Innovation City and the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation launch the Tutu Tribe Entrepreneurship Academy

Cape Town – 26th May 2022

The Tutu Tribe Entrepreneurship Academy was presented on Saturday the 21st of May at an intimate dinner hosted by Sir Richard Branson at his Mont Rochelle farm in Franschhoek, Cape Town. 

The creation of the Academy falls in line with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation’s core work:The Courage to Heal, which includes showcasing and training moral and ethical leadership which embodies the values of the esteemed Founders. 

The trifecta partnership is buoyed by Virgin Unite’s ethos towards changing business for good, and being a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit, helping early stage entrepreneurs build credible business plans for growth that have a positive impact in the world. 

In this vein, the Tutu Tribe Entrepreneurship Academy aims to provide selected entrepreneurs and startups with the advantage to realize their professional dreams, and build great companies in an environment that historically is not associated with business success stories. The objective is to provide the world’s best opportunities to learn through peer knowledge and sharing, and to give hands-on support to develop dynamic networks.

Stephan Ekbergh, Co-founder of Innovation City said: “There are many similar initiatives trying to uplift the people trying to work in a fragmented and highly disjointed, low-trust market. The Tutu Tribe Entrepreneurship Academy will achieve these goals where others have failed by delivering a program which brings together passionate entrepreneurs to make real magic!” 

The advantage to partnering with Innovation City lies in the ability to scale faster with direct in-house access to coaching and mentorship, as well as world-class services and functions like legal assistance, marketing, PR, and accounting advice, plus active matchmaking with other Innovation City members which include the top corporates, VCs and tech companies in South Africa.

The Innovation City advantage also includes personal introductions to investors and access to an international network of successful people and companies. “The program is built on the knowledge of what scaling startups actually need. It’s not a marketing exercise, it’s not matchmaking on the surface and it’s not a mingle. This is about rolling up our sleeves, going deep and solving real and understood challenges. Our programs are made by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs,” said Ekbergh. 

“We believe that the secret ingredient lies in the fact that our programs are built by world-class, super-inspiring entrepreneurs and coaches, who have scaled businesses many times before,” said Kieno Kammies, Co-founder of Innovation City. 

The launch was well-attended, with Sir Richard Branson sharing some memories of the late Archbishop, as well as interesting anecdotes on morals, manners and speaking well about people. It was clear that he felt that the continent of Africa is definitely an overall moral role model for the world. 

Generous pledges were made to support the Academy, as well as invitations to partner with the Academy to uplift those in need.