Turn Your Smart Innovation into a successful Cleantech Business
Innovative start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises focusing on cutting-edge and innovative clean-technology solutions have an opportunity to become part of a global network of entrepreneurs and contribute to a clean and sustainable future.
The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMMEs in SA (GCIP-SA) recently opened its call for applications, with 2 May 2018 as the closing date. The initiative aims to spur local technology innovations in energy efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency, waste beneficiation, green building, and green transportation, in support of the country’s national priorities.
The programme combines an annual competition and a business accelerator programme where SMEs and start-ups are continuously trained, mentored and assessed on their business models, investor pitches, communication and financial skills for the development of a more marketable and investor-attractive product and business. Participants are also offered the opportunity to connect with potential partners, clients and investors, participate in showcasing events and have a chance to win a cash prize and a trip to San Francisco to compete with the best cleantech innovators from seven other GCIP countries.
The GCIP-SA was incorporated into the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) as from January 2018, after four years as a donor-funded project. The programme launched in South Africa in 2014 and has been jointly implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Technology Agency (TIA), with funding by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). US based Cleantech Open was the main knowledge partner of the global programme. The GCIP-SA was followed by the introduction of sister projects in seven other developing countries. Since its inception, the South African programme has worked with entrepreneurial teams from all nine provinces, with 102 cleantech entrepreneurs directly supported through the Business Accelerator process.
“We would like to invite entrepreneurs with new and ground-breaking technology innovations, or those who are using existing technologies in unique applications, to submit their entries on our website – www.gcip.tia.org.za,” says GCIP-SA national programme manager Gerswynn McKuur. Innovations should be at proof-of-concept stage up to pre-commercialisation, demonstrate a feasible concept and product and have the potential to be commercialised.