Call for Innovative Solutions at Future Cities Hackathon

BY Mika Stanvliet 2 MINUTE READ

SBC AfriTech is a prestigious programme for Africa-focused tech startups. The programme supports the world’s up-and-coming pioneers including African tech startups, linking them to the fastest-moving corporates on the continent. It is the only multi-corporate backed accelerator of its kind, powered by Old Mutual, Nedbank, RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance and PwC.

Last year, SBC AfriTech was named the Top Accelerator on the African continent by the Global Startup Awards.

The accelerator is sponsored by some of the most innovative corporate partners in Africa and has proven to be a successful channel to scout, skill, and scale disruptive startups.

Regan Adams, CEO of RCS explains, “This year we will broaden our focus on the water crisis to include water sanitation and marine pollution. In addition, our focus on South Africa’s growing marine pollution, caused by rapid population growth and increasing industrialisation, is also in line with the global corporate investment strategy of our holding company, BNP Paribas.

The second focus will be on finding sustainable and affordable transport solutions which is becoming a major issue in our cities. RCS is excited to once again be part of the Hackathon initiative and we unequivocally support and believe in our local startups in finding the most sustainable solutions for these challenges.”

Now in their third consecutive year, SBC is applying this powerful Corporate Startup Collaboration to solve municipal challenges.

Using Cape Town as a lab, the impact-orientated Future Cities Hackathon will focus on the following three UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  1. SDG 6: Clean Water & Sanitation
  2. SDG 11: Life Below Water
  3. SDG 14: Sustainable Cities & Communities

“Startupbootcamp AfriTech has committed to championing Global Goal 11 (Sustainable Goals and Cities) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) by connecting solution-makers with corporates, innovation ecosystems, thought leaders, investors and mentors,” states Motlhabane Koloi, Legal and Scouting Manager and SDG Initiative Lead for SBC AfriTech.

This Hackathon will bring together innovators and corporates to materialise three of the sustainable development goals and we are excited to be setting the standard for sustainable innovation in corporates and the broader innovation ecosystem.

The hackathon will feature several top-level keynote speakers discussing the daunting challenges brought about by pollution, water access and urbanization.

The event is open to citizen innovators, startups and anyone with ideas to solving the most pressing sustainable development challenges facing our world today.

Over the course of two days, the goal is for attendees to form five to 10 teams tackling different challenges. These teams will focus on practical solutions that could be further developed and implemented with the support of the sponsors and their partners

The aim of the hackathon is to crowdsource solutions, talent, and business models from the Cape Town innovation and resilience enablement ecosystem.

By holding events in more than 100 cities each year, SBC supports the world’s most talented founders with hands-on mentorship and access to key industry connections. SBC is known for growing and scaling innovative solutions to modern challenges within the African continent.

This hackathon in particular strives to solve pertinent issues such as the water crisis by embracing new technology and ideas.

If you or anyone you know has a tech-based idea or solution to solve the challenges as stipulated by the Sustainable Development Goals, attend the hackathon and see your solution come to fruition.

Get your tickets here: https://qkt.io/futurecity

Visit the SBC AfriTech Facebook Hackathon Event Page for more information. Click here.


SBC AfriTech – FastTrack Tour for 2019 Sources High-Growth Disruptive Startups

BY Mika Stanvliet 2 MINUTE READ

Startupbootcamp AfriTech is one of the most sought-after programmes for Africa-focused tech startups. In 2010, the Startupbootcamp programme was founded with a simple goal in mind: to support the world’s best innovators through all stages of growth. This led to the first-ever Africa-focused accelerator of its kind, namely Startupbootcamp AfriTech (SBC AfriTech), to launch in Cape Town in 2017.

In SBC AfriTech’s first two years, the twenty companies in the portfolio signed 52 pilots and commercial agreements with large corporations. In 2018, the programme was named the Top Accelerator on the continent by the Global Startup Awards.

