Connected Hubs is a network of Southern African innovation support organisations from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, the broader SADC region and beyond. With linkages to international innovation ecosystems and a shared goal to enable and facilitate the development of early stage entrepreneurs, the network has embarked upon a journey to collaborate to share best practises.
As an initiative under the SAIS 2 Programme, Connected Hubs currently comprises of 10 organisations who have taken part in training in event management. This training has enhanced the capacity of these innovation support organisations to produce world class events as well as facilitate dialogues around entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems. After putting these lessons to the test by producing the Annual Southern Africa Innovation Forum in September 2018, the focus of the knowledge-exchange shifts to startup support. Connected hubs will support Slush Global Impact Accelerator in coaching the top five impact-driven startups from SAIS partner countries. Since 2017, SAIS has collaborated with Slush GIA to support the entrepreneurs, the new superheroes of Africa, and offer a regional platform for expansion through international connections. Through organising pitch competitions in each of the five countries, supporting the selected startups and continuing to build capacity amongst themselves, the network has made a regional and international footprint. For 2018 and going into 2019, Connected Hubs will forge forward with even more exciting activities as the network solidifies international connections at Slush 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. Stay tuned for more news on the expansion of Connected hubs throughout 2019. Visited the Connected Hubs page to find out more!