The Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP) Innovation Competition is looking for innovators, researchers, and entrepreneurs working on innovations that will help rebuild South Africa’s economy. The Innovation Hub has invested over R19 million in seed funding over the past ten years and has provided business incubation support to over 100 start-ups through its business incubation programmes.
This world-class competition will run until 15 September 2021 and is open to the public. Over three million Rands in seed money is up for grabs along with personalised mentorship, advisory and skills development sessions, infrastructure, funding, and networking opportunities.
There are five main categories: GAP Green, GAP Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), GAP Medical, GAP Biosciences, and the GAP Township (GATE) Competition.
- GAP Green Economy
GAP Green innovation competition aims to support innovations that more effectively manage the use of natural resources by citizens and enterprises, whilst ensuring the preparedness and adaptability of the broader population to the effects of climate change and increased competition and associated costs for essential resources.
The category is looking for technologies/innovations that are past the idea phase in the following: Water security and management, Waste and sanitation, Energy, Green Buildings & Sustainable mobility.
The competition winners will be eligible for seed funding and incubation with Climate Innovation Centre South Africa (CICSA). The winner of the GAP Green competition walks away with R180 000, the second prize R120 000 and the third prize R100 000.
- GAP ICT
Run in partnership with The Innovation Hub’s Maxum Business Incubator and Mobile Applications Laboratory (mLab) Southern Africa, this category focuses on electronics, software, sensors, cybersecurity, network connectivity, Internet of Things, big data, analysis, artificial intelligence, mixed reality and smart mobility.
Candidates (including researchers, entrepreneurs, and community-based organisations) stand a chance of winning the first prize of R180 000, the second prize of R120 000, the third prize of R90 000 or the fourth prize of R10 000.
- GAP Medical
The competition’s main objective is to identify and nurture health innovative solution that will improve healthcare service delivery in hospitals. This category is being conducted in partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
The first prize winner will be awarded R300 000, followed by the second prize of R200 000 and the third prize R100 000.
- GAP Biosciences
The competition supports scientist and entrepreneurs pursuing commercially viable opportunities on their cutting-edge bioscience or life science technologies. This category also runs in partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
The winner of the Biosciences competition walks away with R500 000 in seed money, with the second prize being R300 000 and the third prize R200 000.
- GATE Township Economy
The GATE competition identifies and promotes township-based innovations that lead to growth in the township economy.
The winners of the GATE competition will be incubated at one of The Innovation Hub’s township-based innovation centres – eKasiLabs. The first prize will be awarded R300 000, second prize R200 000, third prize R100 000 and fourth prize R50 000.
“The categories for the GAP innovation competition were meticulously chosen to give everyone a fair chance at entry. We believe that the South African entrepreneur and scientist can find solutions to our country’s unique problems within these categories and help rebuild South Africa through innovation,” says Advocate Pieter Holl, CEO of the Innovation Hub.
Entries are now open and close on 15 September 2021. You can enter the GAP competition online and find out more about the GAP competition here.
“We urge all scientists, innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs to enter this once in a lifetime opportunity, no matter their age or background,” says Holl. “This is an opportunity to develop ideas, dreams and innovations into reality, something feasible that can make a difference in the lives of other South Africans,” he concludes.