It was late 2011 when RLabs began engaging with Indigo Trust about the possibility of supporting the launch of our new Innovation Incubator and Accelerator (InnovIA) programme at our Cape Town Lab. With the support of $17,000 from Indigo Trust and some key partners RLabs launched its inaugural InnovIA programme in 2012.
The InnovIA class of 2012 started with 7 projects and ideas that was intended to launch later that year. Overall it was a great year for us at RLabs as the startups went through a mentorship, development and entrepreneurship programme where each received financial, infrastructure and business development support. Fascinating facts about the startups are:
– They’ve created direct employment for 26 people during 2012
– Created a combined turnover of more than US$73,000
– Raised more than US$150,000 in additional funding
– Served more than 300,000 people with social good or value services during 2012.
This showed us that value can be created in a community where resources are limited and with appropriate strategic partners like Indigo Trust that anything is possible. We’ve seen a massive return already and it is with that in mind that RLabs has extended its InnovIA programme for 2013.
We’ve already received a large number of applicants who presented their ideas this past week to RLabs for incubation during 2013. The selected class of 2013 will be announced next week and we look forward sharing their journey with you during this year.