SAIS & Holocene Partnership Announcement

Press Release: 24 April 2024

South African Innovation Summit (SAIS) and Holocene partner to create an exclusive climate tech track at the annual SAIS conference in September 2024.

This year, 2024, is on track to be the first year in African venture capital history where climate tech secures more capital than FinTech. Why? The world is waking up to both the incredible need and unrealised potential of Africa in the climate tech space.

An estimated 70% of Africa’s infrastructure is still under construction, which poses a unique opportunity for the continent to build green from the start. South Africa emits over ⅓ of the continent’s carbon emissions, making it the largest contributor to the climate problem in Africa. These statistics might seem intimidating, however with our unique landscape, access to renewable resources, leading universities, and an innovative entrepreneurial community, Southern Africa has the potential to pave the way for sustainability in Africa. The time is now to lead the conversation and build the path forward.

SAIS, South Africa’s leading tech-enablers and ecosystem builders, and Holocene, the leading early-stage climate venture capital firm in Southern Africa, are partnering together to create SAIS’ first climate tech track at the annual SAIS conference in September. The SAIS 2024 climate track boasts speakers, workshops, events, startups, and funders exclusively focused on climate tech in Africa.

SAIS Climate Track Lead-In Event

To kick off the conversation, Holocene and SAIS are partnering with international blended finance expert and leading grant funder, Convergence, to host a webinar on 16 May to address one of the most fundamental elements of building a climate tech business: raising the right capital from the right investors at the right time with the right financial vehicles.

While the opportunity and inflow of capital is exciting, entrepreneurs need to know what, when, and how they should be funding their startups to address the unique challenges of building climate tech in Africa. Investors need to understand the ways their scarce capital can be deployed for greater impact. Climate curious individuals can learn more and get involved in building a sustainable future.

Creating the right blended capital structure of grant, debt, and venture funding can unlock tremendous scale. If you are a founder, funder, or friend in climate, join Holocene, SAIS and Convergence for the “Blended Finance for Climate Tech” webinar for an eye-opening discussion that will catalyse an exciting partnership.  Keep an eye on Holocene and SAIS’ social channels for other upcoming events leading into the SAIS climate tech track.

Webinar: Blended Finance for Climate Tech
Location Virtual
Date Tuesday, 16 May
Time 14:00-16:00 SAST
Sponsors SAIS, Holocene, Convergence
Format Introduction by Holocene
Blending over time by Convergence
Blended finance 101 by Holocene
Entrepreneur case study
Q&A with audience
Sign up at www.holocene.africa/events

Climate Track Sponsorship

In addition to the opportunity to join the conversation with this month’s webinar, SAIS and Holocene are also offering corporates, DFI’s, grant funders, and other ecosystem supportors the opportunity to become an integral partner in the climate tech track through sponsorship.

By becoming a sponsor, organisations have a unique opportunity to engage with a forward-thinking audience and showcase their commitment to innovation. Options include hosting a side event, contributing to the climate tech track, leading targeted workshops, joining an ecosystem tour or spearheading an innovation challenge focused on climate solutions. These collaborations not only boost brand visibility but also align your company with top-tier investors and innovators in the climate tech field. Previous sponsors have seen a significant increase in B2B engagement, making the climate tech track at SAIS’24 an invaluable platform for driving meaningful conversations and partnerships in sustainability.


If you are interested in sponsoring the upcoming climate tech track at the SAIS 2024 Summit, please reach out to Buntu Majaja or Kaylynn Mundell.

Together we can build inspiring climate solutions for our incredible epoch.

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