The Innovation Hub celebrates SA's innovators, entrepreneurs during Global Entrepreneurship Week
In an effort to support innovators and entrepreneurs that drive and stimulate socioeconomic development in Gauteng, The Innovation Hub, the innovation agency of the Gauteng province, will be hosting a series of events, from 16 November to 18 November 2016, to celebrate innovators and showcase start-up companies in line with the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).
GEW is a time where innovators and entrepreneurs are celebrated across the world through various activities that stimulate ideas, create networks and inspire entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens to contribute positively to advance and grow their businesses.
It is these ideals that the Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP) innovation competitions awards ceremony, the launch of eKasiLab Soweto and the ICT and Investment Summit are hosted to advance and transform the Gauteng economy.
Brief synopsis of events:
1. Thursday, 17 November 2016: The GAP innovation competitions awards ceremony will be held at Nasrec Expo Centre, Bateleur Conference, from 5pm to 9pm. GAP is a flagship annual competition run by The Innovation Hub to recognise and reward innovative ideas with potential to impact the Gauteng economy. The top innovators win seed funding aimed at assisting to further progress their business ideas, coupled with incubation support.
Over the past five years, the GAP competitions have attracted more than 750 entries and over R12.5 million has been invested in seed funding and incubation support to over 58 start-ups in the ICT, green, medical and biosciences industries. The four GAP competitions are run together with distinctive partners, including Technology Innovation Agency and Goizueta Business School from Emory University in Atlanta. This year, a new category aimed at township originating and impacting innovations has been included, in line with the Gauteng Government's Township Economy Revitalisation Programme.
2. Friday, 18 November 2016: The launch of eKasiLab Soweto will be held at Soweto Empowerment Zone, Diepkloof, from 10am to 1pm. EkasiLab is The Innovation Hub's vehicle to promote the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the townships, with specific focus on new innovative output in the community, in line with the Township Modernisation and Re-industrialisation and Township Economy Revitalisation Provincial Economic Policies, as well as innovative entrepreneurship in the community. These innovation centres being established in the townships are The Innovation Hub's initiative to taking innovation to our people and creating entrepreneurial opportunities for the youth in the townships. Now supporting over 40 entrepreneurs and also 25 software developers through CodeTribe, eKasiLabs Soweto is providing hope and opportunities to youth in Soweto and surrounds. It also boasts a FabLab to facilitate prototyping and support local manufacturing.
3. Friday, 18 November 2016: ICT and Investment Summit 2016: A collaboration between The Innovation Hub, InWego and Edge Growth, the summit will be hosted at The Innovation Hub, in Tshwane, from 8am to 4pm. This year's theme: "Develop, Collaborate & Results" is one that is pertinent to the growth of our country and will strive to provide a meaningful coverage on current trends, topics and opportunities in the dynamic economies of South Africa and Africa's ICT, innovation and investment sector. It is an innovative ICT and Investment Summit tailored for professionals, business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs and the youth.
"As we advance the issues of economic growth, job creation, eliminating inequality, and poverty alleviation in Gauteng and the country as a whole, it is important for us to celebrate and showcase innovation through various activities and to also accelerate the business growth of start-up companies by connecting them with venture capitalists and other funders for sustainable economic development," said McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub.