Apply: Boost Up Startup Support Programme

Deadline: 31 May, 2020

BOOST UP (BU) is a three-part startup support programme organised by the Connected Hubs (CH) network and the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2) in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia. BU targets startups that use technology to solve a societal challenge and are looking for skills that could help them articulate their business. The BU series comprises the Set Up online training events, Stand Up pitching competitions, and Scale Up incubation programme.

At BU Stand Up, committed startups who are eager to make an impact, have a scalable business model, and want to become more investable will compete in national pitching competitions in their countries. CH representatives will select about ten startups per country from the Set Up participants that completed the training and invite them to pitch at Stand Up. At the pitching competitions, panels of expert judges will select the top startups to advance to interviews. After the interviews, one or two promising startups per country will be selected to take part in the BU Scale Up incubator.

BU Scale Up is an incubation programme for impact-driven startups eager to become more investable.


  • BU Set Up provides entrepreneurs with practical tools to package their business idea and develop a pitch to attract their target market
  • The Set Up training is organised separately in each of the BU countries: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia
  • Scale Up includes an online incubation programme and an onsite bootcamp in Helsinki, Finland, on 01 November


  • The startup must be located in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, or Zambia
  • Applicants must use technology to solve a societal challenge in Southern Africa
  • Applicants should be eager to scale up their business and have a scalable business model
  • Applicants should be developing or finalising a prototype, or have a prototype ready
  • The startup should have a minimum of two team members interested in participating
  • Applicants must be authorised to submit the application on behalf of the team
  • Applicants/the startup must not have won a SAIS 2-associated national pitch competition and participated in the BU Bootcamp 2019, Slush Global Impact Accelerator 2018, or been sponsored by SAIS 2 to participate in Slush 2017
  • Applications from female-led startups are particularly encouraged

To apply and for more information, click here.

Photo source: SAIS


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