Now, in its third consecutive year, SBC AfriTech is calling on high-growth startups in the tech industry to apply to a prestigious 3-month programme aimed at helping companies scale in the global market.

“Through Startupbootcamp’s expansion to numerous countries in Europe, Asia and America, and now Africa, it’s clear that the accelerator movement has caught on quickly, showing a demand for ongoing support in a globally growing entrepreneurial community,” says Startupbootcamp Founder and CEO, Philip Kiracofe.
“The SBC AfriTech FastTrack Tour for 2019 is an open canvas for forward-thinking startups to initiate a shift in traditional thinking while networking with hundreds of other innovative, like-minded people wanting to set new benchmarks in the African tech industry”, adds Nsovo Nkatingi, AfriTech Programme Director.
“Attending a FastTrack is useful for startups wishing to apply to the SBC AfriTech programme,” states Velani Mboweni, CEO of SBC AfriTech 2018 alumnus Lüla, “At the Cape Town FastTrack we engaged with corporate sponsors to the programme Old Mutual and Nedbank and engaged with them right from the get-go, which really gave us a leg-up in our SBC journey.”
Lula is a mobility-as-a-service startup and over the course of the 3 months spent at the SBC AfriTech accelerator, Lula completed 4 pilots in Cape Town with some of the biggest corporations in South Africa and is now raising its first formal investment round.
The SBC AfriTech FastTrack Tour for 2019 will cover 19 events in 14 countries. Attending a FastTrack will boost your chances to joining SBC AfriTech’s highly-acclaimed and intensive three-month programme, by 20%.
FastTracks are informal events hosted all over the world and the aim is for the SBC team, mentors and sponsors to have the opportunity to meet the most suitable early-stage companies interested in joining the 2019 programme.

For each FastTrack, the top ten startups to apply will receive instant feedback from a panel of industry mentors, be able to network with the SBC investment team and learn more about the SBC AfriTech.

The accelerator is anchored and endorsed by leading corporate sponsors Old Mutual, RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Nedbank and PwC that will support and grow the program and selected startups. Leaders from these corporates will be present at the FastTrack events to engage and mentor.

Interested startups can click here to find the FastTrack nearest them and submit your application.

Applications to the FastTracks is currently open and applications to join the final accelerator will open on 20 February 2019.

To apply to the FastTrack nearest you, please visit https://bit.ly/ftapply19


Support The Next Gen of Tech Professionals

BY Mika Stanvliet 3 MINUTE READ

CapaCiTi, the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi)’s Tech Career Accelerator, has been preparing young people for the tech sector for 8 years, in 2018 scaling up to support youth and business in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. Now, they’re inviting SA business to interview these ambitious young future tech professionals for an internship starting in January.

Addressing a rising youth unemployment in South Africa, yet leveraging growing opportunities in the tech sector and for those with technology skills, CapaCiTi’s programmes are accelerated career pathways for previously unemployed youth. Key to this, is the commitment by SA businesses to create internship opportunities for youth to apply and grow their technical skills and confidence in the workplace. In turn, organizations are able to access temporary tech support for their teams and projects, particularly valuable at the start of a year.

“This year, CapaCiTi is proud to have equipped several hundred SA youth with the relevant training and coaching they need to accelerate their careers into the tech sector. We’re calling on South African businesses to support our future talent on the next six months of their journey, helping them to apply and build their skills and confidence and contribute to the digital economy. They’re ambitious, tenacious, and will add huge value to your teams as you kick off 2019. These young people are the future of South Africa’s tech sector, let’s all join together to help them start their journey towards a successful career that will be life changing,” states Fiona Tabraham, Acting Head of Skills Development, CiTi.

Since 2010, CapaCiTi has partnered with close to 150 leading organisations to hire interns and graduates. Corporates such as Media24, BCX, Absa have been strong supporters of interns and grads from the Accelerator, as well as a growing list of SAAS businesses, digital agencies. 

