Innovation hubs and incubators are emerging as the best solution to help universities, entrepreneurs, researchers, and students transform their creative ideas into viable commercial ventures. Users want facilities that focus on entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation; foster interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships; offer responsive and flexible spaces; create a spirit of ground-up innovation; support commercialization of ideas/products; and networking.
BancABC has today launched an Innovation Hub called the Ignition Hub so as to promote Small To Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Speaking during the launch in Harare today, BancABC CEO Mr. Lance Mambondiani said Banks are not doing enough to support small businesses hence it’s time to change.
“What is it that we have been building as a Country? The only building we have built is the Joina City and that took us more than 10 years.
“As banks, we have been sleeping at our jobs. As BancABC we say it’s time to change that.” He said.
BancABC through the Ignition Innovation Hub has offered free space for SMEs for no charge. The ecosystem reflects a diverse mix of tenants, with an enticing environment of creativity and interdisciplinary collaboration the type of space that easily attracts users who are willing to pay for occupancy in the building.
Tenants include a cross-section of research types with overlapping areas of inquiry. These environments work best when researchers, entrepreneurs, and startups are open about their ideas and not yet in a development stage where intellectual property protection is the primary focus.
“You don’t need money to start a business, you need money to expand a business,” Lance said.
Dr. Lance said BancABC will offer unsecured loans without collateral to anyone willing to start on SMEs.
Many innovation centers use a curated community model, where they are selective about the startups and entrepreneurs who can use their facility after completing an application process.
BancABC will also offer mentorship plans, market place and an investor pitch to those small business investors.
“Our passion is to make you contribute to the economy,” Lance said.