Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) a national public entity that serves as the key institutional intervention to bridge the innovation chasm between research and development, has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with a Black owned Venture Capital Fund, WZ Capital. The aim of the fund is to promote and support entrepreneurs with innovative ideas that have the potential to disrupt markets.

WZ Capital targets entrepreneurs with scalable and disruptive concepts and ideas that have never been seen in a certain industry. It is the first black owned, family founded VC fund to collaborate with TIA. The firm seeks to assist with early-stage startups as a series A investor, with a ticket size of up to R1 million. The firm strives to set in motion the ideas of skilled innovation entrepreneurs who lack access to funding and key networks by acting as an impetus for great ventures that will reform markets. Their goal is to bridge the gap between talented game-changing entrepreneurs who lack the resources to pursue their endeavors of entering the market. In addition, the fund places emphasis on the black community’s tremendous creativity.

TIA and WZ Capital have agreed to collaborate with each other through the recently launched Industry Matching Fund (IMF) Programme, a pilot initiative in partnership with the private business sector. The proposed model fosters technology development and commercialisation on a cost-sharing basis. The co-investment amount that will be allocated by WZ Capital under this pilot is R1.5 million and TIA shall co-invest from its existing instruments such as the Seed Fund, Rapid Fund, Technology Development Fund and the Pre-commercialisation Support Fund.

The Principal Officer for WZ Capital, Mr Lundi Njomane was quoted as saying ‘’We would like to commend TIA for launching the Industry Matching Fund, it not only shows their commitment to drive socioeconomic change by supporting startups throughout their various growth phases, but to realise this change through collaborations that also include partnerships that are often overlooked.

WZ Capital over the past 5 years has worked with amazing entrepreneurs in areas such as MedTech, Hospitality Tech and AI and we look forward to making an even greater contribution through this relationship”

TIA’s Interim CEO said “The collaboration will assist bridge the gap in accessing funds for SMME’s that operate in the innovation space and also shows TIA’s commitment in finding meaningful financial solutions in helping entrepreneurs during and beyond the COVID-19 epidemic”

TIA is a national public entity of Department of Science and Innovation that serves as a key institutional intervention to bridge the gap from idea to market, enabling research and development from higher education institutions, science councils, public entities and private sector through to commercialisation.

Further enquires can be directed to tandokazi.nquma@tia.org.za

Note to editors:
For further background on WZ Capital please visit their website http://www.wzcapital.co.za/

Contact: Tandokazi Nquma
E-mail: Tandokazi.nquma@tia.org.za
Contact: 012 472 2793