UCT’s E-Track Programme seeks innovative entrepreneurs

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 21 Sept 2021

The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (GSB) Solution Space, in partnership with Ayoba, invites innovative entrepreneurs across the continent to apply for the 2021 edition of the E-Track Programme.

The Solution Space is an ecosystem for early-stage start-ups that is located at the university’s Breakwater Campus and Philippi Village hub.

The E-Track Programme is a three-phase venture acceleration initiative developed by the UCT GSB Solution Space, in partnership with content-sharing super app Ayoba, to support start-ups across the continent.

It aims to attract high-impact entrepreneurs and create a platform for them to engage and collaborate with corporate partners in research and development of their solutions.

Phase one is the Venture Launch, which focuses on validating the venture concept. Phase two is aimed at accelerating the development of the validated venture, and in phase three, the programme works on scaling ventures with the support of partners and investors.

According to a statement, Venture Launch is a demanding course that supports participants and provides the resources to help them navigate the challenges of implementing an early-stage scale-up idea.

Should participants decide not to continue with their ventures after the Venture Launch course, they will still leave having learnt critical and broadly applicable techniques about starting and launching a venture.

“Ayoba’s vision is to provide a localised experience, supported by engaging services that are relevant to our users,” says Eero Tarjanne, head of business and ecosystem development at Ayoba.

“The Ayoba platform represents an opportunity for home-grown talent to develop applications that reflect local cultures and values, and that address challenges in our markets, while benefiting the broader community. Ayoba is delighted to partner with UCT GSB and the E-Track Programme to help support the entrepreneurial spirit and the scaling up of the teams’ solutions across the continent.”

The five-week training and preparation programme is now accepting applications for the first phase, from innovation-driven and high impact start-ups that have developed solutions that are relevant to the African market and have global potential.

The initial concept development should demonstrate deep understanding of the problem and market need or opportunity. The idea must have progressed beyond concept and should demonstrate evidence of early market testing, customers, revenues, patents or intellectual property filings.

Applicants must have a working prototype with a minimum feature set ready to conduct early-market testing to further establish the product and market fit.

To learn more about this programme, visit the UCT GSB Solution Space website. The call for applications closes on 27 September.