SUPPORT | September 14, 2020

CONNECTED HUBS in Southern Africa - Namibia News

Photo Credit: Connected Hubs Southern Africa Boost Up Competition

 14 September 2020 Windhoek, Namibia  - Boost Up Competition and Boot Camp

Three Namibian national finalists have been selected to take part in the international BOOST UP start-up competition and online incubator. BOOST UP is a program aimed at supporting early stage start-ups that use technology to solve societal challenges in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. In Namibia, the BOOST UP Program is supported by the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) and the Southern Africa Innovation Support Program (SAIS 2), with assistance from Namibian Connected Hubs network members the Namibia Business Innovation Institute, GEN Namibia, Dololo and the UNDP Accelerator Lab. . The BOOST UP program is divided into three phases. The Set Up training provides entrepreneurs with practical tools to package their business idea and develop a pitch to attract their target market. After the training, selected committed startups who are eager to make an impact, have a scalable business model, and want to become more investor competitive in the Scale Up national pitch competitions in their base countries. The Set Up training and Stand Up competitions were organised separately in each of the BOOST UP country by SAIS 2 and the Connected Hubs. The top startups in each Stand Up competition then proceed to the Scale Up online incubator and pitch final, where they will compete against each other to be selected as the BOOST UP 2020 winner. Namibia’s Scale Up competition took place on 21 August 2020.

Following an intense competition of three-minute pitches to a team of seasoned judges from the Connected Hub network, three promising Namibian startups were selected to represent Namibia during Scale Up, which has been launched on 8 September 2020. Here are the Namibian start up winners participating in the regional online incubation program and boot camp.

1. Agelvipa Online Product: Online store – Creates a market for women-led micro-businesses and startups and provides access to capacity building programs for the less fortunate women who might not be able to afford training by allowing women to sell their products on the online store.

2. Possible Investments cc Product: Talk to Me – Managed by two ladies – one of whom is visually and hearing impaired. Talk to Me is a mobile application that can help all visual and hearing impairment community members in Namibia and SADC in general to access information and communicate. Their prototype converts speech into print and vice versa.

3. Unique Empowerment and Employment Initiative Foundation. Product: Coachpedia – A digital education platform that will enable users to access qualified and experienced mentors, educators, and information in different languages. /End/ Issued by: National Commission on Research, Science and Technology Office of the Chief Executive Officer Contact Person: Angela Ntemwa Acting Head: Corporate Communication and Marketing Tel: 061 – 431 7005 Fax: 061 - 229 928 Email: antemwa@ncrst.na About NCRST: (http://www.ncrst.na/about-us/background/1/ ) The NCRST was established through the Research, Science and Technology Act, 2004 (Act no 23 of 2004). The NCRST fosters excellence through knowledge and innovation by ensuring adequate coordination, monitoring and supervision of research, science and technology in Namibia. Our strategic themes are centered around

1. Operational Excellence,

2. Organisational Sustainability,

3. Strategic Partnerships and

4. Innovation Excellence. The NCRST further strives to provide direction and policy guidance to the research, science and technology innovation systems in Namibia.

About SAIS 2: (www.saisprogramme.org ) SAIS 2 is a regional initiative that supports the growth of new businesses by strengthening innovation ecosystems and promoting cross-border collaboration between innovation role players in Southern Africa. The program focuses on strengthening early-stage enterprises and young entrepreneurs, connecting innovation ecosystems, and promoting innovations serving socially or economically disadvantaged populations. The SAIS 2 Program is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in partnership with the governments of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia as well as the SADC Secretariat. The SAIS 2 programme management office is supported by national Focal Points, which are the national organisations mandated to promote and coordinate Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) in the five SAIS 2 partner countries. NCRST is SAIS 2’s Focal Point in Namibia

Mrs. Johanna Cloete –Managing Director of GEN Namibia since 2015. She is part of a community of doers and makers supporting startups and scale ups… About the author