South Africa’s SqwidNet has opened applications for its IoT Entrepreneurship Programme called IoTEP – IoT to the power of E.
The company is looking for a new type of thinker, who is willing to tackle business and socio-economic challenges and find solutions that can make a difference.
“The IoT ecosystem remains quite fragmented and we believe that through making it more accessible to entrepreneurs we can help in solidifying that ecosystem,” says Phathizwe Malinga, acting CEO at SqwidNet.
“There are so many different ways in which IoT can be applied to drive business value and improve the lives of citizens, and we are encouraging entrepreneurs to bring their ideas forward so that we can assist them in bringing those ideas and solutions to life.”
IoTEP is the entrepreneurship programme for all things IoT.
The programme is being extended to be an annual, rather than quarterly programme and entrepreneurs will not only have access to technology and business mentorship, and the possibility of investment, but also an incubation programme to grow their ideas into fully fledged businesses.
“We are also broadening the scope of potential participants,” says Malinga. “If you are an existing ICT company with an annual turnover of less than R1-million or you just have an idea that you know can make a difference, but do not have the resources to turn it into a business, then this is the programme for you.”
Remember the iconic Think Different campaign Apple ran in the late 1990s?
“To quote Steve Jobs, we need ‘The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently’. We need entrepreneurs who are willing to challenge the norm and tackle challenges head-on to make a difference in society,” he says.
Applications can be submitted online and a group of 60 entrepreneurs will be selected to go through the programme.
“At SqwidNet we enable innovation through IoT. It is important to note that this programme is not limited to entrepreneurs with a history of working in electronics. We are looking for unique ideas that can drive meaningful impact both in business and in people’s lives,” says Malinga.
“Applications will be assessed based on the uniqueness of the IoT device being proposed and the need for such a device in an existing market.”
The deadline for applicants to submit their ideas is the end of August and successful participants will be notified by early September. Details of the 3-day workshop will be then be shared with them.
Below are the application options and methods of submission:
Entrepreneurs: If you are an entrepreneur with an engineering or ICT background with an idea, please submit your CV and motivation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small ICT Business Owner: If you are a business owner in the ICT industry with a turnover below R1,000,000 complete the following survey to enter.