An initiative of Innovus, the LaunchLab is situated in the centre of Stellenbosch University’s campus. It offers budding entrepreneurs excellent infrastructure and network services, as well as guidance from academic staff and leaders in the business world to help them launch their business ideas. The LaunchLab functions as a business accelerator and boosts entrepreneurship on campus by providing networking opportunities, mentoring and affordable rental rates in an entrepreneur-friendly environment.
The accelerator includes Stellenbosch University spin-out companies (formed in conjunction with the University) as well as student-owned enterprises, which function independently of the University, but have access to the services in the business accelerator. In addition, the business accelerator is open to external start-up companies who would like to benefit from the entrepreneurial services on offer, as well as internal or external service providers who are able to provide mentoring, support or guidance to the accelerator tenants.
The business accelerator also offers a “hot desk” area for students with promising business ideas. In the hot desk area students benefit from the expertise of those providing mentorship in the accelerator, as well as the opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals.
The business accelerator is also the home of the 50H (50 hours) internship programme. This programme is aimed at postgraduate students who would like to gain real life experience of a start-up company by assisting with financial modelling, market research and other activities.