Apply for funding and venture building support.

We offer multiple rounds of funding, customised venture support and connections to potential follow-on funders.

We accept applications from social entrepreneurs, registered non-profits and for profit enterprises. To be considered, your venture needs to be at the stage of feasibility; proof of concept or moving towards scale; in solving an early childhood challenge.

Investment Criteria
  • Directly or indirectly, the venture must benefit children aged 0-6 years (this includes the period of development during pregnancy) in South Africa.
  • The venture must primarily benefit children in low-income families, but does not have to exclusively rely on them as customers.
  • The venture needs to have a capable and committed lead person and/or team.
  • Ventures must be innovative in that they find an entirely new way of doing things or repurpose an existing solution in order to solve a real-world problem.
  • Ventures must take into account future sustainability and growth beyond investment from Innovation Edge.

Before completing the application for funding, you might find it helpful to take a look at the questions you’ll be asked HERE.

You can find out more about our investment process HERE.

You may want to know…

What characteristics does Innovation Edge look for in investees?

We believe that innovative solutions to early childhood challenges can come from anyone, anywhere.

Investees might be seasoned or beginner entrepreneurs. They might be launching or leading a startup. They might be employed in a business or non-profit and see the opportunity for their organisation to develop or grow an innovative product or service. They might be situated in an innovation lab in an academic institution. They might even be a student fresh out of a learning institution.

  • We look for mission-aligned investees who are:
  • Highly motivated, capable and determined
  • Collaborative and accountable
  • Open to coaching and have a growth mindset
  • Able to think creatively and be adaptable
Who or what does Innovation Edge NOT fund?
  • We do not currently fund ventures outside of South Africa
  • We’re unable to support ventures that are not sustainable post Innovation Edge funding
  • We will not invest in ventures that do not directly or indirectly impact the lives of children between the ages of 0 – 6 (this period includes pregnancy)
Does Innovation Edge invest in for-profit and non-profit ventures?

Yes. Our financial support (amount and instrument) is fit for purpose, tailored to the needs and profile of both for-profit and non-profit ventures. Our return expectations are driven by our impact-first approach. This means that we will make investments in impactful ventures that do not generate a financial return; that require a below-market financial return; and/or where returns are as yet unproven.

What non-financial support do investees receive?

We have a learning mindset with a high tolerance for trial and error. Our customised venture support is both pragmatic and strategic and includes access to a team of experts to help you:

  • Understand and navigate the early childhood development ecosystem
  • Test your assumptions and validate your solution in an iterative way
  • Build and test prototypes
  • Design strategies for customer acquisition, engagement and retention
  • Plan for sustainability and scale, including building a fit-for-purpose business model and team
  • Demonstrate social and financial return potential
  • Define and articulate your value proposition
  • Connect to potential follow-on funders