Cape Town based non-profit organisation, Silicone Cape has given rise to a new tech incubator called Springlab, which will supply qualifying startups with seed capital and resources.
Springlab was conceived by South Africans (pictured) Eugen Petersen, co-founder of Zando and Sheraan Amod, who co-founded Personera, a US-based venture capital backed firm, while having a casual discussion on the state of technology ventures in South Africa and how to best take advantage of the various opportunities we could both see.
Entrepreneurship on the rise
“Entrepreneurship has been the engine for growth in the United States. Now Africa is on the rise and technology entrepreneurship should be at the forefront of it,” says Amod.
Springlab will foster these entrepreneurs and aim to invest between R200 000 and R2 million in these ventures. The fund will also handle the startups’ marketing, software development, admin and provide them with access to resources and office space, so entrepreneurs can focus on executing their ideas.
Amod says Springlab helps to establish its own companies and is not an external investor or temporary accelerator. “We take on fewer projects, but stay hands on while the venture grows up. We are committed partners.”
Success at the first venture
The fund has already launched its first venture in South Africa, RecoMed, which is a online free service that allows patients to find doctors, dentists and other health professionals nearby. Patients can also rate and recommend practitioners that they visit, which will improve visibility, transparency and overall access to healthcare.
“RecoMed is experiencing double digit monthly growth,” Amod says. “The service currently features 4 000 doctors.”
If you’re 100% committed to your venture’s success and have a proven track record in your industry, Springlab is prepared to look at a range of different opportunities to help you with your startup. A scalable business model that can be proven in South Africa and scaled to other African countries or globally is a bonus.