LAUNCH OF INVOTECH: AN EXCITING NEW DUT AND SEDA INNOVATION INCUBATOR
The Durban University of Technology (DUT) announces the formal launch of the Invo Tech Innovation Incubator on Tuesday, 23 August 2011. The incubator, an initiative of the Enterprise Development Unit (EDU) within DUT, was formed in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda). It will focus on nurturing and developing entrepreneurial skills and business ideas in the province.
The launch at the university will be attended by a wide cross-section of the province, including the MEC for Economic Development KZN, national Seda and DUT executives, senior municipal Officers, Industry representatives, academics, entrepreneurs and post-graduate students.
Invo Tech is positioned to be a leading business incubator in South Africa to convert innovations and new technologies into sustainable and commercially viable businesses. The objective of the incubator is to attract SMME businesses and industry partners with new innovations and technologies to set up their business operations and projects.
The Invo Tech management team, together with a band of highly skilled mentors will provide specialised support and guidance in respect of funding and business development as well as technical advice. The advantage of the Incubator being associated with DUT allows tenants and virtual businesses to have access to specialised mentors from the different faculties within the university community.
“The experience of DUT is that students, staff, the community and indeed industry have frequently approached us to develop ideas, build prototypes and even to help find funding for projects. DUT staffs have helped these entrepreneurs in the past in an ad-hoc manner if time permitted. InvoTech incubator formalises this process, without stifling creativity. The centre will focus on commercialisation of patents, technology transfers, innovation and prototype development. InvoTech will attempt to find funding and markets for approved projects,” says EDU head Colin Thakur.
Seda CEO, Ms Hlonela Lupuwana, says that Seda’s support of Invo Tech is based on the proven success rate of incubators in creating sustainable businesses. “Eighty percent (80%) of small enterprises in the incubators we support survive past the first two years of trading, therefore enhancing their chances of sustainability and capacity to create the jobs that are so desperately needed in our economy,” explains Lupuwana.
The centre already has a few interesting innovations in process and these will be announced at the launch. This institution has emanated from a proposal submitted by the Enterprise Development Unit (EDU) of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) to the funder Seda (Small Enterprise Development Agency). “It has become clear that the community of innovative thinkers and technologically savvy entrepreneurs has grown exponentially in the recent past. The community of inventors and technocratic entrepreneurs has mushroomed, spurred by globalisation and an insurgence of the information age, “says Invo Tech manager Deven Reddy.
For more information, please contact:
DUT/SEDA Innovation Incubator
031 373 6405
083 789 3036