The LaunchLab was founded in 2013 as an initiative of Innovus, the industry interaction and innovation arm of Stellenbosch University, one of South Africa’s leading tertiary education institutions. Its goal is to establish a network of university campus-based business incubators across Africa and create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that can benefit and accelerate entrepreneurs and startups around the continent.
The primary LaunchLab incubator is based at Stellenbosch University, set in the scenic Cape Winelands, but it is open to all entrepreneurs. The LaunchLab is actively running programmes on other partner campuses, while at the same time pursuing new partner universities in South Africa and Africa.
The LaunchLab was born out of business idea competitions that were being held by Stellenbosch University on campus. The response and excitement surrounding these events encouraged the university to set aside a dedicated space for entrepreneurs in 2013, and in 2015 the LaunchLab opened its new 1200m2 facility on campus thanks to its founding sponsor, Nedbank, and matching funding from South Africa’s DTI Incubation Support Programme.
This facility now provides everything new businesses need to get started, and we are forging ahead with our goal to make entrepreneurship not just aspirational, but achievable.