Bandwidth Barn Announces a Three Year Innovation and Technology Partnership with Telkom
Bandwidth Barn, Africa’s leading technology business incubator, has entered into a three year, multi-million rand partnership with Telkom to open up more opportunities in the digital economy to entrepreneurs and new businesses in a deal that will further enable the Barn to play a major role in developing and operating accelerator programmes for tech entrepreneurs.
The Bandwidth Barn is part of the Cape Innovation and Technology (CiTi) group of organisations, and has four physical co-working and collaboration environments in the Western Cape, with various entrepreneurial innovation and growth programmes. The locus of this partnership with Telkom is at the Barn’s Woodstock (Cape Town) facility.
The Bandwidth Barn has a long and proud association with Telkom, dating back to 2008 when Telkom became the headline sponsor of its inaugural incubator, enabling it to continue delivering on its mandate of providing much needed support to hundreds of growth businesses and entrepreneurs in South Africa.
Ian Merrington, CEO of the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) and the Bandwidth Barn says “One of our core strategic objectives is the fostering of inclusive innovation. This partnership with Telkom enables us to leverage and convert our historical enterprise development success into tech enabled innovation, incubation and acceleration goals which are aligned with Telkom’s innovation and enterprise development objectives. We are committed to taking our long and successful relationship with Telkom to a new level.”
Following the Barn’s proven ‘Learning from the Future’ approach, three top-level interventions have been identified in areas that will fast-track the development of new, innovative technology-driven products and services that will also boost the uptake of Telkom’s customer-value offerings and the adoption of transformative technologies by both SMMEs and large business in general.
These initiatives are as follows:
- The MediaTech Initiative will deliver market intelligence that will inform and seed business ideas with the potential to be further developed and commercialised;
- InnoTech is an accelerator programme for entrepreneurs focusing on software and mobile applications as well as serious games development; and the
- Acceleration Support Programme will assist high-impact black-owned SMMEs in the development, production and deployment phases of their businesses, receiving infrastructure, capacity building and mentoring support.
As one of the country’s largest telecommunications companies, Telkom is committed to seamlessly connecting South Africans to a better life. It offers an unmatched national footprint of infrastructure, products and services. This gives the company the ability to anchor social and developmental initiatives across the ICT value chain, creating real possibilities for sustainable growth and intellectual capital development for SMMEs.
“We have the capacity, appetite, technical ability and leadership commitment to pursue high-impact projects and ideas with like-minded partners”, says Ian Russell, Chief Procurement Officer of Telkom, “and, we are delighted to deepen our partnership with the Bandwidth Barn in the context of our FutureHub initiatives.”
The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is the flagship organisation for the technology sector in the region, and has over almost 20 years developed successful programmes in skills development, innovation, entrepreneurship, and stakeholder co-ordination. The Bandwidth Barn and Telkom partnership starts from May 2015. Visit us at www.citi.org.za and www.telkom.co.za.