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By 1 July 2013 | Categories: news

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Individuals or small and medium-sized businesses nationwide who have developed or are pioneering some form of technology innovation, no matter what size, have been  encouraged to enter the Step-Up Technology Innovation competition without delay.

The competition, which closes entries at the end of September and is in its inaugural year, has apparently already received a surge of entries in the past month.  

Apparently, the keenest interest is coming from Gauteng and the Western Cape, with both provinces jointly delivering 84% of hopefuls. Trailing behind them is KwaZulu-Natal at 7%, while another 7% of aspiring entrepreneurs comes from Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape and the Free State combined.

Seeking innovation

The competition seeks innovations in the health and biotechnology, chemicals, mining and manufacturing, information and communication technologies industries, as well as the food and agriculture, energy and green environment sectors. The Technology Innovation Agency, along with Sasol ChemCity, will then evaluate entries for inclusion in an extensive range of financial and non-financial support programmes – whether these entries are based on an initial idea or existing innovation business.

All winners will receive up to four hours of high-value consulting time with selected SABLE (South African Business Link to Experts) advisers, as well as a 3-month engagement with experienced and reputable industry mentors. In partnership with the SA Business and Technology Incubation Association (SABTIA), entrants who would benefit from incubation will be referred to appropriate incubators.

Furthermore, Step-Up finalists and winners of the competition will also be able to benefit from global introductions to business leaders through the international partnership group, The SABLE Accelerator.

To the point

“Although the deadline is 30 September 2013, entrants would do well to enter early, as this will give them sufficient time to polish their entries and document uploads,” urged Martin Feinstein, former founding CEO of Proudly South African and Enablis, who manages the competition.

“Because their pitches can be saved, entrepreneurial hopefuls can return to the site as many times as they wish, once they have registered,” he continued. Entries into the competition can be made online, here.

Indeed, innovation has already become quite a strong theme of late, with South African based company AgriProtein Technologies securing itself the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa, a young South African winning herself a spot at the regional finals of the prestigious Google science fair and University of Johannesburg students innovating their way to Russia.

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