Propella Futuremakers Hub is the first business hub in South Africa to be fully geared for the disruptive technology that is fuelling the fourth industrial revolution, or “Business 4.0”. The name “Propella” captures what the centre strives to achieve – propellers disrupt the air or water around them while pulling or pushing the craft forward.At thePropella Futuremakers Hub we incubate, accelerate and graduate. Incubatees from both the IT and advanced manufacturing sectors are housed in the same building to encourage cooperation between innovators in a world where the divide between information and physical operations is becoming more and more blurred.
Propella Futuremakers Hub is the result of a partnership between Engeli Enterprise Development (EDD), a private sector business support company and Innovolve, the wholly owned commercialisation company of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). It is a home for innovators with disruptive technology – something which will give manufacturing in the Eastern Cape and the rest of South Africa a competitive global advantage.The partnership arose out of an identified need to support and grow local manufacturing business opportunities resulting from research and development being conducted at the NMMU. The main areas of focus are renewable energy generation, energy efficiency and related technologies and advanced manufacturing.Weekly free workshops help local entrepreneurs to develop expertise on a wide range of subjects, including access to markets, finance options, tendering, marketing and personal development. Seed funding has been provided by the Industrial Development Corporation, as well as General Motors, BASF and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).