Connected Hubs share best practices in innovation support through online and offline training sessions together with international experts. In 2018, they produced the Annual Southern Africa Innovation Forum (ASAIF) a regional platform which is a flagship of the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2). SAIS 2 facilitates improved networks through Connected Hubs by connecting actors for a joint cause, providing training skills for a lasting impact in their local innovation ecosystems as well as building trust between the actors across regions.
Connected Hubs activities are set to grow based on learnings from 2018 and scale to include more hubs from the SADC region and beyond. By the end of the year 2019, Connected Hubs will have built bridges between 20 business support organisations across seven countries, supported over 300 early-stage entrepreneurs and strengthened ten early-stage, impact-driven start-ups. Overall hubs have strengthened their skills in start-up coaching and regional collaboration.
Connected Hubs is a network of Southern African innovation support organisations with linkages to international innovation ecosystems.
With a shared goal to enable and facilitate the development of early stage entrepreneurs, we have embarked upon a journey to collaborate to share best practises.
The actors are from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, the broader SADC region and beyond.
All Connected Hubs partners join forces with SAIS and Slush GIA to support the entrepreneurs, the new superheroes of Africa, and offer a regional platform for expansion through international connections. SAIS has partnered with Slush Global Impact Accelerator to continue supporting startups from emerging markets to participate in the annual internationally recognised tech startup event, Slush, organised in Helsinki, Finland. This partnership offers impactful coaching of early-stage startups focusing on solutions to local economic and social challenges.
In 2018, SAIS partners with Slush Global Impact Accelerator to select one promising start-up per SAIS partner country. These five start-ups are all young enterprises solving a societal problem in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The start-ups join Slush GIA to gain insight in topics ranging from pitching to investor relationships as well as business and product development.
In 2017, SAIS 2 piloted cross-border collaboration with Botswana Innovation Hub and Fablab Namibia. The three organisations supported two startups from Namibia and three from Botswana to attend Slush 2017 in Helsinki with hub managers. The five start-ups took part in a 2-month incubator programme with coaching sessions, on pitching, business mentoring and product development.
Phillip Sellwe, Bayon Holdings - Botswana
Kaveto Tjatjara, Worldview Technologies - Namibia
Vincent Van Wyk, PEBL - Namibia
Kennedy Letsogile, EcoHub - Botswana
Tumelo Mapila, Focus Surveys - Botswana
Pitching skills are crucial to any start up and early stage entrepreneur. SAIS has partnered with Funzi, a Finnish based mobile service training and learning company, to collect most useful tips on pitching. These videos give step by step guidance on how to prepare a compelling 3-minute pitch and also highlighting the most common mistakes in pitching. Need to brush up your lingo regarding the startup world? Check out this helpful brochure!
Innovation events are important components of every innovation ecosystems adding value to role-players efforts of to network, to gain exposure and to create diverse platforms facilitating learning and timely sharing of knowledge.
The resources toolkit prepared by Connected Hubs will offer guidance on how to plan and market events while working through networks and partnerships.
An overview and definition of Ínclusive Innovation
Professor Mikko Koria, Associate Dean of Enterprise, Professor of Design Innovations, Director of the Institute of Design Innovation, Loughborough University, London
An in depth introduction to Slush, one of the Europe’s largest start up and tech events organised annually in Helsinki, Finland which sees over 40,000 attendants.
Aino Piirtola , Head of Global Impact Accelerator (GIA)
Basics of marketing for a local innovation event, and provides tips on partnerships.
Dr. Audrey Verhaeghe, President, SA Innovation Summit