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  • Writer's pictureKelly Alica Liman

Top 19 Startup Accelerators & Incubators in South Africa

South Africa, one of the 'Big Four' African startup countries, has established itself as a pioneer in the African startup landscape. South Africa now boasts perhaps the most developed startup ecosystem on the African continent, owing to a combination of factors such as expanding consumer and commercial markets, numerous entrepreneurial talents, and a growing venture capital industry. At least 490 tech startups are operating in South Africa, employing over 11,000 people. These firms are supported by a robust ecosystem, including an increasing number of active startup support organizations.


In this article, we have compiled a comprehensive list of all incubator and accelerator programs in South Africa, along with a short overview of their programs to help you determine a suitable program. The incubators and accelerators in this list have been subdivided into applicability for startups in their 'ideation' or 'launch' stages.






accelerators and incubators in South Africa
accelerators and incubators in South Africa

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FULL LIST OF STARTUP INCUBATORS AND ACCELERATORS IN SOUTH AFRICA



Ideation Stage Startup Incubators in South Africa


Full list of ideation-stage startup incubators in South Africa:




  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


The Cortex Hub is a non-profit incubation center that serves as a hub for creative startups creating socially meaningful solutions. They offer 2 programs: a 12-month incubation program aimed at helping entrepreneurs with business strategy and product development, and a 12-month acceleration program to help founding teams achieve their objectives and targets, including engaging potential customers. Candidates who enter their incubation or acceleration program can benefit from access to consultants, business support services, free coworking space, a supportive peer-to-peer learning environment, and early-stage funding.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


LaunchLab is the entrepreneurial development platform of Stellenbosch University, a public research university. They concentrate their business development efforts on commercializing academic technology and expanding climate tech companies in Southern and East Africa. Through their boot camps, workshops, pitch competitions, office hours, and a variety of other activities, they provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the unique opportunity to experience startup life and gain personal and team growth. They also help convert African startups into high-impact, sustainable organizations by providing customized assistance and access to a rich network of mentors, experts, and investors.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


The Riversands Incubation Hub (otherwise known as Riversands I-Hub) is an incubation center that provides a physical as well as virtual environment for high-potential startups. They offer a range of business services, tools, and initiatives to help startups in gaining a competitive edge and expand their growth potential. This includes initiatives such as workshops, masterclasses, and online modules, as well as assistance from service consultants in areas such as accounting, legal, human resources, finance, and marketing.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


The Innovation Hub is the innovation center developed by the Gauteng Provincial Government to enhance economic development and competitiveness in the region. the center provides a variety of company development, skills development, and incubator programs to enable innovation and support entrepreneurial initiatives of Gauteng entrepreneurs. The enterprise development activities of TIH are focused on enabling the emergence of sustainable and high-growth start-ups and shortening their distance and time to market.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology

  • Application Link


Savant is a startup incubator and venture capital firm that assists technology startups in their journey from product development to scale. They offer tailored business development support which brings their unmatched technology commercialization know-how and expertise to South African startups. Inventors that participate in their program stand to benefit from a simplified route from minimum viable product creation to early market traction, both locally and abroad.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology

  • Application Link


TuksNovation is a tech startup incubator that offers entrepreneurs specialized product and business development assistance throughout their startup growth journeys. Through their incubator program, their team of mentors and specialists will assist you in validating your idea, developing your technology, and planning your business strategy for your target market. They will also provide you with the right contacts in their networks who can provide valuable input to your business and potentially access to the market. Aside from that, TuksNovation also provides opportunities for students to interact with the startup ecosystem through student entrepreneur challenges, talk events, and MasterClass webinars.





Launch Stage Startup Incubators and Accelerators in South Africa


Full list of launch stage startup incubators and accelerators in South Africa:




  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


Black Umbrellas is a non-profit incubation center that collaborates with entrepreneurs and facilitates their growth. Through their Enterprise Development Program, they help startups to build their firms to the point where they may gain access to procurement, funding, and networks. They offer three programs for startups at different stages: 1) Business Foundation Programme to set the groundwork for your business idea, 2) Business Readiness Programme to prepare your supply chain and finance, and 3) Accelerator Programme to obtain access to funding possibilities, networking, and further assistance.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: BioTech

  • Application Link


Though not an accelerator per se, OneBio Africa is a venture builder and early-stage investor who supports biotech entrepreneurs in developing enterprises of the future. They will provide you with hands-on assistance and offer their expertise, networks, and funds to assist you in realizing your ideas and developing your businesses.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: EduTech

