With a proven track record of working to improve the life chances of young people in South Africa, RLabs are an exciting organisation doing impressive work. Given that fact, it’s with great pleasure that we can announce a grant of £10,900 to help them launch a Social Enterprise Innovation Incubator and Accelerator (InnovIA) to nurture new African Innovations for Social Change in Cape Town. The InnovIA provides the opportunity for Social Entrepreneurs to grow their ideas into a reality by providing them with a pre-incubation space, mentorship, prototyping, development and business support. It also offers a programme of related activities to deepen the understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation. The main criteria for ventures to be hosted in the incubator are that it should have a social impact, be sustainable and show potential for growth (scale). The RLabs team have already identified the six start-ups they’ll be working with. They are:
- She’s the Geek: A startup by two local women that provides technology tips, reviews, consulting, insights and empowerment from a woman’s perspective. A social website is being developed to support the She’s The Geek enterprise.
- MiGoX (My Interactive Government Experience): An open data platform providing citizens the opportunity to access, monitor and report in real-time on the performance of local government departments and agencies. The key technologies being developed are a mobi-social network and a cloud-based instant messaging centre for reporting of issues by citizens.
- Uusi: An innovative jobs, business and education mobile social network matching people with empowerment opportunities. It has been dubbed “The Poor Man’s LinkedIn”, as it has a strong focus on emerging markets. It already has thousands of active users and a partnership agreement with Mxit, Africa’s largest mobile social network.
- LetzGO!: A mobile application and mobi-site for accessing public transport information. It provides access to up-to-date information on travel and allows would-be passengers to share route planners, pricing and other valuable information to ensure a pleasant journey.
- Social Media Factory: A crowdsourcing website providing unemployed community members on the Cape Flats with an opportunity to earn an income through social media work. They have already worked with clients such as the World Bank, CANSA, Table Mountain and local universities.
- Chisana: The only tourism enterprise on the Cape Flats, they will be developing a tourist mobile application to map their experiences and share photos. Each and every trip will be shared via the Chisan website.
Indigo’s grant will go to supporting the initial set-up and outfitting costs of the space with equipment such as laptops and LCD screens, as well as training and capacity building work. We’re delighted to be partnering with RLabs and look forward to updating you with the progress of their six ‘incubatees’.