The Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, Bordeaux Technowest and Inno’vin have signed a partnership to try to build a bridge between France and South African ecosystems and share networks. This partnership is purposed to drive growth and support for agri-related businesses in both ecosystems. It is also an opportunity to source complementary technology where the two incubators can offer startups an exchange between the ecosystems to expand into different contexts and grow their customer base internationally.
LaunchLab’s mission is to facilitate valuable connections for startups with strategic partners, including corporates for market access as well as partnerships in the ecosystem to ensure startups excel. At LaunchLab, more than 35% of the current incubatees have an agriculture application making the partnership with Bordeaux-Technowest valuable for international opportunities for many of our companies. This is also important for Stellenbosch University, being internationally recognised for agricultural research and having established an AgroHub to continue to drive commercial momentum in the South African agriculture industry.
In addition to LaunchLab’s support and enterprise connections, there is an ecosystem that exists between Winetech, Innovus and the broader wine industry that enables this innovative environment to flourish. This makes the LaunchLab and its partners a great place to land any wine innovation, and agricultural innovation, to get access to the South African and African market.
Bordeaux Technowest is the leader of the regional program SIRENA (International Regional Ecosystems Strategy of Nouvelle-Aquitaine) startups technopoles. It includes 5 technopoles:
- TECHNOWEST (Mérignac)
- UNITEC (Pessac)
- ESTER (Limoges)
- EUREKATECH (Angoulême)
- ESTIA (Pays Basques)
The aim of Bordeaux Technowest is to promote the international development of startups from the French region Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The technopoles are incubating start-ups in different innovation fields, and Bordeaux Technowest supports innovative projects in the Aerospace Defense and Eco-activities sectors and also in the economic development in the territory.
The partnership between LaunchLab and Bordeaux Technowest will establish communities of practice to study and share innovative services, business models, participation in events/conferences for business development, to develop contacts facilitating international exchanges, soft-landings and the implementation of startups in France and in South Africa.
The incubators will also promote collaborative technology projects by supporting startups, for example, in finding partners, market and financing. Furthermore, it will provide advice on business strategy, hosting companies within our respective locations, and support for international events.
The partnership between LaunchLab and Bordeaux Technowest will promote the establishment of startups through partner support and business development in South Africa and in France, and provide access to a high-tech research-based innovation pipeline that the parties can leverage to add value to their respective stakeholders and partners.
This is the first agreement of this nature that we have signed with another European Incubator, but will definitely not be the last. LaunchLab has several relationships with other partners in Europe that are eager to receive the university spinouts and high-tech startups that we are currently supporting.