Through the LaunchLab Pitching Den initiative, Stellenbosch University (SU) in collaboration with University of the Western Cape (UWC) and University of Cape Town (UCT), will this month offer students and members of the public the opportunity to win a share of R80 000 in seed funding for original businesses ventures.
To participate entrepreneurs are required to do a three minute informal pitch in front of a camera in a Pitching Den at one of the three participating universities, after which a panel of judges will choose the best five ideas from the final pitches. These entrepreneurs will win seed funding, mentorship and space in the LaunchLab at SU so that they can further develop their ideas.
The LaunchLab is an initiative of SU technology transfer and innovation company Innovus.
Innovus CEO Anita Nel said in a statement that the collaboration of universities for an initiative such as the LaunchLab enhanced the trust of industry and government to invest in entrepreneurs and their businesses.
“When we take hands to jointly look after our emerging business leaders, we can achieve far more than pursuing smaller individual efforts and create much stronger networks and results. Consequently, we will attract the best students and researchers to the Western Cape which [will] become an innovation region in which our own spin-off companies will flourish,” Nel said.
“The entrepreneurial environment thrives on networks and so, as we grow and foster a strong culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Western Cape, we are excited about our collaboration with the LaunchLab and the opportunities it offers aspiring entrepreneurs. We look forward to seeing this and other collaborative initiatives extend across all universities in the Western Cape,” University of the Western Cape technology transfer office director Douglas Sanyahumbi commented.
Pitching will start at UWC next week, after which it will move to UCT from September 23 to 25, concluding at SU from September 30 to October 2.