IEEE Foundation

IEEE Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Wits University


IEEE Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Wits University

July 10-14, 2023

Wits Innovation Centre, University of Witwatersrand

Johannesburg, South Africa.


A 5-day intensive workshop on Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be organized by IEEE Entrepreneurship & Wits Innovation Centre (WIC) at Wits University during July 10-14, 2023. Participants will be introduced to the basics of innovation and entrepreneurship – seeking opportunities for innovative technical solutions to the needs of society and taking these ideas to market by identifying the real users and stakeholders, conducting structured interviews to refine the value proposition, protecting the innovation’s competitive advantage, developing a viable business model, a sound business plan, and a commercialisation strategy.


The objectives of this workshop are to introduce scientists and engineers to the process of innovation, generation and protection of intellectual property, technology transfer and commercialisation of inventions. The workshop is aimed at equipping equipping researchers to validate the true need of the end user/customer of a product or service based on the outputs of their research, to improve the understanding of the value proposition of their innovation. It will enable these researchers to refine and more clearly articulate, a viable value proposition through a structured practical process of analysis and discovery and appropriate presentation to prospective partners and/or investors.

The workshop will consist of lectures by invited speakers, case studies, group discussions and role-playing sessions related to commercialisation of a product.

Topics will include:

  • Readiness Levels – Relation between scientific research, inventions and products;
  • Innovation/Research to market case studies
  • Market needs identification/feasibility study (industry presenters will pose their problems)
  • Protecting Competitive Advantage – Concept of intellectual property (IP) and its significance in commercialising your ideas
  • WIC support for commercialisation
  • Business Model development
  • Value Chain Analysis – Taking science to the market – Timelines and processes for taking an invention to product;
  • Doing business in South Africa (components of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, business formalities, IP management, grants, investor resources, etc.)
  • Finance – basic financial skills needed for start-ups (financial modelling)
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Leadership and Teams – Communication and networking skills
  • Group exercises, networking, and collaboration among participants
  • Pitching your ideas to investors, customers, etc., business plan presentations by participants (Final Pitch)


This program is for a selected and limited number of participants. It is particularly aimed at early career academic staff and researchers, postdocs, postgraduates, undergraduate students, and industry. Participants should be interested in learning innovation and entrepreneurial skills and in developing an understanding of how to commercialize their research outputs. Academic staff, postdocs, postgraduates, and senior undergraduates from all branches of science, engineering and management faculties from the Wits community and those outside it are invited to apply for participation in the Workshop. Women candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Selection of candidates will be based on the diversity of gender, ages, ethnicity, experience, technical background, and strong motivation to become innovators and entrepreneurs as evidenced in their application.

Price of the workshop will be R3000 per person (Bursary opportunities are available.  To apply for a bursary please send a 1-page motivation to Ms. Dineo Masokoane –

HOW TO APPLY: Access the online application form until June 15, 2023.

ORGANISING COMMITTEE:  Prof. Surya Raghu, Dr. Adam Pantanowitz, Mr. Letlotlo Phohole, Mr. Ken Stauffer

Contact: Ms. Dineo Masokoane ( or Ms. Sarah Sepamla (

Should you require any further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us