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Tshimologong, BCX invite tech start-ups to enter accelerator

Ian Russell, CEO of BCX.
Ian Russell, CEO of BCX.

Wits University's Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct is inviting technology start-ups to apply for the first edition of the BCX Innovation Programme.

In October, Telkom subsidiary BCX announced its partnership with the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct to create the enterprise development initiative that will see local tech start-ups receiving both financial and non-financial support.

The programme aims to support tech entrepreneurs to ideate their concept and develop their business plans.

Tanye ver Loren van Themaat, Tshimologong Incubator and Accelerator manager, says the programme is part of the BCX and Telkom Innovation Programme, and is an opportunity to grow and develop innovative digital start-ups that are in the prototype stage.

"If you have a digital business that could benefit from a boost, the BCX National Innovation Programme will provide you with an opportunity to grow and scale to become a global disruptor. One of the biggest benefits is the chance to become a supplier or partner to Telkom or BCX."

Solutions like artificial intelligence, blockchain, Internet of things, gamification and nanotech to fields like agriculture, smart cities, safety and security, education or retail are fields that Ver Loren van Themaat says are of particular interest: "We would like to offer budding digital businesses a unique opportunity to continue innovating and make a significant impact within the ICT sector," she notes.

According to BCX CEO Ian Russell, the Innovation Programme is aimed at building an ecosystem of support for technology-focused small businesses with the ultimate goal of driving economic growth.

"BCX is passionate about creating an environment where small businesses can thrive. They create the innovation and disruption we need to move our economy forward. We are offering support which can help take businesses all the way from ideation to commercialisation, both in terms of physical space, as well as a phased digital programme for growth."

Other benefits of the innovation programme, according to Tshimologong, include refining and developing businesses, market readiness through expert mentorship; developing your network, access to the Tshimologong precinct; market access via Spliceworks; access to the Tshimologong network; co-working space at the precinct and access to finding opportunities.

The BCX Innovation Programme will run every Thursday, from 8 February until 15 March 2018 in the evenings. The deadline for entries is 23 January and applicants should apply through www.startup.joburg.

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