If the success of innovation requires that the idea finds its useful place in the market place, then The Innovation Hub is the vehicle through which innovations reach their intended destination. One of the ways in which this is achieved is through the Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP), a programme specifically designed to target innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs presently working on novel technologies and services intended to accelerate the efficiency of government service delivery, increase the competitiveness of the local economy and enhance the quality of life of ordinary citizens.
Now in its seventh year of operation, GAP continues to successfully contribute to the developmental aims of the province by creating partnerships in support of local and innovative entrepreneurship. Because The Innovation Hub is sensitive to the economic chasms which exist between mainstream economies and those on the periphery, GAP’s mandate has since extended to include the Gauteng Accelerator Township Economy programme (GATE) which prioritizes innovations designed specifically for township challenges.
Both GAP and GATE semi-finalists were selected in June, the criteria of selection was based on novelties introduced in one of The Innovation Hub’s priority sectors, namely biosciences, the green and blue economies, OICT, medical technologies, energy, and pharmaceuticals. After selection, the candidates were exposed to a training course which exposed them to strategic entrepreneurship; business model development; funding channels; pitching workshops; product pricing methods; effective presentation skills; and the composition of effective teams.
During the course of this month GATE and GAP candidates presented their final product pitch and it is from this exercise that GATE final category winners will be selected. Upon announcement of the winners, the prize will not only include seed funding but also provide for further assistance in the form of product development, prototyping, mentorship, the support of commercialization specialists, patenting, and a host of many other services necessary the developmental stage of participants.