The call for applications for the Young Enterprise Initiative South Africa Programme is now open!

The Embassy of France in South Africa and the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) are implementing the Young Enterprise Initiative South Africa (YEI South Africa), focused on providing South African start-up companies with the opportunity to develop and grow their businesses in France.

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France has a strong research, development and innovation hub in Europe and has the highest number of start-ups in Europe. France is also ranked first in Europe in terms of the number of innovative structures by the Thomson Reuters TOP100 innovators ranking. In 2015, France was the largest European delegation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. With French 160 companies present, the delegation was second only to the USA.

The programme intends to provide market access opportunity for South African companies and endeavours to fulfil its strategic role as a Connector for South African companies to gain global markets access. The enabling environment will not only contribute to increased global competitiveness of the South African companies but also assist the French technical experts from a network of incubators to identify and nurture innovative technologies.

The YEI South Africa programme will be implemented in parallel with similar programmes in South Korea, the USA, Taiwan and Italy. It provides an opportunity for selected start-up companies to participate in an acceleration programme within the French ecosystem.

In 2017, four TIA supported companies will be selected to benefit from this programme. The selected companies will:

• attend training sessions on how to do business in France,
• attend planned ad hoc B2B meetings with technical and business partners, and
• have access to support services over a one-year period to achieve their business and technical development objectives. The support will be provided after gap analysis has been identified.

Eligibility criteria

• Clearly show and motivate potential for French and European markets,
• Applicants should be a South African registered company with Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) as an SMME in accordance with the SA Companies Act, 2008 categorisation,
• TIA supported company that has previously and or currently being funded and or supported through TIA programmes such as, the Youth Technology Innovation Programme (YTIP), SEED Fund Programme or Technology Stations and Innovation Skills Development Programme,
• The company may be in any industry or sector,
• The companies must be in early revenue stage or pre-commercialization stage.

Travelling permits

• One company representative from the selected applicants must be available to undertake the trip from 11 to 18 November 2017,
• The candidate must have a valid passport (still valid 6 months after the return with at least 2 blank pages),
• Have a Schengen visa,
• Past beneficiaries of the programme are not eligible to apply, and
• Preference will be given in line with the National Equity targets.

The process

• The call closes on 07 August 2017,
• Selected finalists will enter into a performance contract with TIA, specifying terms and conditions,
• The selection will be made during the period August to September 2017,
• An investor pitch interview (10 to 20 minutes) session will be organised for all shortlisted applicants via a Webinar or Skype, applicants therefore must have access to these facilities. Applicants may contact TIA if they need to use TIA facility,
• The selected candidates will spend a week in France in November 2017at a pre-selected incubation partner, and
• To submit your application, visit this website and click on the South Africa tab/link.

Quantifiable cost

• TIA will cover airfares (economy class), ground transport and accommodation cost,
• TIA will cover international travel insurance covering the duration of the trip, and
• TIA will provide subsistence in during the trip accordance with Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) rates in South Africa.

The closing date for submitting applications: 07 August 2017

For more information please contact:
- Romain Petit: Innovation Advisor at the Embassy of France in South Africa
romain.petit.innovation[at]gmail.com or 079 743 4432

- Teboho Seseng: Stakeholder Relations Manager at the Technology Innovation Agency
teboho.seseng[at]tia.org.za or 012 472 2788

publie le 19/07/2017

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