FAQ 1: What does Innovation Edge fund?

Innovation Edge funds ventures that develop products and services that seek to directly or indirectly benefit children aged 0-6. These include solutions that also benefit caregivers and teachers of young children, as well as healthcare workers and ECD centres.

We fund ventures that:

  • Are innovative in that they find a completely new way of doing things or repurpose an existing product or service.
  • Demonstrate markers of financial sustainability. For example, an understanding of the market, evidence of traction and willing and able customers.
  • Provide services or products to consumers in low-resourced areas of South Africa.
  • Have a team behind it with some related expertise.
  • Have achieved initial traction that is now ready to be optimised for scale with a well-defined target audience.
FAQ 2: What does Innovation Edge not fund?

We do not fund day-to-day operational expenses of an organisation, or provide donations or programmatic and project-based funding. We do not invest in ventures that will be implemented or solely serve consumers outside of South Africa, and in ventures that do not meet our investment criteria outlined in FAQ 1.

FAQ 3: What non-financial support do investees receive?

We provide bespoke support to our investees depending on their stage of development and related requirements.  The range of support we provide is broad, but generally consists of strategic mentorship, connections to partners in the ecosystem, business development and impact management and measurement support. We invest in ideas and solutions that have progressed beyond the ideation phase. This means that an entrepreneur should have more than just an idea. Our typical investment stages include feasibility, transition to scale, and scale of the business. We also aim to support ventures that have demonstrated early traction.

FAQ 4: Why does Innovation Edge invest in ECD-focused solutions?

We believe that by investing in the early years of a child’s life, and positively impacting their learning, health and safety outcomes before they reach grade one, we may significantly alter the trajectory of their lives for the better.

FAQ 5: How do I apply for funding?

You can apply for funding by reaching out to us at [email protected].

FAQ 6: What criteria do you consider when evaluating entrepreneurs and their proposals?

We consider:

  • Whether or not your solution meets our investment criteria outlined in FAQ1.
  • Whether your solution has the potential to make an impact.
  • The strength and competitiveness of the innovation.
  • The expertise and commitment of the team in achieving success.
  • The resilience of the business model.
FAQ 7: What is Innovation Edge’s investment process?

Read about our investment process and criteria here.

FAQ 8: What is the timeline for the investment process?

Depending on what stage you are at in conceptualising your venture, our investment process typically takes two to three months from the time you apply to when your proposal is presented to our Investment Committee (IC) for a decision. The steps in our process include, but are not limited to:

  • The completion of an application or Heads Up Memo (HUM).
  • An introductory call.
  • A clarifying call/calls (if needed).
  • Due diligence (involves the preparation and submission of key documents that enable us to better understand your business, team and sustainability potential).
  • Building the Investment Summary.
  • Pitch preparation for the IC.
  • Presentation at the IC meeting.
FAQ 9: How much funding can entrepreneurs typically expect to receive?

We provide funding where the amount is tailored to the stage of the solution. Entrepreneurs are required to send their budget requirements with their request for funding. This is reviewed alongside your application to determine how much funding can be allocated towards the venture.

FAQ 10: Does Innovation Edge fund ventures outside of South Africa?

We fund ventures that benefit children in South Africa. The venture does not need to be based in South Africa, but it must have a positive impact on children in South Africa.