The Innovation Hub's Maxum Business Incubator attracts new intake of technology start-up companies
The Innovation Hub's Maxum Business Incubator, an entrepreneurship intervention designed to accelerate the growth of innovative technology-based enterprises in Gauteng, officially welcomed five and one new tech start-up companies into its pre-incubation and main incubation programmes, respectively.
The Innovation Hub, Africa's first accredited science and technology park, is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, an agency of Gauteng's Department of Economic Development, and focuses on enterprise development in the ICT, green economy, biosciences and industrials sectors with a view of building knowledge-intensive and technology-based enterprises. The pre-incubation programme is of six to nine months' duration, and the main incubation programme of up to three years' duration. In pre-incubation, entrepreneurs are assisted to refine their business cases and finalise their prototypes, whereas in main incubation, the focus is on commercialisation, growth in revenues and sustainability.
The five new pre-incubatees join 29 other start-up companies in pre-incubation; whereas the one new main incubatee joins seven other start-up companies in main incubation. During the welcome, these new entrants were introduced to their mentors with whom they will be spending at least three hours a month, and also had a chance to network with other incubatees currently on the programme.
The CEO of The Innovation Hub, McLean Sibanda, said: "Our Maxum Business Incubator is a very important programme for addressing South Africa's transition to a knowledge-based economy. In the past year, we have repositioned and enhanced Maxum's value proposition, in addition to providing free connectivity and intellectual property support, to ensure entrepreneurs joining the programme are able to build highly successful businesses that contribute to our economy. We are excited to welcome six new companies into the Maxum Incubator. These new ICT and clean tech companies strengthen our presence in these key sectors, and help us to advance issues of economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction in Gauteng."
In addition to access to value-added services such as mentorship from eminent sector experts and entrepreneurs, intellectual property management support, highly subsidised office space, free connectivity, and networking opportunities to build local and global competitiveness, the new companies will also have access to finance through The Innovation Hub's Start-Up Support Programme.
In recent years, a number of innovative technology businesses have emerged from incubation as sustainable enterprises. One of the successes is Matayo Bio Fuel, a renewable energy company that specialises in the production of biodiesel as well as the supply of biodiesel processing equipment. Matayo Bio Fuel has now established a production facility in Benoni producing 3 000 litres of biodiesel a day for a Gauteng-based trucking company. The company employs 10 staff and has recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Green Thermo, another incubatee at The Innovation Hub, to conduct research and development on biodiesel.
According to Gary Bannatyne, Maxum's Business Incubation Manager: "The Maxum Business Incubator is a core programme within The Innovation Hub in its drive to position South African entrepreneurs and innovators as leaders in the technology space. We are committed to building high-growth entrepreneurs by leveraging our excellent facilities, specialist technology advisors, high-profile mentors and collaborative business space."
The new companies joining Maxum include:
* Quick Connect Wireless: a campus wireless broadband service provider, making Internet access easy and affordable
* SWAZZ Innovations: an innovative entertainment products company, designing creative ways to engage with young customers
* KIPH: creator of a high-touch independent men's fashion platform selling local designs to a global market, www.kiph.co.za
* Pennine Energy: developer of SavvyLoo, a waterless sanitation system for rural and low-cost housing
* BAPS Information Systems: a mobile app company that has prototyped a simplified mobile tech giving parents greater control over their children's phones
* RM Technologies: developer of easy-to-use packaged and bespoke information management systems for the huge local church market (main incubation)
These companies will work closely with mentors in the ICT, green, biotechnology and industrial sectors to develop and grow their businesses.
Tech start-ups in the ICT, green, biotech and industrial sectors looking to join the Maxum Business Incubator should contact Gary Bannatyne, Maxum Business Incubator Manager, on Tel: (+27) 12 844 0027, or e-mail email@example.com.