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MultiChoice unveils initiative to connect start-ups with investors

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MultiChoice has launched an accelerator programme supporting the growth of 20 South African start-ups, with the help from United Arab Emirates-based social enterprise C3, advisory firm Galelo and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

The accelerator programme, which forms part of the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, will help to develop and connect local start-ups with global investors to unlock business opportunities at Expo 2020 Dubai, which runs from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.

The expo is regarded as one of the world’s largest meeting places and offers opportunities, such as networking and promoting international relationships, for over 182 days.

The selected 20 start-ups from SA are from a range of sectors, including fintech, creative industries, healthtech, agri-processing, sustainability and edtech.

MultiChoice says the entrepreneurs will receive guidance on critical business fundamentals and be exposed to expansion and fundraising opportunities.

The start-ups will also have access to C3’s ecosystem of more than 4 000 experts, 600 entrepreneurs and 100 investors. Out of the 20 start-ups taking part in the programme, six will be selected to attend Expo 2020 Dubai for a week in January 2022.

According to MultiChoice, each of the 20 start-ups will take the C3 Growth Predictor test to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, attend 26 hours of training, and submit a three-minute video pitch to evaluators, which will be assessed to select the six that will participate in Dubai Expo.

“MultiChoice is committed to developing start-ups and established businesses, so they can play their role in growing the South African economy,” says Imtiaz Patel, chairman of the MultiChoice Group.

“The MultiChoice Accelerator is the first of its kind for us, where we will have the opportunity to present remarkable home-grown businesses to a global audience. Our MultiChoice Innovation Fund fast-tracks start-ups and founders with ground-breaking ideas to industry leaders.”

Medea Nocentini, C3 co-founder, says: “We are very excited to be partnering with the MultiChoice Innovation Fund to support the 20 South African start-ups to amplify their impact and get their businesses to investor readiness level.

“The unique C3 learning journey represents a great opportunity for the entrepreneurs to gain knowledge from subject experts and from other founders on the cohort. C3 will provide them all the support they need to connect with a wider network of experts, investors and blue-chip partners across the Middle East and Africa region.”

Broadcaster, Newzroom Afrika, will follow the journey of the 20 SMEs, which will feature in a docuseries to be broadcast on DStv Channel 405 from November 2021 until January 2022.

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