Call: GROUNDSWELL Africa – Making Green Mainstream

Deadline: 9 March 2018

In response to the current situation in the Western Cape and beyond, the focus of Phase One of this ambitious programme is to accelerate the success and sustainability of small businesses who offer products and services that mitigate water challenges, and to connect these businesses to larger corporate and Public sector supply chains – thus creating a win-win scenario for all stakeholders. In practical terms, Phase One assists entrepreneurs (and aspiring entrepreneurs) in need of advice through their helpdesk (groundswell@fetola.co.za / 0861111690) and will also engage 30 “waterpreneurs” for an intensive 18 month business growth programme. In this period, participants will benefit from business advice, mentorship, business skills training, supply chain inclusion, investment readiness preparation and access to markets. Entrepreneurs with small businesses operating in the water, resources efficiency or waste management arenas are encouraged to apply.

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Call: Open Innovation Challenge looking for innovative solutions in the area of agricultural water conservation and irrigation

Deadline: 15 March 2018

The Western Cape (WC), a province in South Africa, currently faces a serious drought and has been declared a disaster area. As a result, Day Zero – the day the City of Cape Town runs out of water – is constantly monitored and updated. While this situation obviously has significant humanitarian consequences, a further impact is on industry, in particular, the agricultural industry in the Western Cape. This sector relies heavily on a reliable and sustainable water supply in order to produce good crops and sustain livestock. The WC Agriculture Department estimates a negative socio-economic effect of the drought, with as many as 50,000 seasonal workers being jobless due to the financial strain on farming. More than 50% of SA’s agricultural exports move through the WC, with the European Union (EU) being one of the biggest export destinations. Thus, the impact on industry results not just in commercial implications, but also have very real social consequences for the thousands of people that will be affected by a loss of employment opportunities. Against this background, Advantage Austria, the Technology Innovation Agency, Silicon Cape and RIIS are running an Open Innovation Challenge looking for innovative solutions in the area of agricultural water conservation and irrigation.

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Call: #EpsonEntrepreneur

Deadline: 22 March 2018

Epson, global innovators in printing and visual technologies, is supporting future entrepreneurs and start-up companies in South Africa, with the launch of its #EpsonEntrepreneur campaign. The campaign calls for South Africans to self-nominate or nominate budding entrepreneurs and start-up business owners by submitting a 300-word written business elevator pitch or 3-minute elevator pitch video of their business idea to the Epson South Africa Facebook Page.

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Call: AI Revolution Challenge

Deadline: 31 March 2018

The AI Revolution Challenge, through Sagarmata Technology, aims to uncover emerging African startups demonstrating the ability to lead the advancement of commercial applications on artificial intelligence. Sagarmatha are awarding an investment of $1M in cash plus marketing credits and prizes to a winning African startup. Up to 20 innovative African startups will be given the opportunity to present their business plan at a gala event in South Africa, in May 2018.

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