South Africa’s LaunchLab Announces Knowledge Acceleration Programme Winners

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LaunchLab, a business incubator housed at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, has announced the winners of its Knowledge Acceleration Programme (KAP).

Announced last year, the 14 weeks action-learning entrepreneurship development programme was aimed at equipping participants with the business planning and management skills needed to build successful businesses.

The participants, some of whom were winners of the ATTACQ Retail Innovation Challenge, were coached and mentored by accredited members of the Mentors and Business Coaches International (MBCI), learning how to better plan and manage key aspects of their businesses.

The content of the programme was provided by the Centre of Entrepreneurship of Regent University in Virginia, USA.

The programme ended in a Pitching Final Event on 29 March at the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab and saw four aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas in front of a live audience.

The judging panel selected three winners, namely Drive-Buy, a digital driver thru for Retail Stores; SwiftPay, a RFID inventory tracking and Queue eliminator; and Visibiliti Insight, a platform to track revenue trends and make recommendations.

“We were very pleased with the quality of pitches at the final event. The final pitches delivered on our expectations, and we’re excited to see what comes out of the next phase,” said Michael Clampett of ATTACQ.

The winners will take part in the Countdown Programme, a pre-accelerator aimed at getting businesses accelerator-ready. This includes incubation support from the LaunchLab and partners for the next 4 months to be used to launch and further grow their business ideas.

Also, each of the winners will get further support from ATTACQ and deepening links into the business to help ensure success. ATTACQ will monitor their progress to see if it can invest further.

“It is encouraging to see corporates like ATTACQ engaging in grassroots startups like these companies. ATTACQ is already working with one of them, and is opening the doors wide for the other two.  We have already seen some hypotheses debunked and pivots made, which is why we facilitate these partnerships.  We’re excited for the successes that come from the next phase,” said Brandon Paschal, Incubation Manager of the LaunchLab.

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