The University of the Witwatersrand’s B-BBBEE Level 1 Entity, Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, is a hub where the incubation of startups and SMEs takes place and aims to create world-leading African digital entrepreneurs.

We provide startups and entrepreneurs with the tools and support they need to grow and scale their businesses through our industry-leading Enterprise Development Model that is focused on developing skills for the digital economy while unearthing digital start-ups and talent in Africa.

We would like to align with your strategy by creating an end-to-end customised Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) programme that incorporates your company values and goals.


Tshimologong recognises that entrepreneurs have a blend of needs at different stages of their business’ development. We have, therefore, developed an Enterprise Development Model that provides support to entrepreneurs at three stages, namely: Early, Start-up and Growth Stage. Programmes offered include education, coaching, mentorship, experiential learning, financial and technical skills, and legal and governance.


Stage1: Pre-Startup

Concept design

Sound Technology

Team formation

Stage 2: Start-up

Minimum viable product.

Business case

Generate revenue

Stage 3: Scale-up


Business Growth

Investment Readiness


Programmes are focused on developing skills for the digital economy, unearthing digital start-ups and talent in Africa

To create pipeline for ongoing programming and to cultivate an innovative space to support fresh ideas, Tshimologong hosts monthly Design Thinking Process workshops for 15 – 20 entrepreneurs or individuals. Entrepreneurs from Wits, Makerspace and the general public are invited to apply.

These workshops allow entrepreneurs to:

  • Validate their business idea/s with consumers and customers – testing its ability to serve a particular market that is willing to buy it, and its potential to scale.
  • Create a pipeline of viable, innovative ideas that can potentially form part of the Tshimologong ecosystem and get the opportunity to apply for incubation programming.

Entrepreneurs may enter the pre-startup programme with an existing prototype or MVP.

After having   completed the Design Thinking workshops, entrepreneurs have an opportunity to pitch to a judging panel at Tshimologong who will evaluate the viability of the ideas. These pitching sessions happen every 3 months.

Successful incumbents are then incubated within Tshimologong where, as members of the Precinct, they receive access to the following support:

  • Co-working space;
  • Personal Entrepreneurship Development;
  • Early stage start-up business support;
  • Access to Tshimologong events;
  • Tech development support


Entrepreneurs who attend the Design Thinking Workshop are eligible to be selected to progress through the Enterprise Development programme to develop their business concepts to a stage where they are ready scale.  The Programme Details below outlines what can be expected in each of the programmes.  Progress is subject to a selection process at each stage of the programme.

Design Thinking Methodology

  • Defining and refining business concepts
  • Validation of concepts
  • Assessment of entrepreneurial inclination

The Design Thinking workshops are designed for all individuals who have a digital idea or solution that they think can go to market.  The 2-day workshops are designed to help validate and assist entrepreneurs in defining and/or refining business concepts.

Participants don’t need to be in or have a registered business.

Prior to the monthly workshops, participants are required to take a compulsory online Entrepreneurial Inclination Assessment (cost – R200).  Assessment results are discussed and analysed during the workshop.

2 days (across 2 weekends) 


  • Business
  • Tech product development
  • Personal Development
  • Legal Considerations


  • Business 
  • Technical


  • CIPC
  • Tax
  • Bank
  • Web (if applicable)

Co-working Space

  • Validation of idea and business model
  • Team formation
  • Company registrations
  • MVP or Prototype creation


  • Business
  • Tech product development

Legal Services


  • Business 
  • Technical

Co-working Space

  • Improved MVP
  • Increased paying customers
  • Revenue growth
  • Founding team stability / shareholders agreements in place
  • Basic business processes developed
  • Systems for automation adopted
  • Funding sourced
  • Governance documentation in place

Expert-led Learning Circles

  • Contracting
  • Shareholder dynamics/Partnership relationship Management
  • Governance
  • Human Resources
  • Financial valuations
  • Funding
  • Readiness for Tshimologong Digital Marketplace/Studios’ Collective
  • Readiness to scale operations
  • Funding attracted to support scaling