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Irish Tech Challenge 2023: Call for local tech entrepreneurs to drive SDG innovation

The Embassy of Ireland in South Africa, in partnership with Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and Dogpatch Labs Ireland has opened applications to local technopreneurs to enter the Irish Tech Challenge South Africa 2023.

This initiative aims to forge mutually beneficial partnerships between South African entrepreneurs and Irish technology expertise, harnessing Ireland’s position as a global high-tech hub. 

The Irish Tech Challenge 2023 seeks to find the most compelling South African-owned, growth-stage tech startups whose work aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Young, black, women-owned businesses from across the country are particularly encouraged to apply.

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While the Tech Challenge is open to all sectors, applications from companies in the following sectors are encouraged, in line with the challenges outlined in the SDGs and their resonance in the South African context: Clean & Green Tech, Circular Economies, Med/Health/Bio-Tech, Ed-Tech, and WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene). Applicants must be either post-revenue startups or pre-revenue startups with developed intellectual property.

The Irish Tech Challenge will award five entrepreneurs:

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  • Up to €10,000 each in funding.
  • A funded trip to Ireland where they will be part of a curated business networking programme with access to the country’s top business leaders.
  • Access to the Irish tech ecosystem with potential opportunities for further funding.
  • Receive acceleration support to position their global scaling strategy in collaboration with Dogpatch Labs.

“As a global technological hub and second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world, Ireland is well placed to lend both its expertise and experience to support the growth of South African young entrepreneurs,” commented Paul Deane, Trade Counsellor at the Embassy of Ireland in South Africa. “Moreover, by leaning on the local South African tech ecosystem as a partner, entrepreneurs can effectively scale tech solutions that align with and contribute to the South African government’s development agenda.

“Together we can capacitate tech startups to grow outside the borders of South Africa and the programme will also strengthen the relationships between this country and Ireland, particularly in the field of ICT.”

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“The Irish Tech Challenge 2023 will provide a platform for tech entrepreneurs from both countries to thrive through collaboration, networking and mentorship,” he said.

“As a hub for digital innovation, Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct is dedicated to fostering a community of top-tier African digital entrepreneurs. Partnering with the Irish Government and global digital hubs like Dogpatch Labs enriches our journey, allowing us to exchange insights and enhance our support to African tech entrepreneurs,” says Lesley Donna Williams, CEO of Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct.

The application window for the Irish Tech Challenge is now open and will conclude on September 29, 2023. For more information and to submit your application for the opportunity to elevate your venture, click here.

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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