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Catalysing growth: 'Tech to Titans' to support scaling of SA tech entrepreneurs

JSE Private Placements launches 'Tech to Titans', which aims to address challenges faced by tech start-ups by providing structured support.

Johannesburg, 25 Jun 2024
Pictured from left to right: René Moodley (IT and Operational Leadership JSE), Lee-Ann Govender (Sales & Business Development Manager JSE), Kashni Naidoo (Operations & ESD Executive UVU Accelerate), Milisa Mabinza (Director UK-SA Tech Hub), Sam Mokorosi (Head: Origination & Deals JSE), Lara Rosmarin (Head of Entrepreneur Development & Incubation UVU Accelerate) and Hayley Sylvester (Operations Manager).
Pictured from left to right: René Moodley (IT and Operational Leadership JSE), Lee-Ann Govender (Sales & Business Development Manager JSE), Kashni Naidoo (Operations & ESD Executive UVU Accelerate), Milisa Mabinza (Director UK-SA Tech Hub), Sam Mokorosi (Head: Origination & Deals JSE), Lara Rosmarin (Head of Entrepreneur Development & Incubation UVU Accelerate) and Hayley Sylvester (Operations Manager).

"Tech to Titans" is a transformative programme developed to empower high-growth South African tech ventures and enable successful onboarding onto the JSE Private Placements (JPP) platform. The programme was conceptualised and designed by the JSE Private Placements team in collaboration with UK-SA Tech Hub and UVU Accelerate.

The JSE Private Placements in collaboration with the UK SA Tech Hub, an initiative of the UK government, and implemented by UVU Africa, Africa’s original tech incubator, are proud to unveil this impactful initiative.

Recruitment for the inaugural cohort is now open, and entrepreneurs from 20 high-growth start-ups will be selected to commence the 10-month programme from August. "We encourage ambitious tech entrepreneurs who meet the criteria to apply and take advantage of this unique opportunity," said Lara Rosmarin, Head of Entrepreneur Development & Incubation at UVU Accelerate. "Tech to Titans will provide provide invaluable support to selected ventures, preparing them for accelerated growth and visibility in the marketplace.”

Tech to Titans aims to prepare selected ventures for accelerated scaling on the JSE Private Placements – an instrumental fintech platform connecting private companies with potential investors for equity, debt or fund financing.

Amid a contracting African venture capital market, South African tech start-ups face funding challenges exacerbated by economic factors and investor uncertainty. "Tech to Titans" aims to address these challenges by providing structured support and enhancing the attractiveness of start-ups to investors. UVU Accelerate, the Entrepreneur Development and Incubation arm of UVU Africa, will deliver comprehensive support through specialised mentorship, training and skills development tailored to equip selected ventures with the knowledge, competencies and frameworks necessary to navigate the JSE Private Placements onboarding process. Successful completion of the programme aims to enhance participant ventures' investor readiness and facilitate access to crucial capital, as part of a wider vision to bolster the region's burgeoning tech ecosystem.

“As Africa’s largest stock exchange, we are excited to leverage our expertise and brand through our subsidiary JSE Private Placements (JPP) to help entrepreneurs access much needed capital to support their growth ambitions. In the two years that we’ve been operation, we’ve helped raise over R100 million for SMEs and we are looking to exponentially grow that figure. In addition, our investor base has over R30 billion worth of capital ready to be deployed. Given the critical part that SMEs play in growing the economy and creating employment, it is essential that we foster an environment that streamlines the fundraising process and makes it simple for qualifying institutions to access to the correct form of capital to match their requirements. That is at the core of what we are aiming to achieve at JPP and with our strategic collaboration with the UK Tech Hub and UVU Africa," said Preshan Govinder, JPP Sales and Business Development.

Milisa Mabinza, Director of the UK – South Africa Tech Hub, stated: "With South Africa’s tech landscape boasting over 500 start-ups and the most venture exits in Africa, the industry holds the potential to drive economic growth, employment and foster innovative solutions to socio-economic challenges. However, the slowdown in venture capital fundraising we've seen on the African continent since 2022 has limited the growth and scale-up potential of South African start-ups. As the UK-SA Tech Hub, it has been important for us to explore start-up fundraising initiatives that match the current needs of the market, which is why this collaboration with the JSE Private Placements and UVU Africa is of such significance. This programme aims to position start-ups to access multiple capital alternatives on the JSE's Private Placements Platform and support these start-ups with investor readiness training. As an initiative of the British government, this aides us in achieving our strategic vision of supporting South Africa's tech ecosystem by enabling start-up fundraising.”

Guiding these tech ventures through our comprehensive scaling programme, combining strategic business support with specialised industry-specific training, we are excited to lead as the implementation partner for the selected cohort,” said Rosmarin. “UVU Accelerate’s approach is considerate of the unique needs of each founder and our goal is to empower these ventures to scale effectively and sustainably, preparing them for success on the JSE Private Placements platform. We are committed to their journey, driven by our vision to strengthen South Africa’s tech landscape and enhance access to vital capital opportunities.”

For more details about the "Tech to Titans" programme and how to apply, click here: https://uvuafrica.com/programmes/tech-to-titans/. The application deadline is 26 July 2024.

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JSE Private Placements

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is a leading global exchange that co-creates, unlocks value and makes real connections happen. With JSE Private Placements (JPP), we are building a Future-Fit stock exchange that delivers a digital marketplace for unlisted companies to showcase their businesses and attract funders seamlessly. We do this through JSE Private Placements which brings together next generation fintech capabilities through Globacap’s platform to facilitate efficient and transformational private placements.

UK SA Tech Hub

The UK-South Africa Tech Hub, an initiative of the UK government, is designed to promote digital inclusion and inclusive growth of the digital eco systems in partner countries. The International Tech Hubs are expert teams which work to stimulate local digital economies, build high-end digital skills, and forge innovation partnerships between local tech sectors and international businesses. Alongside South Africa, Hubs there are hubs in Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia and Brazil. 

UVU Africa & UVU Accelerate

UVU Accelerate, the entrepreneurial development and incubation arm of UVU Africa, is a leading Entrepreneur Support Organisation and a catalyst for entrepreneurial success across the continent. Through expertly designed incubation programmes, UVU Accelerate offers unparalleled training and support, tech enablement, interactive workshops, industry specific mentorship, online learning platform access and networking opportunities. UVU Accelerate’s vision is to support sustainable business growth, job creation, access to capital, network building and economic stimulation across the continent. UVU Africa, the parent organisation, is Africa’s original tech incubator, and focuses on building inclusive, future-fit African societies through innovation and technology.