A competition with a resounding call to entrepreneurs, innovators, and researchers working on ground-breaking technologies to improve government, private and the quality of life of South African citizens is back for the 13th year running.
The Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP) Innovation Competition, run by The Innovation Hub (TIH), has assisted numerous entrepreneurs in launching their businesses with seeded funding over the years, enhancing sectorial competitiveness and contributing towards an improved local economy.
Mr Thibi Matshele, TIH’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our theme for this year’s iteration of the GAP Innovation Competition is Ignite Your Innovation. It’s a theme we crafted with the understanding that the country is filled with many creative and innovative entrepreneurs across our country. We call on these talented, creative and innovative entrepreneurs and researchers to enter the competition.”
The youth, females, people living with disabilities, and previously disadvantaged individuals eligible to enter the competition are encouraged to apply.
Mr Matshele said that based on the kind of criterion of young people they expect to apply, he is confident there will be a good uptake for the competition. “We are a country that is regarded as one of the strongest economies not only in our continent but beyond, based on that reason, 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 partners such as the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), Emory University Business School, and Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ).
The partners believe there is a considerable contribution that young innovators can bring across industries such as Biosciences, Green, ICT, and Medical. The other focus area, identified as one of the strongest pillars of the Gauteng government, is the township economy, where TIH is equally invested in identifying and assisting aspiring entrepreneurs through the eKasiLabs, spread across the province’s five economic corridors.
Mr Matshele concluded: “The winners will share in seed funding and cash prizes. Further, we will ensure the winners can access incubation services with technical and business mentors and intellectual property specialists. They will also benefit from access to our 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 1600 entries across five different categories and invested over R22 million in seed funding and provided incubation support to over 135 start-ups through this programme.
The GAP Innovation Competition is open until the 21st of August 2023.
For more information, please visit: https://www.theinnovationhub.com/innovation-programmes/gap-innovation-3