning it into a reality to prosper in Africa.
LaunchLab's mission is to facilitate valuable connections for startups and corporates, as well as other relevant business partners to help those startups excel. The Ideas Programme is intended primarily for very early-stage businesses looking to validate their concepts or improve their technology offering to their market.
LaunchLab provides access to its client network who are actively looking for startups to partner with, which aids in the validation process.
LaunchLab is looking for startup business ideas in multiple industries, including but not limited to:
● Artificial Intelligence (AI): Pitch how you think AI will impact our world with your exciting concept. Calling all engineers and data scientists to wow our clients.
● Advanced Manufacturing: This is another opportunity for engineers and data scientists to make an impact on this important sector in South Africa. Strong candidates and concepts will have access to opportunities with our corporate clients.
● Agritech and Food Innovations: We are specifically looking for innovations in the wine industry and related industries for Winetech.
● Insurtech: Pitch your ideas of what the future of insurance will look like.
● Safety: Help us make South Africans safer with your innovative concept.
● Fintech: We are looking for disruptive technologies in the financial services industry that can transform the way we interact with money.
● Blockchain: Each industry that mainly acts as a middleman between producers and customers of immaterial or digital goods and services is vulnerable to being replaced by a peer-to-peer system supported by the Blockchain. Tell us how you will do this.
● Education: We are pleased to be helping Stellenbosch University to identify innovative edutech solutions that can help contribute to new models of education to empower students to create jobs and add value to broader society.
● Cleantech: The world is on a drive to sustainability and South Africa is no different. Submit your ideas to help South Africa harness its natural resources better and recycle what we have already used.
● Internet of Things (IoT): Connected devices means more information to make our lives easier and more efficient. Help our clients with your IoT concepts that can transform their supply chains and make customers' lives better.
● Social Enterprises: Do you have a business idea which can have a big impact and benefit those that need it most but still be a viable business? Take advantage of this opportunity to pitch it.
This programme helps new concepts and potential businesses validate their concepts with real market players and starts their journey towards the maturity required to acquire customers and obtain investment.
These are the highlights of the impact of our programme in South Africa during 2017:
● 24 selected for our incubation programme
● 8 commercial agreements with LaunchLab clients
● 4 invested indirectly by LaunchLab clients
● R1.18 million in total prize money paid across all programmes
“The wide range of industry focus areas this year means that you will find a place for your innovative business idea. This is a great opportunity to accelerate that business idea towards market readiness. The impact that engaging with our corporate clients' offers cannot be underestimated. We find that startups that engage with our clients can accelerate their growth faster than startups following the traditional route to market because the client does not only help provide finance for the startup but access to the market as well." says Philip Marais, LaunchLab CEO.
Ideas Programme Information Sessions:
We will be holding information sessions at various partner campuses around South Africa to provide further context and engagement around the Ideas Programme and the various industries. The information sessions will be held at the following campuses:
- 23 August, 11am – 2pm – University of Pretoria Piazza
- 28 August, 4pm – 5pm – Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab
To book for these info sessions visit https://launchlab.co.za/ideas2018
Submission requirements: Submit a 3-minute video (cell phone footage can be submitted too) of yourself explaining your business idea with your entry form which can be found on the LaunchLab website: http://www.launchlab.co.za/ideas2018
Submissions opened in August, and the deadline for online submission entries is 28 September 2018. The top ten finalists will be notified by the second week in October. Pitches will be shortlisted and be taken through a process to determine which 10-15 businesses we will take into our incubation programme, to develop towards engaging with our clients.