The 2018 Launchlab Ideas Programme has officially been launched this week to search for local innovators in order to support them to take their creations to the market. The 2018 Ideas Programme is facilitated by the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab together with Santam Insurance, Mercedes-Benz SA and WineTech. The programme is in search of entrepreneurs in the following disciplines and sectors:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Agritech and Food Innovations
  • Insurtech
  • Safety
  • Fintech
  • Blockchain
  • Education
  • Cleantech
  • Internet of Thing (IoT) and
  • Social Enterprises.

This programme will enable new concepts and potential businesses to validate their concepts with real market players and start their journey towards the maturity required to acquire customers and obtain investment. Previous participants in the programme have gained necessary support to grow their businessess.


2017 participants secured 8 commercial agreements with LaunchLab clients and 4 businesses secured investment. Speaking about the programme, the LaunchLab Incubation Manager, Brandon Paschal had this to say: “This year’s Ideas Programme building on our past programmes and expanding the opportunities for exposure to customers and funders for startups that participate.  After a 2nd successful programme with Santam, they have changed their focus to Insurtech, broadening the scope and looking for more hightech solutions. Mercedes Benz SA has completed 4 pilots with last year’s group, and is keen for more breadth and depth of disruption.  Winetech is particularly exciting, with us based in Stellenbosch. We are really excited about supporting the entire SA wine industry to innovate and compete even more on the global scene. We’re excited to see what further successes we can see through this next programme.” 

The programme will conduct information sessions across the country to communicate with potential participants.  Next week information sessions will be conducted in Gauteng on 20th August 2018, from 12pm until 1pm at Tshimologong Precinct and on the 23rd August another session will be conducted at the University of Pretoria Piazza. The last information session will be conducted on the 28th August 2018 from 4pm until 5pm at the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab.



Interested ones are encouraged to submit a 3-minute video (cell phone footage can be submitted too) of themselves explaining their business idea together with an entry form that can be found on launchlab website.

Submissions opened in August, and the deadline for online submission entries is 28 September 2018. 

To book for information sessions, visit:


Kay Ann