Wits software unit partners for innovation
The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has partnered with Ryerson University in Canada and the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute in India to boost growth opportunities for entrepreneurs and accelerate start-up incubation in the three partner countries.
The announcement of the partnership was made in Mumbai, India today. Professor Adam Habib, Wits vice chancellor and principal, and Barry Dwolatzky, professor of software engineering at the University and director of the Wits Joburg Centre for Software Engineering, were present at the launch of the trilateral partnership.
Ryerson has been successful in developing a rich ecosystem for young entrepreneurs and is ranked as one of the top innovative centres in the world, says Wits in a statement. It notes the Canadian government has identified both South Africa and India as key countries for developing and expanding trade and business opportunities.
"This trilateral partnership is exactly the kind of boost that South Africa requires to foster development, innovation and entrepreneurship. The Joburg Centre for Software Engineering at Wits will serve as the catalyst for this initiative through its tech hub in Braamfontein," said Habib.
In 2013, Ryerson Futures teamed up with the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute to bring Ryerson's incubator concept to India, to catalyse the same entrepreneurial opportunities for start-ups in India and Canada eager for access to new markets and new opportunities.
"The partners are developing and expanding a multi-country network of innovation and entrepreneurship zones to drive job growth and opportunities in Canada, India and South Africa," said Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy at the first anniversary of Zone Startups India (ZSI), which is Ryerson's partnership with the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute.
"In just under a year, the Mumbai-based accelerator ZSI has proven to be a thriving hotbed of entrepreneurship - 40 startups, focused on industry connections, an array of supportive networking and learning opportunities and access to a pool of venture capital and angel investors keen to harness the energy and innovation at ZSI," said ZSI director Matt Saunders.
Ryerson has an existing relationship with Wits, originating from agreements signed last year.