Google has chosen Cape Town as a pilot for a new technology incubator called Umbono (Zulu for “vision”, “sight” or “idea”) which aims to bring together seed capital, Google mentorship, angel investors, local tech stars, entrepreneurs and business leaders.
If successful in Cape Town, Google may take the model to other parts of the globe. Google says it chose Cape Town because the city is in the process of positioning itself as a hub for innovation and technology. The search engine expects that successful funders will move to Cape Town and work onsite to take advantage of the opportunity.
According to Google, the incubator is in keeping with its ongoing commitment to foster innovation in Africa and it will help selected startup teams transform their ideas into companies.
The Umbono program lasts for six months. The focus of the first three months is on developing your prototype, usability, and iteration. During the following three months you craft your go-to-market strategy and attract users to your product. This time frame should allow your team to turn your idea into a validated concept with scalable potential. At the end of the six months you should be in a position to prepare your business for the next round of funding, equipped with valuable expertise and ready to drive your business further.