irish tech challenge


The Embassy of Ireland in South Africa, in partnership with Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, the Department of Science and Innovation, the Technology Innovation Agency, and Dogpatch Labs Ireland, has launched a local edition of the Irish Tech Challenge. This challenge is designed to identify and empower growth-stage tech startups led by South African entrepreneurs whose missions align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The challenge places a particular focus on supporting young, black, women-owned businesses from every corner of the country. While it welcomes applicants from all sectors, it places a premium on startups operating in sectors closely linked to the SDGs and their relevance in the South African context. These include clean and green tech, circular economies, medtech, healthtech and biotech, edtech, and so-called WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) startups.

Eligible companies must either have a revenue stream or possess developed intellectual property. The standout feature of the Irish Tech Challenge 2023 is as follows:

  • Up to € 10,000 each in funding.
  • A fully funded trip to Ireland to network with top business leaders.
  • Access to the Irish tech ecosystem with potential further funding opportunities.
  • Acceleration support to refine global scaling strategies in partnership with Dogpatch Labs.

Paul Deane, trade counselor at the Embassy of Ireland in South Africa, emphasized Ireland’s global tech prominence and its role as the world’s second-largest exporter of computer and IT services. He underscored the opportunity for startups to tap into this expertise and grow their businesses exponentially.

Additionally, by tapping into South Africa’s local tech ecosystem, these entrepreneurs can effectively scale tech solutions aligned with and contributing to the government’s development agenda. Deane anticipates that the program will not only empower startups but also foster stronger ties between South Africa and Ireland, particularly in the ICT sector.

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Lesley Donna Williams, CEO of Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, echoed her commitment to supporting African digital entrepreneurs. She emphasized that partnering with the Irish government and global tech hubs like Dogpatch Labs would enrich their support network, allowing them to provide even greater assistance.

Startups across South Africa are encouraged to seize this opportunity. Applications close on Friday, 29 September 2023. For more details on the program and to submit your application for a chance to secure up to € 10,000 in funding, visit the official website.

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Nigel Jr.
As a tech enthusiast and expert, Nigel Jr. is dedicated to providing in-depth and insightful content on all things technology. With a background in online journalism, product reviewing, and tech creation, Nigel has become a trusted source for all things tech.

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