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Founders are the rich source on which a culture for innovation is built. Success attracts success! We understand the importance of this class entrepreneur at the Innovation Summit as they serve as inspiration to the creators and the start-ups. This year we will profile Michael van Straaten, the founder of Verimark. We will also meet Nigerian founder and famous baseball player, Obinna Ekezie, from Wackanow.

Silicon Valley became great because founders found a way to plough back into the system.

Founders mentor, buy from and invest time and money into startups. This year we will have a Founders lunch where we will launch a mentorship programme; tap into Founders wisdom at various points in the programme; to support Founders on how to become investors and more. We need more founders from Africa to become involved in building startups and therefore work closely with the DTI Black Industrialist programme to support those that just stepped out. If you want to become a black industrialists, come and meet the division at the SA Innovation Summit and click here for more information.

Investors meet Founders:

Three weeks before the summit you can profile yourself or your company and meet with any other person at the Innovation Summit. You can meet investors and entrepreneurs that can be the next step to you growth or scale through our Match and Invest tool. Take networking into your own hands and grow your impact.


DTI’s Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS) Grant

The DTI’s Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS) incentive programme of the Black Industrialist Policy, aims to promote the participation of black industrialists as manufacturers in key sectors as identified in Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).

Business Sectors Supported through the Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS) Grant

The BI Policy targets entities that have extensive experience, operations and track record in their respective or envisaged industrial sectors and value chains that can become real players in domestic and or global markets within 10 years of being in the programme.

With goals aimed at supporting manufacturing companies such as access to finance, access to markets, skills development, standards, quality and productivity improvement.

The objectives of the BIS are to:

  • Accelerate the quantitative and qualitative increase and participation of black industrialists in the national economy, selected manufacturing sectors and value chains; as reflected by their contribution to growth, investment, exports and employment; and
  • Create multiple and diverse pathways and instruments for black industrialists to enter strategic and targeted manufacturing sectors and value chains.

The maximum grant contribution that the dti can make to the entity will be capped at an amount of R50 million and may be revised subject to the success of the programme and availability of funds. The quantum of the grant will depend on the level of black ownership and management control, the economic benefit of the project and the project value.

Download the full BIS Grant Guidelines via the link below:


Black industrialist entities wishing to apply for funding should contact the dti for guidance on completing the assessment form and supporting documents. Fully completed assessment forms must be submitted to the dti for pre-assessment and consideration for approval before commencement of the investment project.



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