Telkom InnoTech Programme Announces Phase Two Finalists
In July 2015, the Bandwidth Barn, Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative’s (CiTi) incubator and hub for innovators and entrepreneurs, announced the launch of the Telkom FutureMakers InnoTech programme. The InnoTech programme supports emerging ICT entrepreneurs and black-owned SMME’s at their early prototype stages.
Fifteen black-owned businesses were selected to join the programme and went through an intensive eight-week pitch deck journey of assessing the commercial viability of their ideas. They were provided with support, coaching, networking opportunities, and office space and services at the Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock. This prepared them for their final pitches that took place in late October. The entrepreneurs developed a wide variety of concepts that ranged from online tutoring programs to printing solutions and education through gaming. The pitches were presented to a panel of expert judges including Litha Kutta, who heads up Preferential Procurement at Telkom Enterprise and Supplier Development.
Seven of the fifteen businesses were selected to continue to the second phase of the program, which will see them receiving business and technical support to launch their product into the market. In addition to a structured programme of seminars and one-on-one mentorship, each participating organisation will also receive customised business development support to the value of R20 000.
“The InnoTech Fellows have really impressed us by turning their interesting ideas into strong, exciting business proposals in just eight weeks,” said Michelle Matthews, Innovation Programme Manager at CiTi. “They have been equipped with concepts and tools that will serve them well throughout their entrepreneurial journey.”
The fellows expressed their excitement and appreciation for the programme. “The systems that have been put in place and implemented in the program have allowed the growth in our businesses and in our personal capacities,” said Makabongwe Mpambani, Marketing and Communications Manager of Carerott, one of the phase 2 companies. “We’re very excited about InnoTech phase two. Telkom has already opened doors for us and we look forward to continuing the relationship.”
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