Access 300K worth of support for startups

Access 300K worth of support for startups

The MTN Solution Space Winter School Venture Incubation Programme (VIP) at the UCT Graduate School of Business are closing on 4 June 2017. (image: file)

Twice a year, the MTN Solution Space selects 10 early-stage start-ups to participate in a 12-week mentor-led programme that is designed to help entrepreneurial teams test and validate their business models. The next VIP will take place from 1 September to 30 November in Cape Town and applications for this close next week.

Valued at approximately R300 000, the VIP comprises several elements including expert mentorship, co-working space, boot camps, and skills development from the UCT Graduate School of Business. The programme also offers access to funding and networks as well as exposure and recognition.

Participants in the programme to date include startups: Mygrow, AgriApps, Neural Sense, OneMoola, Last Mile for BoP, Utyre, Chat2Brand, FeastFox and ABCD Concepts. Mark Baker, CEO of Mygrow, says “The programme helped us to do things more wisely and less expensively, essentially being more successful in less time and at a lower cost.”

Tsepo Ngwenyama of the MTN Solution Space, who is part of the VIP team, says prospective participants need to have a minimum viable product (MVP) ready to conduct early-market testing and further establish product and market fit. “We’re looking for teams that have the right balance of skills and ability to build, test and deliver. Furthermore, there must be commitment, discipline and the desire to help other teams and contribute to the community as a whole,” says Ngwenyama. Other requirements include the founder being the lead participant, who must also be able to attend on a full-time basis. This involves being present at the Solution Space for 30+ hours per week during the 12-week programme.

Also enrolled in the VIP is Stuart Murless, founder of Feastfox, a mobile app that facilitates bookings at Cape Town’s top restaurants, bars and cafes within a 30-minute timeframe. “Being able to tap into the knowledge and experience of expert mentors including GSB staff and partners of the MTN Solution Space, surrounded by other aspiring entrepreneurs who are experiencing similar challenges, is an invaluable learning opportunity,” he says.

Prospective applicants for the Venture Incubation Programme are invited to apply here. Applications for the next intake close at midnight on 4th June.

Staff Writer

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