High-impact South African startups ready to take their solution to the global stage have until 5 May to submit their applications for the prestigious Irish Tech Challenge.

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.

Building on the success of previous editions, the 2024 Irish Tech Challenge aims to accelerate the growth of South African-owned, tech startups aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Companies in clean and green technology, healthcare, education, and water sanitation and hygiene are particularly encouraged to apply, as part of the Tech Challenge’s aim to address pressing global challenges while promoting economic development and job creation in South Africa.

Launched in 2022, the Challenge is fast becoming a catalyst for innovation within the South African tech community. By participating in the Irish Tech Challenge, 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 Irish Tech Challenge is more than just a pitch competition or acceleration, it’s community. You start off the program with strangers at the beginning of the pre-acceleration phase and end the Immersion Week having built a life-long fellowship with the other founders. I would definitely do the program twice if I could, just to get the opportunity to maximise any missed opportunities with this newfound perspective after the experience. I recommend it for any founder with a global vision,” says Tumelo Chiloane of Desert Green Africa, one of the 2023 cohorts of the Irish Tech challenge.

Fellow 2023 winner, Thato Schermer of Zoie Health says the experience was a game-changer for her business. “The Irish Tech Challenge really helped me level up as a founder and as a startup. The calibre of individuals you connect with, from the ecosystem builders, to fellow founders, and the quality of the technology community in Dublin is unparalleled. It was an incredibly enriching experience and I would highly recommend it.”

Seven 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 and business acceleration; and

* An increase in profile leveraged by both the Irish and South African governments.

For more information and to submit your application for the opportunity to elevate your venture, click here.