Step-Up Technology Innovation Competition

The Step-Up Technology Innovation Competition is a national competition to give individuals, groups and businesses – particularly SMEs – the opportunity to have their technology innovations evaluated and, if selected, to be assisted with access to a range of support programmes, including:

  • Fast-track introductions and meetings with investors and venture capital firms
  • Mentorship and commercialisation advice
  • Business and entrepreneurship skills training
  • Access to sector and business knowledge networks
  • Introduction to programmes at TIA and Sasol
  • Assistance with access to business incubation
  • Access to international network of SA business leaders
  • Intensive business skills and management training workshop
  • Entry to the competition is only via the on-line competition portal at

Any South African citizen or legal permanent resident over the age of 16 is eligible to enter the competition.

If you have a technology idea or innovation in any of the seven competition sectors, even if it is just at raw concept stage, as well as any business activity based on such an idea or innovation, you are likely to be eligible to enter the competition.

If you are selected as a finalist after the first round of scoring, which will be based on the content of your entry form, you will be invited to make an “in person” presentation to the judging panel for your industry sector.

This will be a one-hour presentation, during which you will be able to explain your idea or business in detail, with the emphasis on the commercial potential of your idea or innovation. The judges will also be able to pose questions to you. This panel presentation will be conducted in a supportive and enabling environment, and you will be able to bring colleagues*, prototypes, samples or any other supporting elements to assist you in explaining your proposal.

Winner Benefits

  • 7 winners will share in significant cash prizes
  • Step-Up Escalation Commercial Programme for winners and selected finalists
  • There are more than R12,000,000 in programme value and offers available to suitable participants, not just winners and finalists. This includes SABLE global network support, Enablis and Microsoft
  • Bizspark packages, etc.
  • 3-month Popular Mechanic electronic subscriptions to the first 300 submitted entries


Key Dates

  • Competition launch: 22 May 2013
  • Entries open: 22 May 2013
  • Entries close: 30 Sep 2013
  • Adjudication commences: 1 Oct 2013
  • Adjudication completed: 30 Nov 2013
  • Finalists announced: 3 December 2013
  • Winner awards event: TBC


Martin Feinstein talks about the Step-Up competition and why it is so important to South Africa – domestically and as a global player

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