SoftstartBTI is a Gauteng-based business and technology incubator that supports a large number of high potential ICT businesses with a world-class incubation facility, professional business support services and resources, and a network of expert incubation and coaching professionals.
The incubator plays an important role in the promotion of BEE, nurturing previously disadvantaged groups including the disabled, and serves the broader community with active outreach and partnering programmes, satellite incubators, as well as public resources. SoftstartBTI focuses of building stakeholder support by being responsive to their objectives and requirements, and by managing its own affairs to the highest degree of professionalism.
SoftstartBTI was established out of a merger between the Softstart Trust and the Bodibeng Technology Incubator, and is supported by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) of the Department of Trade and Industry.
SoftstartBTI improves enterprise performance, enhances profitability and growth, and offers technology and management support to South African SMMEs to enable them to develop their innovations to full commercial potential. SoftstartBTI is geared to help early movers maximise the value of their ideas.
Key services include strategic, operational and technology mentoring and coaching, furnished "plug and play" office space in a secure environment, shared resources such as reception and conference facilities, internet access, access to service providers and funding sources. SoftstartBTI offers a virtual incubation facility through an internet domain.
The Business Building Model
Businesses within the SoftstartBTI are all in various stages of being built. To build an optimal, sustainable business, an entire multitude of building blocks will have to be assembled over time.
- Market: The understanding of the market in all its aspects, and the design and delivery of strategies that will fully exploit the product's potential.
- Technology: The design and development of the actual products and services that will be delivered to the customer.
Business: The analysis of the potential of the business venture to making a profit and developing business plans and strategies that will ensure that the venture meets its desired goals i.e. profitability - this also includes strategies to accessing business funding, growth strategies, etc.
Operational: The design, documentation and operation of the business's activities as a professional legal entity.
The primary SoftstartBTI's focus is on the Concept and Development Phases of ventures. Businesses in the Concept Phase, for instance, make use of SoftstartBTI's mentoring services in the development of a coherent conceptual analysis.