BOOST for start-ups
16 September 2020 | Business
BOOST UP is aimed at supporting early stage start-ups that use technology to solve societal challenges in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
In Namibia, the BOOST UP programme is supported by the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) and the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2), with assistance from Namibian Connected Hubs network members, the Namibia Business Innovation Institute, GEN Namibia, Dololo and the UNDP Accelerator Lab.
The BOOST UP programme is divided into three phases. The Set-Up training provides entrepreneurs with practical tools to package their business idea and develop a pitch to attract their target market. After the training, selected committed start-ups who are eager to make an impact, have a scalable business model, and want to become more investable competed in the Scale-Up national pitch competitions in their base countries.
The Set Up trainings and Stand Up competitions were organised separately in each of the BOOST UP countries by SAIS 2 and the Connected Hubs. The top start-ups in each Stand Up competition then proceed to the Scale-Up online incubator and pitch final, where they will compete against each other to be selected as the BOOST UP 2020 winner.
Namibia’s Scale Up competition took place on 21 August 2020. Following an intense competition of three-minute pitches to a team of seasoned judges from Connected Hub, three promising Namibian start-ups were selected to represent Namibia, which was launched on 8 September 2020.
The local start-up winners participating in the regional online incubation programme and bootcamp are:
1. Agelvipa Online
Product: Online store – Creates a market for women-led microbusinesses and start-ups and provides access to capacity building programmes for less fortunate women who may not be able to afford training, by allowing women to sell their products on the online store.
2. Possible Investments cc
Product: Talk to Me – Managed by two ladies, one of whom is visually and hearing impaired. Talk to Me is a mobile application that can help all visual and hearing impaired community members in Namibia and SADC to access information and communicate. Their prototype converts speech into print and vice versa.
3. Unique Empowerment and Employment Initiative Foundation
Product: Coachpedia – A digital education platform that will enable users to access qualified and experienced mentors, educators, and information in different languages.