  • Application Link


Injini is a non-profit organization that operates with a single mission: to improve educational attainment in Sub-Saharan Africa. Injini's programs assist outstanding founders that are utilizing technology in addressing serious education concerns in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their flagship Injini Acceleration Partnership Programme offers specialized business support geared towards your strategic goals, as well as to increase the teams' capacity.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Impact

  • Application Link


The African Impact Initiative is an organization devoted to assisting African innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs in building their long-term solutions to Africa's most pressing problems and commercializing them. They accomplish this through programs focused on impact-driven entrepreneurship, community participation, and career development. One of their programs, the African Impact Challenge, aims to assist innovators in effectively launching their ideas to market by providing the funding, resources, and coaching required by early-stage founders. Every year, the program is held in a different African country.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Impact

  • Application Link

Impact Amplifier provides a variety of acceleration and training programs aimed at preparing impact enterprises to effectively raise the funding required to scale. The accelerator typically runs for 3-12 months, and the format is tailored to each business's specific needs. Through a mix of lectures, individual coaching, group discussions, webinars, and other activities, the accelerator will cover topics including impact cases, market identification, market access, strategic growth planning, finance, and pitching.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Multiple Sectors

  • Application Link


Fetola is a multifaceted organization that provides various programs to foster the growth and sustainability of African firms. Their mission is to assist purpose-driven entrepreneurs and startups in Africa that are lowering unemployment, addressing social disparities, and relieving poverty. You can browse through a number of their programs that will help you to access various opportunities and navigate any challenges your business may be facing throughout its growth journey.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: SaaS

  • Application Link


The Startup Wise Guys: SaaS Acceleration Program Africa offers targeted coaching and assistance for African startups to develop their company. With assistance from world-class mentors and experts, the program will help you to navigate the challenges on your growth journey and craft an effective go-to-market strategy. You'll gain access to knowledge in various business functions as well as a network of founders, investors, and industry professionals. The program also provides investments up to EUR65,000 in exchange for up to 12% equity, with an opportunity for follow-on funding.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


Founder Institute is a renowned global network and accelerator provider that transforms ideas into companies and startups into global successes. Their four-month core program is divided into tracks with distinct milestones, whereby founders will receive sprints tailored to their individual company concerns. Through their structured curriculum and constant feedback, you'll study the fundamentals of building a business and accomplish aggressive growth sprints every week.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


Founders Factory Africa is an early-stage tech investment firm that supports pan-African early-stage startups in developing and delivering solutions to local concerns. Though not an accelerator program, they have a unique, combined approach that provides startups with financing as well as hands-on assistance in overcoming their most critical technical, strategic, and commercial difficulties. They have a team of venture development professionals across a wide range of functions that will collaborate with each venture in their portfolio to address their most pressing challenges.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


UVU Africa, formerly known as The Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi), is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a future-proof, inclusive society via technology and innovation. They offer incubation, acceleration, and skill development programs to support and grow entrepreneurial ventures. Some of their initiatives include Injini and Velocity, which provides mentorship, funding, and ecosystem access to stimulate startups' development.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


Raizcorp was founded in 2000 with the goal of growing and developing entrepreneurs in various settings and phases of their lifecycles. The provides world-class incubation, company acceleration, and a variety of additional services to match the needs of various entrepreneurs. All of their programs provide startups with training, mentoring, and access to market, finance, and infrastructure to support their growth.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: B2B

  • Application Link


Sw7 is Africa's first virtual accelerator platform for B2B SaaS, product-led technology startups, and founders. Their accelerator program offer startups with a faster path to high growth and scale, allowing you to enter new markets, prepare for funding rounds, or plan for exit. You'll work with mentors in private one-on-one workshops that will help you address critical areas of emphasis to propel your business forward.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology

  • Application Link


MEST is a hub network that provides entrepreneur training programs, incubation, and seed fund for African technology firms. MEST Africa empowers aspiring and existing African entrepreneurs with the skills, funding, support, and network needed to develop a successful software firm. Every year, entrepreneurs can apply to enroll in their fully-funded one-year entrepreneurship training program. Graduates of the program will then be able to receive seed funding and participate in the MEST incubation program to launch their businesses.





Closing Thoughts on Startup Incubators and Accelerators in South Africa


The South African startup ecosystem has effectively transitioned to maturity, with noticeable growth in entrepreneurial drive, digital literacy, and availability of finance. Early-stage incubation and acceleration assistance is one of the key factors in developing a healthy and investable startup ecosystem, in which startups may receive the guidance, tools, and resources they need to grow further.




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