Innovation Entanglement at Three South African Tech Hubs13 December 2020
This study explores innovation modalities at three South African tech hubs: Bandwidth Barn Khayelitsha and Workshop 17 in Cape Town, and the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Johannesburg. The study finds that tech start-ups’ ability to scale is generally enhanced by their participation in the hubs. Furthermore, it is found that scaling by start-ups, and by the tech hubs hosting them, is enhanced when they actively drive the terms of their “entanglement” with exogenous and endogenous factors and external entities—a conceptual framework first developed in an earlier study of university research linkages (Abrahams, 2016). This present study finds that innovation entanglement by the hubs and their start-ups allows them to work through the adversity and states of complexity prevalent in their innovation ecosystems.