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Using our NextLevel Enterprise and Supplier Development solution, the TSIBA Ignition Academy together with RCS co-created LevelUp, a flagship supplier development, and innovation programme. The programme successfully graduated its first 6 enterprises in December 2019. All six businesses remain actively involved in the Fellows Programme where LevelUp continues to support and provide access to resources for them. 

Rudi Visser, Head: Innovation, RCS:

RCS started its relationship with the TSiBA Ignition Academy team in 2018, with a view to create a new structure that would allow RCS to pursue its B-BBEE objectives. From the beginning the partnership was based on a shared vision of what we wanted to create, we had a clear overlap of ambition about how we could contribute to the challenge faced by South Africa and its small businesses. We worked closely together to determine the strategy and to build the required team to support the strategy and within a few weeks, LevelUp was born. It is a model of open innovation and cross-corporate collaboration, merging the lanes of enterprise and supplier development with innovation strategy. We call it corporate adjacency – the 3rd place between a start-up focussed accelerator and a corporate focussed R&D department. 

What we have been able to achieve in the 2 years since we started LevelUp has been amazing, with 90% of our first cohort graduating into our alumni program and on-boarding of our second cohort and the recruitment of a third in progress. The team’s capacity and capability has grown with the acceleration of the value proposition of the program – to include not just tailored business development support but also real project experience to help facilitate the true value of a program like ours, real work for the cohort through access to market and networks and marketing and ecosystem support. The perfect marriage of strategic and operational capability made TIA the only choice for RCS, not only because they had the experience and network to fulfil, but also the passion and the will to grow with us as the project developed and new visions emerged.”


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