Incubators & Accelerators

Revitalising an African-centered social tech incubator program.


Diageo Empowerment Trust South Africa


We were approached to relaunch the Diageo Empowerment Trust South Africa's "Social Tech" incubation programme. The programme needed new vision in order to reach its objective of becoming a significant contributor to the african startup ecosystem. The program had to attract, empower and reward deserving South African Social Tech enterpreneurs. By helping them refine, and ultimately launch their startups to market.

The sharp edge of the wedge was choosing to laser focus on startups with deep social impact using technology to be profitable and scaleable.

  • Webflow
  • Python & Django
  • Wagtail
  • SQL
  • Program Management
  • Product Strategy
  • Product Management
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Brand development
  • UX & UI
  • Full-Stack development
What we did
  • Innovation Program Strategy
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Participant Co-ordination
  • Management Software
  • 30 Prototypes
  • 15 Prototypes
  • 5 MVP's Launched in Market
  • Anton - Partner
  • Wadzi - Program Manager
  • Stephan - Product Owner
  • Claire - Product Designer
  • Heinrich - Lead Developer
  • Jason - UX Developer
  • Charl - Content & PR
  • Mumtaaz - Social Media
  • Howie - Video Content

They bring a sense of genius and of Machiavellian change in terms of driving everything that we do. It's just been an absolute honour to work with them and we look forward to continue working with them in the future.

Sinethemba Mafanya, GM Diageo Empowerment Trust SA


2,256entrepreneurs served through the program
01startup launched in market every 02 months
400%increase in applications from the previous year
40venture capital investors attended the final demo day

A software-based people led accelerator program.

The entire programme was run from end-to-end on an online cloud-based platform. By allowing the platform to handle the administrative load; like applications, giving access to resources, submitting updates, checking programme dates and event days, etc. programme managers were freed up to spend more time focusing on the entrepreneurs and their needs.

A screenshot of the software we used to run the entire program.

We were hands-on and knee-deep taking 30 startups from validating business models to testing prototypes with users.

Through group workshops and one on one sessions we helped our cohort establish whether they have an actual product that people need. We went about this process by teaching all the participants how to test their assumptions using user research through applying design thinking principles, completing a business model canvas, doing revenue forecasts and building low-fidlity prototypes. After more sessions than we could count, we managed to ensure that each cohort member had a basic 1st version of their product ready for user testing. This included basic user flows and the best user experience possible for each prototype.

We designed, developed and launched 5 MVP's in market which resulted in a startup going live every 2 months.

We paired small multi-disciplinary teams made up of a designer, developer and product manger with each entrepreneur full-time. This meant we were able to keep feedback loops fast ensuring precious time was spent on essential features only.

Startup 1 of 5


Foonda makes applying to every bursary, university, and government financial aid program simple using one form.

What we did:

Content & Video, Rapid Prototyping, Branding, UX/UI Design and Fullstack Development.

Techstack we used:

CSS, Django, Python, Wagtail CMS.

Foonda's story from the founder Vuyo

Startup 2 of 5


iSpani provides micro-jobbing for emerging markets through data-driven market research.

What we did:

Content & Video, Rapid Prototyping, Branding, UX/UI Design & Website Development.

Techstack we used:

Webflow, CSS, CMS

Watch iSpani's story from one of the co-founders Prince

Startup 3 of 5

Jonga provides community-based security to low-income families.

What we did:

Business Modelling, Get To Market Strategy, Rapid Prototyping, Content & Video.

Jonga's story from co-founder, Ntsako

Startup 4 of 5

Skillshift takes the hassle out of finding and managing skilled shift workers through an on-demand marketplace.

What we did:

Content & Video, Rapid Prototyping, Branding, UX/UI Design & Fullstack Development.

Techstack we used:

CSS, Django, Python, Wagtail CMS.

Skillshift's story from the founder, Charl

Startup 5 of 5

Balltalent is a soccer talent discovery tool helping scouts find Africa's future soccer stars.

What we did:

Content & Video, Rapid Prototyping, Branding, UX/UI Design & Fullstack Development.

Techstack we used:

CSS, Django, Python, Wagtail CMS.

Balltalent's amazing story from co-founders Latsego and Simon

Keeping stakeholders informed throughout the program journey.

We used the program software and video summaries to ensure all Diageo stakeholders were kept up to date on key milestones of the program to provide as much accountability as possible.

Demo Day.

18 months of hard work culminated on the final pitch day. 15 of the top startups were provided the opportunity to engage with over 40 venture capitalists while the final 5 startups hit the stage and pitched their hearts out for a share of the R5 million investment capital fund.

Visit the website to see the results



"The five startups were selected from among 2,256 applicants"

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"These ideas have been launched into the real world, and some are already getting their first customers, validating their ideas in market"

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Disrupt Africa

"The central driving force in this challenge has been to stimulate meaningful, strategic growth and innovation in a key industry of our economy"

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"Social Entrepreneurs are taken from idea to launch, with expertise, support and seed funding offered to the most promising and scalable businesses."

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Get in touch

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