“(Absa) has had tremendous success with the talented young people from CapaCiTi’s programmes. Since 2016, we’ve taken on 55 talented interns, and 16 going on to full-time employment with Absa, which we are looking to scale up significantly with CapaCiTi over the next few years. Their aptitude, attitude and aspiration has blown us away! They are hard-working, passionate about technology and creative, with the maturity to negotiate the trickiness of working in teams, as well as rise to the challenge when we put them in leadership positions,” states Alwyn van Wyk, Head of Cape Town Dev Shop, Absa. 

The Interns: 

CapaCiTi has a large group of youth completing programmes in December, ready to join business teams in January. These young people were all unemployed or underemployed when entering the programmes, and have now completed an intensive programme in a technical discipline relevant to skills in-demand in the tech sector. Importantly, they received coaching and skills training to prepare them for the 2019 workplace – critical and creative thinking, collaboration, presentation. 

These ambitious young people are now ready to apply and amplify their knowledge during a 6-month internship, to gain the experience they need to land a tech job. 

What they’ve learnt:

CapaCiTi’s programmes run from 9 to 12 months and are designed for matrics and graduates looking to start a career in IT.

The interns available to start in January 2019 in Cape Town and Johannesburg have completed an intensive training programme in the following:

  • Software Engineering – Trained in Java, Python [CPT & JHB]
  • Full-Stack Development – Trained in Full Stack Mobile Dev, Net, JavaScript, PHP, Android [CPT]
  • Java Development – Trained in Java, JavaScript [CPT & JHB]
  • Software Development (postgrad) – Trained Post Graduates with Java, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, PHP and MY SQL Databases [CPT]
  • CISCO Security –Trained and certified as a Cisco Network Security Associate [JHB]
  • ICT Infrastructure – Trained in IT Essentials, Routing and Switching, Linux Fundamentals, CCNA [CPT]

Company Hosts:

As a host, you will help cement the youth of South Africa’s futures in the business world. 

Hosts will accommodate the trainees in their respective offices with access to a computer and involve them in work that allows them to grow their technical experience. 

Hosts are required to pay a stipend to support their interns with transport and living costs.

Company Benefit:

Interns can support your teams with existing or new projects with data capture, database management, analysis, software testing, software development to administration, help-desk management. What’s important is that they are exposed to technical projects, team-work and ways of working that build their confidence and knowledge.

Join CiTi in supporting young South Africans to positively shape their future:

As a company partner to CiTi, allow these ambitious, motivated interns to contribute to your teams, and projects, where you need it most. 

Help support South Africa’s youth to change their future by hiring talented tech interns for your team. 

To register your company’s interest in interviewing CapaCiTi interns or grads, please visit www.citi.org.za or email [email protected] and indicate whether you are in Johannesburg or Cape Town, and the focus of your business. 

Or contact directly:

Ilze King for Cape Town interns or grads: [email protected] or

Estelle Langa for Johannesburg, PE or Durban interns or grads: [email protected]


Deep-Dive into Tech Investment in Africa – tech startups represents less than $50c per capita

BY Mika Stanvliet 3 MINUTE READ

In the wake of the SA Investment Conference that took place last week, AfricArena, Wesgro and Silicon Cape hosted a press conference at the InvestSA One Stop Shop in Cape Town, making public new partnerships for the conference and discussing the role conferences and accelerators like AfricArena play in attracting investment to the continent.

Partech Ventures’ latest annual funding report shows that venture capital funding in 2017 reached $560 million, recording 53% year on year growth. South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria dominate with 6% of total funding. Francophone Africa is accelerating with 14% of the deal transactions and financial inclusion (off-grid tech, fintech and insuretech) representing 45% of deals.

The track record shows the trend is that African tech entrepreneurs are raising more and more funding. Yet, the amount of investment going to African tech startups represents less than $50c per capita, whilst in Europe the investment is $50 per capita, in the USA $150. Currently, less than 1% of global tech investment is into Africa whereas on the global scene, in 2017 the USA attracted $74 billion, Asia $71 billion and Europe nearly $18 billion.

