Calling all entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative ideas in the LaunchLab Ideas Programme – winning ideas stand the chance to win incubation support worth R50 000 and access to our clients!

The Stellenbosch University LaunchLab has officially launched the 7th Ideas programme following 6 successful programmes to date!

LaunchLab’s mission is to facilitate valuable connections for startups and corporates, as well as other relevant business partners to help those startups excel. The Ideas Programme is intended primarily to be for very early-stage businesses looking to validate their concepts or improve their technology offering to their market.

LaunchLab provides access to our client network who are actively looking for startups to partner with, which aids in the validation process.

LaunchLab is looking for startup business ideas in multiple industries, including but not limited to:

  • Education: we are pleased to be helping Stellenbosch University to identify innovative edutech solutions that can help contribute to new models of education to empower students to create jobs and add value to broader society.
  • Smart Cities: the cities of the future need smart solutions and our clients want your help developing these solutions.
  • Cleantech: the world is on a drive to sustainability and South Africa is no different. Submit your ideas to help South Africa harness its natural resources better and recycle what we have already used.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): connected devices means more information to make our lives easier and more efficient. Help our clients with your IoT concepts that can transform their supply chains and make customers’ lives better.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): pitch how you think AI will impact our world with your exciting concept. Calling all engineers and data scientists to wow our clients.
  • Advanced Manufacturing: this is another opportunity for engineers and data scientists to make an impact on this important sector in South Africa. Strong candidates and concepts will have access to opportunities with our corporate clients.
  • Safety: help us make South Africans safer with your innovative concept.
  • Blockchain: Each industry that mainly acts as a middleman between producers and customers of immaterial or digital goods and services is vulnerable to being replaced by a peer-to-peer system supported by the Blockchain. Tell us how you will do this.
  • Fintech:we are looking for disruptive technologies in the financial services industry that can transform the way we interact with money.
  • Insurtech: pitch your ideas of what the future of insurance will look like.
  • Agritech and Food Innovations:LaunchLab has already been the birthing ground for some exciting food and agritech innovations. Will your concept be the next one?
  • Social Enterprises:do you have a business idea which can have a big impact and benefit those that need it most but still be a viable business? Take advantage of this opportunity to pitch it.

This programme helps new concepts and potential businesses validate their concepts with real market players and starts their journey towards the maturity required to acquire customers and obtain investment.

These are the highlights of the impact of our programme is South Africa in 2017:

  • 24 selected for our incubation programme
  • 10 pilots being pursued with LaunchLab clients
  • 4 invested in directly by LaunchLab clients
  • R1.18 million in total prize money paid across all programmes

“The wide range of industry focus areas this year means that you will find a place for your innovative business idea. This is a great opportunity to accelerate that business idea towards market readiness. The impact that engaging with our corporate clients offers cannot be underestimated. We find that startups that engage with our clients can accelerate their growth faster than startups following the traditional route to market because the client does not only help provide finance for the startup but access to market as well.” says Philip Marais, LaunchLab CEO.

Submission requirements:

Submit a 3-minute video (cell phone footage can be submitted too) of yourself explaining your business idea with your entry form which can be found on the LaunchLab website:

Submissions opened on 19 March, and the deadline for online submission entries is 4 May 2018. The top ten finalists will be notified by the end of May. Pitches will be shortlisted and be taken through a process to determine which 10-15 businesses we will take into our incubation programme, to develop towards engaging with our clients.

LaunchLab’s terms and conditions apply, and are available to download here: