ICT firm, BCX today unveiled a new partnership with the Wits University Tshimologong Precint that will see tech startups receiving support that will take their businesses to the next level.
BCX, a subsidiary of Telkom, which has had an ongoing relationship with the precinct since its launch last year, launched its innovation programme aimed at building an end-to-end ecosystem of support for technology-focused small businesses, ultimately driving economic growth.
It has been co-created with BCX and leading experts in the SMME development sector. Tshimologong will be responsible for rolling out this programme.
“BCX is partnering with Wits, to create a new place where businesses, small and young can come. We’re doing three different things; firstly, we’re creating a physical space where they can set up their businesses, secondly we have a structured business coaching and mentorship programme to give them assistance with structuring their businesses and thirdly we’re working on where to get innovative business ideas from, which is Wits University, and that’s where the partnership with Wits is so important, because they bring the academic insight and research into the programme as well,” BCX CEO, Ian Russell, told htxt.africa.
Selected startups will also receive funding in order for them to develop, manage and commercialise their technology solutions, and will facilitate market access.
BCX will also be on the look out for businesses that it can absorb under their umbrella but there is also an opportunity for broader market uptake with BCX as their preferred go-to-market partner.
“The very purpose behind Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct is to create a supportive ecosystem for small businesses, one where they continue to learn and grow. This partnership with BCX will enable us to take this programme and the incubation hub to new heights,” said Professor Barry Dwolatzky, Director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits. “Our combined teams and experience will mean that our entrepreneurs will be able to learn new skills that they can build into their own businesses and thereby create an ongoing system of innovation and disruption.”
The BCX programme will continue to expand in the next few years, as it intends to partner with other corporates, service providers and funders to grow the SMME sector. The second phase will kick off with applications to be part of the programme in 2018. More information will be released at a later stage.