Applications for the second edition of the City of Cape Town-organized YouthStartCT Entrepreneurial Challenge have opened and will see the eventual winners receive cash prizes and business support.
The challenge is aimed at contributing to business skills development, innovation and the growth of entrepreneurs in Cape Town.
The inaugural edition held last year with three entrepreneurs emerging winners, sharing R200,000 worth of prizes and getting business support.
This year’s edition includes a digital solutions category for tech-focused entrepreneurs, and is open to Capetonians (who are South African citizens) aged 18 – 35 with existing businesses with workers or startup ideas that have the potential to create sustainable job opportunities.
The first phase of the competition will see 100 entrepreneurs selected and offered 10 weeks of after-hours mentoring and training to help them assess whether their products and services have a place in the market.
This number will be pruned down to 20 entrepreneurs, who will be offered further mentoring, and then 10 will be selected at a hackathon to participate in a ‘Demo Day’.
The top three winners will be announced at a gala event. They’ll win various prizes as well as business support, including access to a network of partners and mentors.
“A successful business needs more than just a capital injection. Development through training and mentoring is crucial for anyone starting out. Having access to those who have gone before and using their experience as a sounding board or cautionary tale is priceless. It is for this reason that we are putting so much emphasis on mentoring opportunities for the entrants,” said Alderman JP Smith, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services.
He added, “This competition is like an internship of sorts that can provide invaluable experience and set our young entrepreneurs apart. So I urge them to enter and blow us away with their ideas. We had some very interesting ideas last year and I for one am very excited to see what the class of 2017 comes up with.”
Entrepreneurs interested in the challenge should apply by April 6, 2017. The Demo Day will hold in June 2017.