New App Fund Launched


TIA and mLab Southern Africa announce new early stage fund to stimulate more South African mobile innovation by start-ups.

Tshwane, South Africa, April 28, 2016 – mLab Southern Africa today announced the launch of a new APP Fund established in partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency which will assist local mobile, sensor or wearable app start-ups to develop their concepts to an early stage prototype or minimal viable product.

“This partnership fills a huge gap in the digital innovation value chain by bringing much needed early stage funding to mobile app start-ups and innovators who need funding to get their ideas and concepts translated into a prototype or MVP (minimal viable product) or further accelerate or complete their first product development.  We believe this will also create more deal flow for next stage investors” Derrick Kotze´, CEO mLab Southern Africa

The partnership between TIA and mLab Southern Africa brings some much needed support to the local open innovation ecosystem in South Africa by making early stage grants of up to R500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Rand) available to qualifying start-ups.

The funding process will include several rounds aimed at assisting applicants to properly define their solution, development and financial requirements and pitching material. This support will be provided at a number of boot camps hosted throughout the year. Completed cases will then be presented by the start-ups to a funding panel who will evaluate and approve early stage development grants. Funded start-ups will also receive additional acceleration support from mLab Southern Africa.

Interested start-ups and innovators can submit their applications online at to attend the boot camps in Johannesburg and Cape Town. More cities will be announced during the year.

“The partnership between TIA and the mLab will assist us in building a pipeline of sound mobile app based innovations, which up to so far have been difficult to assess within our mainstream innovation funding scheme” Segopotso Moshapo, Head ICT at TIA

mLab Southern Africa is a technology accelerator and non-profit company (NPC) which focusses on skills development, product development and enterprise development within the technology innovation economy across the mobile, internet of things, data sciences and digital design verticals.

TIA is an Agency of the Department of Science and Technology, established in terms of the TIA Act. The objective of TIA is to stimulate and intensify technology innovation in order to improve economic growth and the quality of life for all South Africans.