incubating female students with tech ideas!
about the program
Our Ideation Incubator is a unique program developed by I'M IN to empower women in underserved areas to turn their innovative ideas into fully-fledged tech-enabled businesses.
Targeting students at universities and colleges in lower LSM areas where there is a lack of entrepreneurial skills development and support structures, this feeder program aims to bridge the gap and provide the necessary resources and guidance for women to realize their entrepreneurial dreams!
The Ideation Incubator is a three-month program designed specifically for female students in the following select tertiary institutions in Gauteng: (University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, and the Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology, Wethinkcode and Girl Code).
We have carefully selected 7 institutions for our pilot program, based on their proximity to township-located campuses, ensuring that the solutions developed by our student entrepreneurs are relevant to their communities and can make a meaningful impact.
After over 120+ Applications 42 students have been chosen to participate in the programme and launch their 30 startups.
We believe that university students have a higher adoption rate for technology and a willingness to learn, making them ideal candidates for our program. Moreover, many of our student entrepreneurs live in the areas where the solutions are needed the most, giving them a unique perspective and motivation to create meaningful solutions for their communities.
Additionally, women tend to excel at the tertiary level at a higher rate than men, but societal pressures often prevent them from immediately entering entrepreneurship. Our Ideation Incubator aims to break down those barriers and provide the support needed to empower women to become successful entrepreneurs.
“As Programme Lead at t, I’M IN Entrepreneurial Programme, I have observed that the lack of investment readiness among black South African technology start-ups, especially those owned by women, remains a significant challenge for them to attract capital. That’s why we courage female students from underserved institutions to participate in our Ideation Programme, where we offer tools and support to refine their ideas, validate their business models, and equip them with skills they need to succeed. Through this programme, underserved students can increase their chances of success and minimize the risk of failure"
“Business ownership is an important avenue for wealth building across the world, yet equitable access to critical resources needed for business to grow and scale is limited. J.P. Morgan is pleased to be supporting I’M IN’s Ideation Incubator Programme to help advance access to mentorship, capital, and other supportive resources to help close this gap for underserved female entrepreneurs in South Africa”
Senior Country Officer for Sub-Saharan Africa at J.P. Morgan
Over 3 months, participants will receive:
The Ideation Incubator offers a range of benefits to selected participants, including:
- Business Skills Training: Our program provides comprehensive training in essential business skills to equip participants with the knowledge and tools to develop their ideas into viable businesses.
- Inspire Webinars: We organize inspiring webinars featuring successful entrepreneurs, industry experts, and thought leaders to motivate and guide participants on their entrepreneurial journey.
- Equity-Free Investment of R50,000: Participants in our Ideation Incubator will receive an equity-free investment to support their business development. This includes a participation stipend, a laptop, data investment, and website & digital presence support.
- Ecosystem Access: Participants will gain access to our broader entrepreneurship ecosystem, including networking opportunities, mentorship, and support from our extensive network of industry experts and entrepreneurs.
Participants will exit with a completed business model canvas, an investor-ready business concept, and a strong pitch deck. Their investment readiness will measure our success, the level of knowledge and skills transfer we enable, and how many more female entrepreneurs we are able to introduce to the startup ecosystem. Participants will also be in a preferential position to enter more intermediate I’M IN programmes, like our women-only Pre-Accelerator Programme.