Connected Hubs: A Network of Doers

10 organisations, five Southern African countries. What could happen if true collaboration existed across borders?


With small market sizes and struggling economies, hubs can be stronger together. A wider support network would benefit young enterprises, who have lot to gain from regional connectivity.

At the heart of any ecosystem there are the people. Meeting, networking, connecting. This is why SAIS wants to bring the event production in these startup ecosystems to another level. This is why we created Connected Hubs — a network of Southern African ecosystems with linkages to international innovation ecosystems.

10 Doers gathered in Gaborone for the first meet-up of Connected Hubs. “Many have ventured in bringing hubs together and some have succeeded,” states Derrick Kotze from mLab Southern Africa. “However, not many have been able to create concrete collaboration between the hubs. SAIS does that with Connected Hubs.”



Last year SAIS piloted regional collaboration between innovation actors and based on the learnings, we developed a unique approach for facilitating collaboration. It builds the foundation for lasting bonds between the 10 organizations through a process of peer-learning and co-creation. The group shares best practices in a string of both online and offline sessions with international experts in event production, Slush and SA Innovation Summit. We are very excited to bring all of these actors together!



Last month this change-making group met at Botswana Innovation Hub in Gaborone, Botswana and they got a crash course in producing events as unique experiences. During the meet-up, Connected Hubs recognized the most pressing challenges in the Southern African innovation space: lack of startup culture as well as connectivity among actors and a lack of investable startups. Creating solutions to these issues is a shared goal of Connected hubs, and that’s why Slush Global Impact Accelerator is along for the ride, too. Ultimately the ones to benefit are the early-stage entrepreneurs – the ones we all are eager to support.

SAIS and Connected Hubs invite all to be a part of the discussion of Inclusive Innovations with topics of ecosystem connectivity and startup culture at the first ever Annual Southern Africa Innovation Summit. This truly regional event takes place at the South Africa Innovation Summit on September 12th 2018. Read more about the event and secure your tickets now!