South African clean-tech start-ups and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch to a room full of international and local investors on October 5, 2022, as part of the Green Energy Africa Summit.
The pitching event, organized by the Hyve Group, the company behind the Mining Indaba, Africa Oil Week, and Green Energy Africa Summit, will bring together a group of local clean-tech projects to present their businesses to an audience of highly influential investors, who collectively hold investments worth more than USD100 billion.
Hyve Group is collaborating with the Saldanha Bay Innovation Campus (SBIC) and the advisory firm RIIS to identify potential local start-ups and entrepreneurs. The Saldanha Bay Innovation Campus is a Saldanha Bay Industrial Zone (SBIDZ) initiative designed to help Saldanha become a world-class maritime and energy industrial center at the forefront of research, development, and innovation. Following a thorough application process, a shortlist of candidates will be invited to the pitching event in October.
CEO of the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone, Mrs. Kaashifah Beukes, says that the pitching event offers an incredible opportunity not readily available to local start-ups. “Finding suitable investment partners can be an extremely challenging task, even for the most seasoned of companies. For start-ups and entrepreneurs, with limited resources, not being able to find the right funding avenues is an inhibiting factor that works against South Africa’s development goals.”
Not only will shortlisted candidates have access to investors through the pitch opportunity, they will also receive free business training in preparation for the event. CEO of RIIS, Davis Cook, explains that entrepreneurs and start-ups are typically focused on prototyping and product development, with less attention given to business imperatives. “Taking a business to market requires specific considerations from an investor perspective, and while they may display technology readiness, young businesses are seldom business-ready. We believe that providing the shortlisted applicants with support prior to the pitching session will enable them to derive the most out of this tremendous opportunity.”
The Hyve Group is eager to see the results of the Energy Investment Village, which is the official name given to the pitching event. Paul Sinclair, Vice President of Energy and Director of Government Relations for Africa Oil Week and Green Energy Africa Summit, believes that the pitch session could well be a feature of Green Energy Africa Summit going forward. “As the demand grows in South Africa to put viable and innovative green energy solutions on the table, Green Energy Africa Summit is eager to play a part in enabling the emergence of such ventures, which can ultimately shape the future of Africa.”