BY TOM JACKSON
Ten South African startups have been selected to join the Venture Exploitation Programme run by the UCT GSB Solution Space, which aims to accelerate and build the capacity of high-impact ventures.
The 12-week Venture Exploitation Programme, which begins this week, is part of the e-Track Programme launched in 2019 by the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) Solution Space in partnership with the MTN Group.
The first phase of the programme was a five-week Venture Launch course which aimed to generate knowledge and capacity to build scalable businesses. This was also used as a pre-selection process, culminating in the second phase of the programme – the Venture Exploitation Programme.
This programme is an intense 12-week journey that aims to accelerate the development of a venture. This is done by building traction through a high touch scale-up process that aims to concretise the product and secure customer buy-in.
The 10 startups selected for the programme are online tours and activities marketplace Activity Hub, expert resourcing and networking platform CiTTA, booking system for local clinics and community health workers Guardian Health, MSME-focused e-commerce channel Little Fish, fynbos-focused company FynRoot Productions, African language platform IAfrica, credit provider Ikhaya Space, online high school Futures Academy, eco-friendly mobile car wash app Go Themba, and decentralised peer-to-peer video chat app Wenzan.
“We are encouraged by the resilience we witness among entrepreneurs; that despite what the world is going through and all the uncertainty they continue to build. We are looking forward to journey with them as they prepare to launch and grow their ventures,” said Shiela Yabo, programme manager at the UCT GSB Solution Space.
“MTN is inspired by how entrepreneurs have taken a leading role in developing innovations in the fight against COVID-19. MTN is excited about the next phase of the programme which is aligned to MTN’s core belief of driving digital and financial inclusion and seeks to help scale tech ventures and stimulate an ecosystem that leverages MTN’s various platforms,” said Eero Tarjanne, general manager for ecosystem development at MTN Group.