The UCT GSB Solution Space E-Track Programme in Partnership with the MTN Group is a three-part new-venture acceleration and a capacity building programme for high impact individuals at the University of Cape Town. With a high-touch scale-up process; the programme is designed to support teams build scalable businesses with international potential. Individual participants can either explore their own business idea or join an existing venture.The programme also serves as a platform for corporate partners to engage and collaborate on specific research and development agendas.
We are looking for innovation-driven and high impact scale-ups with solutions that are relevant to the African market and with global potential.
Participants need to be UCT/ UCTGSB students or alumni. We are looking for both high impact individuals and teams. Individual participants can either explore their own business idea or join an existing venture.
Most of our scaleups enter with some sort of business case, early version of a product and a couple of team members. They have a working prototype with a minimum feature set ready to conduct early-market testing to further establish product and market fit.
The initial concept development demonstrates deep and intimate understanding of the problem and market need or opportunity. The idea must have progressed beyond concept and should demonstrate evidence of early market testing, customers, revenues, patents or intellectual property filings.
Individuals & scaleups submit applications online, before the initial start date of each E-Track Programme.
The Solution Space team reviews the applications and the top scaleups and individuals complete the Venture Launch Programme. The 5-week training and preparation programme aims to validate the venture opportunity and the team.
The top 10 scaleups are selected to participate in the 12-week Venture Exploitation Programme to accelerate the development of their venture. This is done through a high touch scale-up process that aims to concretize the product and secure customer buy-in.
The last part of the programme aims to scale the venture throughout the partner markets and beyond. The process is facilitated by investors, the partner and subject experts, such as a legal team, tech team and business development team. Entrepreneurs meet with investors, partners and market experts throughout partner markets/opcos.
Selected startups will gain access to MTN APIs, MTN Service Delivery Platform, MTN technical experts and mentors to provide feedback and guidance and a package of support from technology partners.
We apply a learning-by-doing approach. At workshops and clinics, scale-ups learn founder fundamentals and core skills focused on moving the business forward. Scaleups apply what they learn through practical outcomes from each session.
Access to pro-bono partners and a network of consultants to support with specialist expertise e.g. legal, HR, digital user experience, venture capital.
Scaleups receive valuable feedback and guidance from our team and a network of experienced mentors and industry partners. Teams also have access to the Solution Space's network of GSB alumni and corporate partners.
We focus on building a vibrant community of entrepreneurs and offer a calendar of regular events designed to increase a team's knowledge and expand their network. We prioritize peer learning and mentoring through access to our co-working space and regular office-hours.
Senior Lecturer and H.O.D - Department of Information Systems: University of Western Cape