Oct 2018 2nd Edition

Innovation hub turns dreams into reality

Dale Hes
If you have a great business idea and are living in Gauteng why not approach the Innovation Hub to start your innovative idea.

This organisation provides support to aspiring entrepreneurs which includes financial assistance, training and business support to people who don’t have the resources to get their businesses off the ground.

The Innovation Hub was established by the Gauteng provincial government and has been equipped with a progamme called eKasiLabs which targets innovators in townships around the province.

eKasiLabs currently has more than 200 incubates from 10 sites in the townships. Vuk’uzenzele chats to the Innovation Hub’s Programme Manager Kgaugelo Tsoko who provided a step by step guide on receiving assistance from the organisation.

Vuk: What do people need before they approach eKasiLabs?

Tsoko: All you need is an idea which has some aspect of innovation to it. It should be something new and creative that will cater to needs or markets that are underserved. People do not need to have any formal qualifications or previous knowledge of business as we provide the training to successful applicants.

Vuk: How does the selection process work?

Tsoko: After approaching us with their idea, aspiring incubates must prepare a pitch which they will present to us. This pitch must explain the product or service they are thinking of offering. So it should include a vision for how the idea will serve the market, and why there is need for it.

If the candidate gets a mark of more than 65percent for their pitch, then they are accepted into the programme.

Vuk: What support does eKasiLabs provide to incubates?

Tsoko: We provide a grant so that the business can get set up properly with equipment, product development, networking, advertising and marketing. We also support incubates with things like getting their products approved by the South African Bureau of Standards. We are ready to support the business with anything it might need.

Vuk: What is the importance of assisting these businesses?

Tsoko: The programme gives emerging entrepreneurs opportunities that they would never have had before, giving them access to the market. It also supports the township economy and skills development in the areas which need it most.  

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