applications now open!

CALLING ALL TECH ENTREPRENEURS CHAMPIONING CHANGE

The Embassy of Ireland in South Africa in partnership with Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), the Department of Science & Innovation (DSI) and Dogpatch Labs Ireland invite South African tech startups to apply for the Irish Tech Challenge South Africa 2024.

Applications NOW OPEN


Find out more at our Information Session on 17 April 2024 (Hybrid)

Register online, click HERE
Watch last year’s info session HERE

THE IRISH TECH CHALLENGE WILL AWARD SEVEN COMPELLING TECH INNOVATORS:

  • Up to €10,000 each in funding.
  • A funded trip to Ireland where you 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 your global scaling strategy in collaboration with Dogpatch Labs in Ireland.
  • Collaborative initiative: Spearheaded by the Embassy of Ireland in South Africa, the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct and Technology Innovation Agency, the programme aims to fuse Irish technology expertise with the innovation of South African tech entrepreneurs.
  • Focus on innovation: The Irish Tech Challenge is rooted in promoting innovation, fostering technology development, and ensuring effective technology deployment within South Africa.
  • Empowering diversity: With a special emphasis on encouraging applications from women, young entrepreneurs, and startups aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including climate-focused start-ups.
  • Global expansion support: The chosen entrepreneurs will receive not just financial aid, but also premier access to Ireland’s vast technological expertise and influential networks to bolster their growth.
  • Overcoming challenges: The initiative understands the barriers faced by tech entrepreneurs ready for global scalability: limited resources, high tech costs, and network and infrastructure access.

PROPEL YOUR TECH START-UP TO NEW HEIGHTS

WHY APPLY?

Join the Irish Tech Challenge South Africa 2024 and seize the opportunity to change the tech landscape while making a global impact

UPCOMING KEY DATES

15 March 2024  
Irish Tech Challenge launch


17 April 2024 (Hybrid)
Information Session
Register online, click HERE   |   Watch last year’s info session HERE.

 

31 April 2024
Submission deadline


24-28 June 2024
Showcase Day


08 July 2024
Pre-Acceleration Program Begins

 

20-30 September 2024:
Visit to Ireland

Post revenue; Pre-revenue, (but with developed IP or prototype). Venture must demonstrate commercial potential.

All Tech sectors welcome. We are particularly interested in: Clean/Green-Tech, Circular Economies, Med/Health/Biotech, Ed-Tech, WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene)

Addressing one of the 17  United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: See SDG list

At least one founder/CEO must be full-time. Women-led or youth-led businesses are particularly encouraged to apply

At least 51% owned by a South African and/or partnership with an Irish national

Headquartered in South Africa or Ireland

SELECTION CRITERIA

SELECTION AND ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The selection committee comprises highly qualified and impartial experts with experience in the technology and innovation sector and experience working with entrepreneurs at varying stages of their entrepreneurship journey.

PAUL DEANE

Trade and Education Counsellor at the Embassy of Ireland

Dr Babongile Mkhize

Director for Innovation Priorities and Instruments at the Department of Science and Innovation

Hesus Inoma

International Liaison at Dogpatch Labs – Ireland

Monique D. Griffith

Head of Innovation Partnerships at the City of Johannesburg

Nicola Kelly

Director: Sub-Saharan Africa at Enterprise Ireland

Ephraim Phalafala

Deputy Director in the Department of Science and Innovation

Prof. Helen Duh

Head of School: School of Business Sciences University of the Witwatersrand

EDWELL GUMBO

Head of Enterprise Development Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct

Contact

For general feedback and any queries not found in the FAQs, please email irishtechchallenge@tshimologong.joburg

Please expect responses within three working days.

We may be unable to answer specific questions about applications while the call for applications is still open

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IRISH TECH CHALLENGE SOUTH AFRICA FAQs

General

The Irish Tech Challenge aims to support innovation and entrepreneurship by fostering connections between the South African and Irish tech ecosystems. The Tech Challenge will identify a number of high-potential impact-driven South African tech start-ups each year and provide them with a curated mentoring and acceleration program in the Irish tech ecosystem.

  • To provide seven high-potential entrepreneurs who are ready to expand their company and operations globally, with access to high-quality Irish expertise and networks.
  • To foster stronger ties and collaboration between the tech and entrepreneurship ecosystems in Ireland and South Africa. The objective is to provide a platform for both countries to thrive through mutual cooperation and support.

The Embassy of Ireland in South Africa, in partnership with Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and Dogpatch Labs Ireland.