“If we are to create the next generation of successful entrepreneurs competing at a global scale – clearly the challenge remains as an input and output measure to increase the level of capita that African startups attract,” states Christophe Viarnaud, CEO of AfricArena and Methys. ““It is predicted that in 2050 and 2100, there will be more than 50 cities with more than one million people on the African continent, and the majority of the most highly populated cities in the world will be in Africa. This is a very important factor in terms of being a fundamental underlying trend which is going to drive increasing investment in Africa, therefore we foresee the investment in African tech startups to exceed the $10 billion annual mark in the next decade.”

Based on internal research conducted in 2018, AfricArena, Silicon Cape and Wesgro expect the funding raised by African startups to increase by 100%+, exceeding $1 billion for the first time and achieve $1 dollar per capita, positioning Africa as the fastest growing area in the world.

“Another interesting thing is the emphasis we put on taking our startups to the bigger stages outside of the continent,” adds Danai Musandu, Investment Associate, Goodwell Investments BV, “You always find more people rushing to go to Silicon Valley to go see where the big stage and the content is. But we need to have a change of perspective and a change of attitude, where people will say ‘We’re going to Africa, where the big stage of the future is’. The biggest barrier is our perspective and we need to change that perspective.”

AfricArena is a pan-African ecosystem accelerator whose mission is to help African startups access market and capital. The primary outcome measure is investment deals done around the event.

AfricArena 2018 Announcements

  • Over 70 start ups from over 30 countries will attend, competing in 11 open innovation challenges
  • In partnership with We Think Code, AfricArena will run a hackathon on a mobility challenge for the City of Cape Town
  • EM Lyon, a world-ranked business school, joins as academic partner and will stream AfricArena live on its Casablanca, Lyon and Singapore campuses
  • Over 100 investors from US, Europe, Africa will attend or follow on the live streaming of the pitch sessions
  • AfricArena announced partnership with Deep Tech platform ‘Hello Tomorrow’ and a Deep Tech Africa challenge that will take place on Day 2 of AfricArena.
  • Silicon Cape members to receive early bird special of 50% off AfricArena tickets

EM Lyon is an international business school priding themselves in “making entrepreneurs for Africa”. They capitalize on the worldwide-recognized experience and quality of their programs and offer both students and corporations content that is tailored to their context and to their problems. EM Lyon is fully in line with their signature “early maker”: a school that tries, investigates and innovates far ahead of others.

Hello Tomorrow organises mentorship programs and a series of events around the world, as well as educating and consulting relevant stakeholders on emergence of deep technologies with the platform fast becoming a key reference in deeptech innovation and entrepreneurship.

Sarah Pedroza, Managing Director of Hello Tomorrow, states: “Deeptech innovation happening today knows no borders. But the opportunities and resources to catalyze these solutions are unevenly distributed. We need to give better tools to deeptech entrepreneurs in ecosystems that are booming, connecting them to a global network of industry leaders, investors and policy makers in order to bring their concepts to market. We’re excited to partner with AfricArena, joining their flagship event in one of the biggest tech hubs in Africa, which is a great opportunity to bring key stakeholders together.”

Finalists for the internationally sponsored challenges were also announced:

VINCE ENERGIES CHALLENGE – How to make energy more accessible in Africa thanks to energy efficiency solutions, energy flows optimization blockchain and/or AI – Rensource (Nigeria), BIG POT – Nigeria, Oniriq – Senegal

SAINT-GOBAIN CHALLENGE – A solution to upgrade professionals’ skills across Africa – Syafunda (South Africa), The Student Hub (South Africa), Ceed Learning (South Africa)

VIVATECH CHALLENGE – How AI can help generate a self-sustaining growth in the AgriTech industry – Agrocenta (Kenya), Homefarm (South Africa), Aerobotics (South Africa)

AfricArena will take place on 15 & 16 November. More information available at www.africarena2018.com