Feb 2020 1st Edition

4IR entrepreneurs power ahead

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

As South Africa moves towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution(4IR)  entrepreneurs now have a space to develop their solutions which will take the country forward. The Fourth Industrial Revolution Incubator (4IRI) is aimed at helping entrepreneurs maximise the opportunities in the technological development space.

CEO of the 4IRI Naomi Musi said the incubator gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop capability and capacity in the digital learning industry.

She said to enable the jobs of the future, new, relevant and critical skills are essential.Makhosonke Kwaza with one of the drones he uses as a training and educational model at exhibits, training facilities and schools.

Entrepreneur Makhosonke Kwaza (28), who owns industrial and education technological innovation company Thusong Technologies, works from the incubator’s offices in Melrose, Johannesburg.

Thusong Technologies is involved in education and training. It develops solutions for learners to practically understand scientific and technological concepts by developing models which they can interact with.

“I also design education interactive exhibits, which are basically models that are used by science and training centres,” he said.

Thusong Technologies has also partnered with Innovative Telecommunications to design a product called Share AR, which converts from a normal office boardroom table into an interactive table with the click of a button.The incubator has
helped Kwaza by giving him space to work on his inventions, as well as marketing his many creations.

The incubation programme offers a number of services to qualifying entrepreneurs, including business development programmes, facilitation of access to funding, accounting and bookkeeping, regular visits by a business development officer, training, technical advice, product modelling and prototyping, access to markets, linkages to industry experts and marketing.

The incubator’s offices give entrepreneurs access to hot desks, boardrooms, meeting spaces, fast uncapped fibre connectivity, access to smart technology and prototyping facilities.

Companies interested in using the incubator must meet a set of requirements. These include being technology-based, offering  solutions and being ready to expand. They must have a sound business case and their solutions or products must have the potential to uplift society.

The incubator works in partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Russian Trade Council, Small Enterprise Development Agency Seda and private businesses in the technological space.

To find out more about the 4IRI call 010 109 1769 or visit www.4iri.co.za.

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