Irish Tech Challenge 2024

The 2024 Irish Tech Challenge South Africa is excited to announce the launch of the 2024 Tech Challenge. The launch will take place at Tshimologong Precinct in Braamfontein on the 15th of March 2024 at 10h00. A senior Minister from Ireland, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O‘Brien T.D will officially launch the 2024 Tech Challenge. Other dignitaries in attendance will be the Vice Chancellor of Wits University, Prof Zeblon Vilakazi and the Ambassador of Ireland in South, H.E. Austin Gormley. on the 15th of March 2024. This is on the back of the successful completion of the 2023 Tech Challenge and the 2023 Irish Tech Challenge winners visiting Dublin and welcomed by Minister Sean Fleming in Dublin, Ireland.

The Irish Tech Challenge South Africa is a partnership between the Embassy of Ireland in South Africa, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the Technology Innovation Agency, along with implementing partners, Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Precinct (South Africa) and Dogpatch Labs in Ireland. The Irish Tech Challenge seeks to accelerate high-potential tech entrepreneurs in South Africa who are ready to scale globally and enhance their impact, but face challenges such as limited resources and lack of access to the appropriate global networks and infrastructure. This mutually beneficial partnership between the governments of Ireland and South Africa supports South African tech entrepreneurs to help drive innovation, job creation and inclusive economic growth in South Africa as well as foster technological advancements and create a global network of innovators committed to positive change.

The Irish Tech Challenge seeks to find the most compelling South African-owned, growth-stage tech startups whose work aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Tech challenge is open to all sectors, with a targeted focus on clean and green technology; the circular economy; medical, health and biotechnologies; education; and water, sanitation and hygiene. Applicants must be either post-revenue startups or pre-revenue startups with developed intellectual property.

Selected startups will have the following benefits:

  • €10,000 in grant funding,
  • 10-day curated trip to Ireland aimed at accessing global customers and partners, 
  • Access to the best of Ireland’s tech expertise business acceleration, and
  • An increase in profile leveraged by both the Irish and South African governments

The Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Witwatersrand, Prof Lynn Morris is excited to be part of the Irish Tech Challenge which strongly aligns with the University’s Innovation Strategy. Wits is building an enabling environment for students and staff to exploit their research-based innovations and encourage entrepreneurship. By participating in the Irish Tech Challenge, Wits startups gain access to international networks, mentorship, and expertise in technology and entrepreneurship. These valuable experiences foster collaboration and mentorship and enhance the impact and scalability of startups.

The Embassy of Ireland in South Africa represents Ireland’s interests in South Africa. The Embassy is also accredited to Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Lesotho, Botswana and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

Founded in September of 2016, as a Wits University investment in the tech and digital future of South Africa and the continent, Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct works with academia, corporates, international agencies and government across all spheres to unearth, upskill and promote digital talent. Tshimologong Precinct focuses its efforts on three areas: incubation of enterprises, digital skills training and creating a marketplace for start-ups.

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