Irish Embassy in SA Teams Up with Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct to Seek Out Tech Startups

Irish Embassy in SA Teams Up with Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct to Seek Out Tech Startups

The Embassy of Ireland in South Africa, in collaboration with Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), and Dogpatch Labs Ireland, is now accepting applications for the Irish Tech Challenge South Africa 2023. This initiative aims to foster mutually advantageous partnerships between local technopreneurs in South Africa and the technological expertise of Ireland, leveraging Ireland’s status as a prominent global high-tech centre.

The Irish Tech Challenge 2023 is on the lookout for the most compelling growth-stage tech startups based in South Africa that are in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The challenge particularly encourage applications from emerging businesses owned by young individuals, black entrepreneurs, and women hailing from all corners of the nation.

While the Tech Challenge warmly welcomes submissions from all industries, it place a special emphasis on sectors that correlate with the challenges laid out in the SDGs, as they resonate within the context of South Africa. These sectors encompass Clean & Green Tech, Circular Economies, Med/Health/Bio-Tech, Ed-Tech, and WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene).

Applicants should represent either post-revenue startups or pre-revenue startups that possess well-developed intellectual property.

The Irish Tech Challenge will award five entrepreneurs:

  • Up to €10,000 or R204 000 each in funding.
  • A funded trip to Ireland where they will be part of a curated business networking programme with access to the country’s top business leaders.
  • Access to the Irish tech ecosystem with potential opportunities for further funding.
  • Receive acceleration support to position their global scaling strategy in collaboration with Dogpatch Labs.

“As a global technological hub and second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world, Ireland is well placed to lend both its expertise and experience to support the growth of South African young entrepreneurs,” said Paul Deane, Trade Counsellor at the Embassy of Ireland in South Africa. “Moreover, by leaning on the local South African tech ecosystem as a partner, entrepreneurs can effectively scale tech solutions that align with and contribute to the South African government’s development agenda.

“Together we can capacitate tech startups to grow outside the borders of South Africa and the programme will also strengthen the relationships between this country and Ireland, particularly in the field of ICT.”

“The Irish Tech Challenge 2023 will provide a platform for tech entrepreneurs from both countries to thrive through collaboration, networking and mentorship,” he said.

“As a hub for digital innovation, Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct is dedicated to fostering a community of top-tier African digital entrepreneurs. Partnering with the Irish Government and global digital hubs like Dogpatch Labs enriches our journey, allowing us to exchange insights and enhance our support to African tech entrepreneurs,” says Lesley Donna Williams, CEO of Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct.

The application window for the Irish Tech Challenge is now open and will conclude on September 29, 2023. For more information and to submit your application for the opportunity to elevate your venture, click here.

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