IBM launches a Portal for Aspirant Entrepreneurs

By Ujuh

The South African office of ICT giant, IBM, has established an online ideas incubation platform that will collect, harness and harvest innovative ideas from young South Africans as part of a broad Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) initiative. The initiative is tagged as a Portal for Aspirant Entrepreneurs.

Unveiling the online platform last week, IBMSA COO Ziaad Suleman spoke of a far reaching platform than what is common. The group is looking beyond the start-up stage and aims to tap into ideas that exist outside formal arrangements.

He said innovative ideas that can develop into the next big thing do not necessarily reside inside formal organisations.

He said many young people with ideas do not own businesses nor do they belong to any formal organisation. IBM is looking to capture those ideas in its portal for aspirant entrepreneurs.

Ideas which prove to be good enough will be put through a 12 months incubation process to develop them into proof of concept stage. They will be made ready for perusal by potential financiers.

This initiative is part of a broader BEE programme run by IBM. As part of a R700m equity equivalence programme IBM has established a broad movement with three legs, academic financial support, research and enterprise developments.

Viewed as a whole; the programme wants to establish a world class ecosystem for innovation around BEE.

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