Seven black tech firms chosen for IBM Techscale initiative

IBM SA and Joburg-based consultancy the Youth Innovation Entrepreneurship Design Institute (Yiedi) have welcomed seven SA tech startups into the IBM Techscale programme.

The six-month programme is targeted at established black-owned tech companies in the financial services, healthcare and telecommunications sectors.

The programme was officially launched at an event last Tuesday (21 May) in Johannesburg at Workshop 17 in Sandton, where the programme will take place.

The seven companies range from firms focusing on software-as-a-service (SaaS) to artificial intelligence (AI) and bitcoin.

The six-month IBM Techscale programme is targeted at established black-owned tech companies

The startups and their founders are:

Qualip Solutions (Sizwe Hlongwane): Qualip Solutions is a software and application development consulting company which builds applications and systems to help organisations automate their processes.

KryszanTec (Jermain Kallideen): KryszanTec has developed Subware, a solution that allows businesses to understand how they are spending money on IT. Through the solution, the company is able to show a business how much it would cost them to move to any new technology.

Smartech Holdings (Florah Ngwenya): Smartech Holdings is a custom software development company which helps clients digitally transform their businesses through solutions that are tailored to clients’ requirements.

GeoPay (Thabang Mashiloane): GeoPay is peer-to-peer (P2P) blockchain remittance platform that helps people living in the diaspora to transfer money across borders quicker and more affordably.

Zyelabs (Ismail Dhorat): Zyelabs facilitates and supports data driven decision-making so that clients can improve their customer experience, boost revenue and reduce costs. The firm helps companies make sense of big data by providing data engineering, data science and analytics and data operations services.

BotsZA (Harmony Mothibe): BotsZA is a research and development company specialising in applications powered by AI. The startup helps companies integrate AI, machine learning and chatbots into their business processes to improve their customer experience, productivity and efficiency.

Konecta (Yandisa Sokhanyile): Konecta builds wireless networks and platforms to enable value-added services and data analytics.

In a statement last week Yiedi CEO Jayshree Naidoo (pictured above, far left) said IBM SA COO Ziaad Suleman committed at the event to closely engaging with the cohort as the businesses grow further into their respective areas.

Naidoo added that IBM SA VP for partner ecosystems Craig Holmes offered to make as many IBM resources available to the participants and encouraged them to partner and grow with IBM.

“Over the past few weeks we have already seen them grow and learn from some of the mentors we identified,” she said.

She said the IBM leadership team had made the launch event “extremely beneficial” for the programme participants by giving them insights into available opportunities as well as on IBM’s strategy.

Said Naidoo: “For many entrepreneurs one of the major barriers to success is access to markets and having a giant like IBM on the side of these businesses will give them the edge to succeed and grow”.

Read more: IBM opens nominations for black tech firms with its Techscale programme

Featured image: IBM Techscale cohort pictured with IBM and Yiedi representatives (Supplied)

Seven black tech firms chosen for IBM Techscale initiative

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