A multimillion rand fund has been launched in a bid to support tech start-ups and provide solutions for the African continent. 

The EPF Tech Fund, launched in Johannesburg, is backed by non-profit organisation, the Empire Partner Foundation, with support from firms such as NMVE Capital, TDM Ventures and Digication.

A whopping R80m will be pumped towards efforts for supporting tech startups around the country.

The tech non-profit entity EPF is looking to grow an ecosystem of African developers that use technology to improve communities on the continent.

The investors said they were pumping the money to invest in young people who are developing tech solutions that create a meaningful impact in the country and the continent.

“Our objective is to develop young entrepreneurs, propel South Africa forward into the 4IR, solve key challenges through tech, empower young people to become leaders in the tech space and drive South Africa’s economic growth by assisting tech startups,” said Mikhial Mariemuthu, the senior manager at EPF.

He said they were positioning themselves as “venture capital investors” for young people who can excel at the foundation’s incubation hub.

“The EPF Incubation Hub enables students that have won the monthly hackathons to develop their winning solutions into viable products,” he said.

Mariemuthu said startups who could qualify for funding “must have locally developed tech solutions, be youth lead and driven and it must be scalable on the continent”.

He said the tech fund was privately managed and investors in the project were companies committed to “future proofing Africa by investing in youth lead technology solutions that are scalable across the continent”.

Meanwhile, the fund has invested about R150m in 20 data startup firms in the past two years.

In the next phase of the project, 15 start-ups are expected to benefit.The likes of the Agricode, Digital Pulse, What the Hack, MicroApps, Tech Swat, Makwarela Campus 123 and other, are set to benefit.

Editor@tech-talk.co.za