Cape Town-based accelerator Grindstone and the Anglo American Foundation (AAF) have selected the first cohort of the Grindstone South Africa programme, which aims to empower entrepreneurs in the green sector.
The participating start-ups are: VEZ Technology, Ground 2 Tap, I-N-TECH, Boombadotmobi, First Drop Hydration, Tsehla Holdings, GreenMovement, MKGreen Solutions, The Green Cab, Imperative Energy Group, Lily Loompa Upcycled Homeware, RE: HEAT Africa, Isphepho Group, PWK Waste Management and Recycling and Umlilo Energy South Africa.
In a statement, the organisations say the initiative aims to help 15 tech and tech-enabled start-ups in the green sector with access to secure funding and valuable market opportunities.
Maike von Heymann, head of the AAF, says: "From solar power to waste management, to water filtration systems, this cohort of 15 start-ups are driving positive change in their communities across South Africa.
“At the Anglo American Foundation, we are proud to partner with Grindstone; together, we champion entrepreneurship that not only creates quality jobs, with a focus on youth, but also paves the way for a greener, more sustainable world.”
The programme will span over six months, beginning this month, and is tailored to post-seed to Series A start-ups operating within the green sector. The winning company will receive a cash incentive at the end, notes Grindstone.
The start-ups will be given access to knowledge through plenary work groups on strategy, branding, marketing, sales, technology, legal and intellectual property, valuation, finance, mentoring hours, access to secure funding and valuable market opportunities to network, social media and environmental, social and governance (ESG) assessments.
Additionally, the companies will receive mentorship from Grindstone alumni and established ecosystem network partners such as Green Cape and Savant.
Earlier this year, Grindstone partnered with Naspers Labs to initiate the GrindstoneX female entrepreneur programme. Ten local female-founded start-ups were chosen to participate.
With an ever-growing technology landscape, the green economy has the ability to create meaningful job creation opportunities in SA, while supporting the environment, says Grindstone.
Catherine Young, managing partner at Grindstone, notes the green sector is growing rapidly and needs to be met by an equivalent surge in impact investing and a focus on job creation for youth in the primary and secondary markets around the green economy.
“By supporting innovation in the green sector, including clean energy, decarbonisation, sustainable food production, climate tech and more, we can improve millions of lives, as well as drive sustainable economic growth and job creation in vulnerable communities.
“Our partnership with the Anglo American Foundation will help South African entrepreneurs at the forefront of building a more sustainable future. It ties in perfectly with our own ESG focus, which is strengthened through partnerships like this,” concludes Young.