The 2016 SA Innovation Summit has launched two competitions – the Inventors Garage competition and the SA Innovation Legends Pitching Den – to give high-growth start-ups, established companies and large corporates the opportunity to pitch their innovative tech-enabled solutions to investors.

The SA Innovation summit, which will be taking place at the Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg from 21 to 24 September, is an annual event that was launched in 2008 as a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing South African innovation.

The Summit provides the tools, knowledge, networking and funding opportunities, competitions, discussions and introductions necessary to help take innovations from idea to market.

This year’s theme is “Accelerate-Innovate-Ignite!” which is focused on how great ideas become innovations and how these innovations can be accelerated to reach the market for social, environmental and/or financial impact.

The Innovation Legends Pitching Den competition is open to high-growth start-ups and companies that are developing innovative tech-enabled solutions that will have a significant impact on the growth of the African continent.

Successful candidates will be able to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges at the Innovation Summit main conference. Winners will have the opportunity to visit the Slush events in Helsinki, Finland to meet international investors and business consultants.

The Inventors Garage competition is an online category intended for entrepreneurs who have a working prototype or product from proven concept to early commercialisation.

Semi-finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their product at the SA Innovation Summit’s Market on the Edge. Finalists who make it through will go on to present at the Innovation Summit conference.

Winners stand to win an overseas trip to meet international investors, R 200,000’s worth of PR exposure and investment opportunities.

The Innovation Edge, a social innovation platform dedicated to early learning in South Africa, will be looking for opportunities to invest up to R1 million in ideas that have the potential to radically change the early life experiences of children, giving the best possible start in life right from the start.

They also plan to offer innovators with promising ideas the chance to attend a week-long incubation boot camp offered by {code}bridge in Cape Town.

The competitions are open for entries until 31 July 2016.

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