Innovation Edge is an impact-first investor focused on solving early childhood challenges in South Africa.

We help mission-aligned entrepreneurs and organisations by de-risking early stage product and service development. We ignite the ecosystem around them; and provide multiple rounds of funding, strategic coaching, operational support and connections to social capital.

Find

We’re always on the lookout for courageous people with creative concepts for solving early childhood challenges

Support

Our flexible funding and hands-on non-financial support is customised to suit the stage of the solution

Ignite

Our work also focuses on igniting greater innovation and entrepreneurship in the early childhood ecosystem

Our impact Areas.

More than 6 out of 10 children in South Africa are at risk of never reaching their full potential.

Over 60% of South Africa’s children live in poverty. Challenging life experiences during their first six years, compounded by systemic failure, reduce their possibility of present-day and future well-being. Our investments aim to improve the chances of children’s life-long success by influencing the quality of their first six years of life.

We strive for impact in 4 areas:

Daily Brain-Building Interactions

A child who has daily brain-building interactions right from birth develops strong learning foundations

Quality Early Learning Programmes

A child who attends a quality early learning programme for at least 2 years is more likely to start school on track

Early Health Care and Nutrition

A child who receives nourishing food and good healthcare is able to grow to their full potential

Safety and Protection

A child who feels safe and is protected from toxic levels of stress is free to thrive

IDEAS ATTRACTED

1586

INVESTMENTS

36

RANDS INVESTED

R33 Million

FOR EVERY

R1 Million invested, R2.2 Million is leveraged

TECH ENABLED

23

Featured investments.

Earlybird [email protected]

A social enterprise building a network of high-quality Early Childhood Care and Education (‘educare’) centres across the socioeconomic spectrum in South Africa.

Finding Thabo

An interactive ‘Where’s Wally’ inspired game. It uses a Facebook Messenger chatbot and pictures to facilitate fun brain-building interactions between parents and children.

ELOM

The Early Learning Outcomes Measure (ELOM) is a South African population based child assessment tool that determines whether children are developmentally on track for their age and whether an Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme is effective in preparing children for entry into school, and identifies areas for programmatic improvement.

Pivoting Business Processes for Purpose with Barrows

Barrows is a design and manufacturing company that produces display units for retailers all over South Africa. In February 2017, Innovation Edge and Barrows set out to explore this question: Could excess business inventory be used to print early learning materials and distribute them to under-resourced communities throughout South Africa?

Insights and resources.

The Digital Divide in South Africa

The Digital Divide in South Africa

As technology begins to influence every part of our world, it is becoming increasingly important for every human to understand its importance and benefits. Having basic skills in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can lead to improved connectivity with...

How conflict and violence influence a child’s development

How conflict and violence influence a child’s development

South Africa tops many global lists as one of the countries with the highest rates of physical and sexual intimate partner violence (IPV). In recent years, there has been a call to better understand the effects and actively address the issue of infants and children in...

The Gender Gap in Healthtech: Empowering Women-Led Innovations

The Gender Gap in Healthtech: Empowering Women-Led Innovations

Introduction Healthcare technology (healthtech) is a burgeoning field within the healthcare sector. It represents any healthcare product or service aided by technology that can be used outside of a medical facility. The importance of healthtech exploded with the onset...

Funders.