The Botswana Innovation Hub,’s (BIH) First Steps Venture Technology Incubator (FSVC) traveled to Windhoek, for the Namibian Start-Up Festival on the invitation of the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS) & FabLab Namibia. FSVC is a Technology Entrepreneurship Programme developed as a hybrid business incubation/acceleration venture programme. This programme supports technology oriented startups across the BIH priority areas that have the potential to grow into both the local and international markets.
The delegation included four startups Ecohub, Bayon Holdings, Green Aspects and Focus Surveys, who attended last year’s Slush Conference in Helsinki through sponsorship by Slush GIA and SAIS. Led by FSVC Programmes Manager, Obakeng Segwagwe, the team kicked off with a week long program of meeting potential partners, stakeholders and attending the Start Up Festival. The first stop on the itinerary was the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) where the team met with representatives and discussed grass root local developments in terms of finding synergies between Botswana & Namibia.
During their visit to the SAIS Programme Management Office (PMO), a special coaching session with Eikyo VC’s Christo Thekkel was hosted for the Botswana startups. This was helpful in exploring the key aspects which make a startup truly an investable prospect to an investor and how to position a startup in preparation for this. Other key partner establishments that hosted BIH and its startups where the National Commission on Research Science & Technology (NCRST) and FabLab Namibia.
“How to Become An Investable Startup” information session with Christo Thekkel
During the span of the Startup Festival Week, the Botswana startups were able to meet and greet with venture capitalists, investors, network with other start-ups from various regions and engage with key mentors and advisors in the innovation space. The week proved to be engaging, informative and benefited the startups immensely.
BIH is the national focal point for SAIS in Botswana, the organisation promotes and supports innovation, technology entrepreneurship, ecosystem development and forges partnerships to deliver high impact projects and solutions. Nationally, BIH is mandated to support new ventures and existing companies and also attract new companies, universities, and research in advanced training institutes to establish offices in the Science Park. The business services within the hub allow companies to concentrate on their core business, development programs, together with the support for R&D and the promotion of innovation, ecosystem development and entrepreneurship.