BOOST UP is back and ready to give more startups the knowledge they need to become stronger and better than before. Are you a startup entrepreneur? Do you want to learn how to better pitch your business and make it more investable? Does your startup use technology and innovation to make a social impact in your community and beyond? Are you based in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, or Zambia? Apply for BOOST UP 2021 for a chance to take your startup to the next level.
ABOUT BOOST UP
BOOST UP is a three-part startup support programme organised by the Connected Hubs network and the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2) in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia. BOOST UP targets startups that use technology to solve a societal challenge and are looking for skills that could help them pitch their businesses and become investment-ready. The BOOST UP series comprises the Set Up training events, Stand Up pitching competitions, and Scale Up incubation programme and bootcamp.
BOOST UP Set Up training provides entrepreneurs with practical tools to package their business idea and develop a pitch to attract their target market. The Set Up training is organised separately in each of the BOOST UP countries: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia.
National Pitch Competitions
At BOOST UP Stand Up, committed startups who are eager to make an impact, have a scalable business model, and want to become more investable will compete in national pitch competitions. Connected Hubs representatives will select startups in each country from the Set Up participants that completed the training and invite them to pitch at Stand Up. At the pitch competitions, a panel of expert judges will select the top startups to advance to interviews. After interviews, the most promising startups will be selected to take part in BOOST UP Scale Up.
Training & Bootcamp
BOOST UP Scale Up is an incubation programme for impact-driven startups eager to become more investable. Scale Up includes an online incubation programme (September–November) and an on-site bootcamp in Helsinki, Finland, in November–December*.
*In the event that COVID-19 restrictions prevent travelling and/or organising the Bootcamp, an alternative plan will be considered.
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
BOOST UP SET UP 2021
We encourage you to apply for the BOOST UP Set Up training if:
- Your startup is a registered business located in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, or Zambia.
- Technology and innovation play a key role in your business model to address a societal challenge in Southern Africa. “Technology and innovation” here includes, but is not limited to:
- Internet of Things
- Artificial Intelligence
- Drone technology
- Renewable Energy and Circular Economy
- Smart City/Smart Environment
- Big Data
- Communications (e.g. internet connectivity services)
- Anything that uses technology and innovation to improve a product or service in any way. Please look at the previous years’ finalists for examples of the type of startups we accept.
- You have a scalable business model.
- You are developing or finalising a prototype, or have a prototype ready.
- Your startup has a minimum of two team members interested in participating.
- You/your startup have not won a SAIS 2-associated national pitch competition and participated in the BOOST UP Bootcamp in 2020 or 2019, Slush Global Impact Accelerator 2018, or been sponsored by SAIS 2 to participate in Slush 2017.
Note: applications from female-led startups are particularly encouraged.
BOOST UP Stand Up Eligibility
The BOOST UP Stand Up pitch competition participants will be selected from the Set Up training participants by the Connected Hubs network.
To be selected to pitch, your startup will be required to:
- Have participated in the Set Up training
- Be a registered business located in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, or Zambia
- Have a prototype ready
In addition, you must be 18 years or above. Alternatively, if you are under 18 and selected to the Scale Up incubator and Bootcamp, you must be accompanied by your guardian. The guardian will be responsible for her/his own travel costs.
BOOST UP Set Up and Stand Up 2021 Selection Criteria
A limited number of startups per country will be selected to participate in the Set Up training and the Stand Up pitch competitions.
This is how we will make the selection:
- Does the solution make a societal impact?
- Is the solution novel in the market?
- Does the solution have the potential to scale up?
- Does the solution have growth potential and commercial viability?
- Does the team show commitment and ability?
- What is the stage of prototype development?