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Last calls for Tshimologong-IBM TechAccel programme

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IBM and the Tshimologong Precinct are inviting applications from black entrepreneurs running established tech ventures and start-ups to apply for the TechAccelerator Programme.

Established IT service providers earning between R3 million and R10 million a year and start-ups that may not be generating a profit yet but show the potential for scale have until Monday, 18 May, to submit their applications.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to pitch their business models online to a panel of technical judges from IBM. They’ll be expected to talk the judges through their business, how IBM can support the business and which of its products will be best suited for the business’s growth.

The three-month long accelerator, beginning in June, will support the 12 selected businesses in building scalable, sustainable entities. The programme will focus on training entrepreneurs in new technologies like IOT, cloud, machine learning and blockchain.

The programme also provides an opportunity to become an accredited IBM reseller. Tshimologong’s enterprise development manager Khwezi Cenenda says it’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs to expand their knowledge base and service offerings.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty around the lockdown but entrepreneurs are hustlers so we can’t put off what can be done online,” she said. “But we also can’t have them online all day, so we’ll have two- or three-hour morning sessions that will involve high-level training and mentoring. We want to create a unique support system around each of the selected businesses, allowing them to become accredited IBM service providers to large corporations by the end of the accelerator.”

In August, the programme will conclude with a final pitching competition where R500 000 investment will be awarded to the entrepreneur who can best demonstrate their business’s growth trajectory and anticipated tech requirements based on IBM’s product offering.

To apply for the TechAccelerator, click here. Applications to join the programme close on May 18 at 23:59.

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