Startup Jo’burg: Ecosystem Overview (2)

Part two of our blog follows on from part one in which we covered Jo’burg’s incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces. In this blog we discuss startup communities, VC’s and Impact Investors.

Venture Capitalists

Business Partners

Grovest Venture Capital Company The Grovest Fund provides financial support through growth capital, for small and medium enterprises that are already producing revenue and have a defensible market position and high potential for rapid growth. Grovest invests anything between R3 million and R6 million in an enterprise led by teams with meaningful equity stakes in the business.

Kalon Venture Partners A leading Venture Capital Fund for disruptive technology. Kalon VP is led by a dynamic and veteran team dedicated to achieving smart returns through notable investments in the creation of both nonfinancial and financial value. Kalon VP invests growth capital (equity-based) in high growth technology companies, with innovative business plans, geared to existing and/or emerging markets.

Edge Growth Edge Growth prides itself in its unique, tailor-made solutions to the growth constraints facing SMEs. Edge Growth is responsible for three funds that provide financial support to encourage the rapid growth of SMEs. The funds focus on different aspects of enterprise and supplier development.

Seedstars World Seedstars World provides a platform for startups to pitch their ideas to a variety of stakeholders including investors. Seedstars World runs local competitions to identify leading startups within the disruptive technology sector. Winning startups are also exposed to inspirational discussions and the opportunity to mingle with investors, corporates, incubators, accelerators and other stakeholders at the regional and Seedstars summits. 10-20 winning startups are also put through the virtual growth program which offers a $50k investment and a chance for follow-on investment.

TriVest TriVest is a leading provider of financial capital for equity, middle market corporate acquisitions and recapitalizations. TriVest focuses on small to medium sized enterprises with notable growth potential within existing, fragmented and/or emerging markets. TriVest’s main aim is to provide support for the growth of South African enterprises and see them scale through expansion within Africa.

IDF Capital CRE Venture Capital

Open Window Open Window was established to take advantage of the substantial tax incentive provided for in the Income Tax Act. Open Window focuses investment on equity opportunities of fast growing SMEs through equity capitalization and strategy enhancement. Open Window maximises value creation by investing in sectors in which the investment team is well versed and can provide a leading customer service experience that promotes faster growth and reach.

The National Empowerment Fund The role of the NEF is to support broad-based black economic empowerment. The NEF is a leading promoter and facilitator of black economic participation through the provision of financial and nonfinancial support to black empowered enterprises. The NEF also aims to promote the savings and investment culture amongst black people.

Small Enterprise Finance Agency SEFA recognises that the biggest hurdle faced by small enterprises is financial capital. It is for this reason that SEFA offers asset finance, bridging loans, term loans, structures finance solutions, the credit guarantee scheme and land reform empowerment fund. SEFA helps small business become sustainable through the best service and expertise.

Capital Eye Investments Limited Capital Eye invests in both startups and mature revenue generating companies in both established and emerging markets to create value growth.Capital Eye delivers superior returns on technology and associated assets through goal alignment achieved by co-investment between partners, shareholders and management.

Convergence Partners Convergence Partners is a seasoned pan-African private equity player with a focus on developing businesses while underpinning African development through an offering of skills, experience and capital to accelerate communications access and ICT infrastructure development on the Continent, focusing on initiatives that increase availability of communications, broadband services and new technology offerings to the people of Africa.

LeapFrog LeapFrog invests in extraordinary businesses in Africa and Asia to achieve leaps of growth, profitability and impact. With far-reaching investee companies in over 33 emerging markets, LeapFrog reaches hundreds of millions of consumers to whom insurance, savings, pensions, credit and healthcare have been made accessible for the first time.

Impact Investors

Omidyar Network

To eliminate the dichotomy between business and social responsibility, the Omidyar Network aims to invest in enterprises that forge social change whilst generating a return on capital.Through a flexible capital model, Omidyar Network infuses early-stage startups with much needed financial and human capital, time and resources to test the market viability and social impact of the startup’s business model. E² is an impact investment partner contributing financial capital and business support to value-aligned entrepreneurs to create and scale responsible businesses with a positive impact. They offer tailor-made solutions to ensure the growth and sustainability of businesses they invest in.

LifeCo UnLtd LifeCo UnLtd South Africa is a successful impact business that invests in other impact enterprises to deliver social, environmental, economic and financial gains. They focus their investment on high growth potential enterprises that deliver significant, positive financial and social outcomes. In addition, they run a programme to elicit critical thinking and understanding of business principles to foster a culture of entrepreneurship among the youth.


Startup Grind With over 4000 members, Startup Grind Johannesburg is part of a global startup community, hosting monthly events to nurture the Johannesburg startup ecosystem through actively educating, inspiring and connecting a multitude of entrepreneurs in different chapters within the ecosystem.

Startup Weekend In just 54 hours, meet and Connect with people driven to innovate. Discover your position in the entrepreneurship journey. Learn what it takes to start a company. Start!

Venture Network With over 5000 members, Venture Network is a diverse startup community aimed at powering innovation and entrepreneurial networks through exclusive events whereby self-starters are provided with a platform to showcase their work, develop new networks and entice influential investors.

The Hookup Dinner The aim is to have an active, vibrant, well-networked and economically active tribe of 1 million startup businesses across the African continent by 2020. Through, networking, pitching sessions, dynamic talks; marketplace opportunities to access networks in the various countries through live-streaming and use of digital tools, The Hookup Dinner provides a platform for entrepreneurs to engage and contribute to each others success.

The Startup Foundation The Startup Foundation is a non-profit company supporting innovative youth entrepreneurship in South Africa. is a website that facilitates events. A number of startup groups organise their events through this portal. It’s a great site to find out what happening in your area.

Lobby groups


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