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In response to the shortage of funding options for some of South Africa’s yet to be realised innovations, the Fast Company Most Innovative Companies Symposium – technology and innovation for the advancement of society – has invited Uprise.Africa to collaborate with it, and help a start-up grow. 

The alliance will assist as yet unfunded innovators attending the event, who will have the opportunity to pitch their inventions to the team, for a coveted spot on the Uprise.Africa crowdfunding platform.

The global tech and innovation start-up ecosystems are rich picking fields for investors looking to get on board with innovations that have the hallmarks of being the next ‘big thing.’ Significant returns are available for those who get in quickly and when the lucky break happens.

South Africa (and the greater African continent) has had its fair share of winners over the years and in 2020, as the country and continent continue to leapfrog legacy technologies, there is a stream of opportunities for the savvy to throw their money behind. 

That said though, there are literally thousands of really good ideas, innovations and inventions that never see the light, and therefore, never attract the necessary heavyweight support to take them forward.  Enter Uprise.Africa, a novel equity crowdfunding platform that allows individuals (not the general public but registered members of the Uprise community). the opportunity to invest in cool ideas from across the continent, through its ICT interface. 

Uprise.Africa will join Fast Company at the Symposium on 5th March, at the CTICC, (limited free delegate passes are still available), along with a number of young companies (pre-chosen by the team at Fast Company SA), for a Crowdfunding Challenge pitch session, which will land one of them the opportunity to raise the necessary crowdfunding to take them to the next level.

A spot on the platform usually costs in the region of R50 000 but for one chosen start-up, this will be free of charge, as a result of attending the symposium.   Time remains for start-ups to submit their pitches to [email protected] for consideration on the day, and young entrepreneurs are all invited to attend the event.

For inspiration, look no further than local craft beer manufacturer, Drifter Brewing Company, who raised R3,889,000 in equity, exceeding its R3million initial target. 

International crowdfunding platforms have also seen start-ups grow to become multi-million dollar companies, like the tech-outfit that developed the Oculus Virtual Reality Headset for example. The question is – who is next?

More than just the one day show and tell however, Fast Company SA magazine will also dedicate its print pages and online reach going forward, to showcasing innovations that are worthy of investments to potential funders.

In 2020, the inaugural Fast Company Most Innovative Companies event will align with the ‘Most Innovative Companies’ Edition of Fast Company magazine. The event will create an incredible platform to discuss innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and disruptive thinking. 

The day will start with a symposium and mini-expo, which will bring some of the greatest minds in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship into one room to share first-hand insight into the world we live in. This will then run into an awards evening where the Most Innovative Companies will be celebrated. Members of the public are encouraged to book online to secure their seat at the table with SA’s leading innovators. 

Members of the public can also share stories of Unfunded Innovators and suggest they enter, via Twitter with this hashtag #UnfundedInnovators.