Innovate Durban is passionate about accessible and living innovation research. The organisation engages in several research projects; to map out the Innovation Ecosystem and bridge the data gap between innovation and resources in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

These projects rely on the support and collaboration of key role players to provide relevant data and insights, as well as funding to ensure the information remains relevant. 

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    Innovation Publication

    During 2019, Innovate Durban published the first edition of the Innovation Publication. The objective of the publication, which will be published annually, is to provide information to all stakeholders, including innovators and investors, on the state of innovation in KwaZulu-Natal. The publication is hosted on the Innovate Durban Innovation Dashboard, a living mechanism aimed at showcasing the data, celebrating innovation, connecting stakeholders, enabling collaboration, and creating new partnerships and possibilities.

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    achievements [2019/2020]

    First online innovation and innovator dashboard published


    • Provide information to all stakeholders, including innovators and investors on the state of innovation in KwaZulu-Natal
    • To keep abreast of the latest thinking and trends in the innovation space
    • Celebrate and showcase the success of innovators in our province
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    Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshot

    During 2019, Innovate Durban partnered with a specialist NPO, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, to compile an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshot Map. The Ecosystem Map shows the various support organisations in Durban who work with entrepreneurs and innovators, and the support they provide on a programmatic level. Ecosystem Snapshots are a powerful tool to better understand and improve entrepreneurial ecosystems in emerging economies. While the results of the Ecosystem Map were published in early 2020, the Map remains a tool for innovators to navigate the landscape, and for Innovate Durban to understand gaps that exist and determine how we might fill those.

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    achievements [2019/2020]

    151 support providers showcased


    • Profile all programmes that support growing businesses (financial and non-financial support)
    • Facilitate networking and dialogue opportunities for investors
    • Improve online functionality and usability for consumption on a global scale
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    Funding Map

    The investment climate in eThekwini provides a serious challenge to innovators, as there are only a few Venture Capital or Angel funds operating in the city (often supporting innovations from outside of Durban), and also few sources of other direct funding based in the city. This means innovators requiring funding often have to look to Johannesburg, Cape Town and internationally for funding. Beyond this, it is also often unclear to innovators where and how they can access funding. The Funding Map was developed in partnership with the Human Sciences and Research Council and local innovators, and maps out various funding mechanisms available to support innovators across the country.

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    achievements [2019/2020]

    741 funders and funding mechanisms showcased


    • Highlight where funding exists, identify the gaps and how innovators can access funding
    • To map out various funding mechanisms available to support innovators across the country

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Head Office:

Bond Square, 12 Browns Road,
Point Waterfront,

Durban, 4001

087 821 1023
Umkhumbane Entrepreneurial Centre,
240 Harry Gwala Road, Wiggins, 4091