Ideas Lab

  • Applications for the Ideas Lab program for 2012 close on 1 November 2012.
  • Applications for the Ideas Lab for 2013 open on 7 January 2013.


Accelerator Lab

  • Applications for the 2012 Accelerator Lab are now closed.
  • Applications for our first Accelerator Lab program for 2013 open on 7 January 2013 .


Launch Lab

The Launch Lab is specifically geared at launching mobile solutions developed through the Accelerator Lab but all mlabsa members with a qualifying solution who feel they are ready to launch can also apply to take advantage of this opportunity.

The next Launch Lab will take place in early March 2013.

Why become a member?
Types of membership
What we look for

Why become a member?

There has never been a more exciting time to be a mobile developer or entrepreneur in southern Africa. Recent articles in The Economist’s Intelligent Life magazine, Time magazine and Wired UK attest to the “mobile revolution” that is sweeping the “Silicon Savannah” of Africa. How mobile uptake is impressive – with still enormous growth opportunities, how both big and small businesses are making money out of mobile apps and content services, and how mobile is really touching peoples’ lives in almost every way, from banking, to healthcare to education. In addition, the unique service delivery demands, opportunities, and challenges of this developing world region are underserved by traditional hotbeds of innovation, like Silicon Valley. All of this adds up to one big mobile opportunity.

But the enormous mobile opportunity doesn’t mean that it’s easy to create a sustainable business or organisation in mobile. Competition is stiff. The mobile landscape is highly uneven across different technologies, user groups and countries. Mobile developers are scarce and expensive. And most of all, a startup company or organisation is very vulnerable. It needs business, technical and financial support. It can benefit greatly from acceleration and incubation.

This is where the mLab Southern Africa (SA) comes in. We offer a range of support services to mobile developers and entrepreneurs to help them create sustainable businesses and organisations through mobile:

These services are either delivered directly by the mLab SA, or through external providers.

mLabsa wants to grow the mobile ecosystem on all levels — including advocating for mobile development and innovation to government and the business sector. If you are in mobile in southern Africa, you can benefit from being a member of the mLabsa.

To access our support, you need to become a mLabsa member.

Types of membership

mLab Member

What you get
Keep informed of mobile news, training, events, RFPs, competitions and more.

How to join/requirements
Anybody can join by signing up to the mLabsa newsletter, the Mobile Memo.


Ideas Lab

What you get
All mLab SA member benefits plus:

  • Use of mLab SA offices: hot-desking (no reservations – “move your feet, lose your seat”) and use of meeting rooms. This program is also virtual and any member throughout southern Africa can apply.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Connection to Industry Partners.
  • First option on training offered by mLab SA.
  • Access to some training only for Ideas Lab, Accelerator Lab & Launch Lab members.
  • Business intelligence support (if applicable).
  • Support in creating your mobile business plan.

How to join/requirements
To become an Ideas Lab member you:

  • Must be working on a business, either early stage or already existing and have identified a need to mobilize your content or service.
  • Must present your idea/business to mLab SA in a meeting.

Ideas Lab members must present to mLab SA, on a regular basis, to show progress within the two month period from being accepted. If there is no significant progress by the team then membership will be revoked.



Apply to become an Ideas Lab member now.

Accelerator Lab (Founders program)

What you get
All Ideas Lab benefits plus:

  • Permanent seats and private offices will be allocated based on priority and availability identified by mLab SA.
  • Dedicated mentoring and business support from internal and external providers.
  • Full endorsement from mLabsa to those looking for contractors, developers, suppliers.
  • Capacity Support.

How to join/requirements

The same requirements apply as for Ideas Lab members. In addition, to become a Accelerator Lab Founder  you must be selected by the mLabsa Panel based on a viable and sustainable business plan generated through the Ideas Lab. Teams must be dedicated and committed to follow the program over a four month period.

For endorsement as a service provider you must have demonstrated a track record of competence that allows the mLab to endorse you to our partners.

Joining is ad hoc – each team has a bespoke deal structured for them, for example, some members are not based in mLabsa’s offices. They can take offices within mLabsa, at partner incubators & labs or have their own existing office infrastructure.

Each application will be negotiated based on value and investment needed from mLab SA and a mutual agreement will be reached before either party commits to the program.

Apply to become an Accelerator Lab member now.

What we look for

mLab SA aims to be a regional leader in identifying and supporting the growth of sustainable mobile companies and organisations in the knowledge economy. What does that mean? We look for the following from our members:

  • Innovation in the use of mobile apps or services.
  • More than just ideas. We look for business models that are feasible and thought through.
  • Passion and commitment to grow the idea into a sustainable business or organisation.
  • The desire to scale-up the application. We like people who think BIG.
  • Founders must possess at least one of the skills required to venture into mobile e.g technical, design, keen understanding of mobile opportunities, business development etc.

If you think you have what it takes to launch or grow your startup with us, then you should apply. If you are just happy to be part of the mLabsa community for now, then join here.