In 2018, the Swiss Academia Industry Training (AIT) programme was added to the SSABDP. The AIT aims to connect scientists from top institutions in Switzerland with India, Brazil andSouth Africa, to promote an international network and enable access to promising markets and intellectual capital in applied research. The 10 Swiss entrepreneurs who attended a one-week market discovery programme in Cape Town, which ran parallel to the SSABDP Advanced Workshop, gained commendable experience in the South African business environment. The programme included workshops with local business experts, company visits and sessions with the South African start-ups.
Of the 85 entrepreneurs who reached the Venture Leader phase, 59% are still in business and a number of them were very successful in raising funding for their ventures. The startups raised more than R250 million by the end of 2017, of which 30 received funding from TIA and 17 raised funding from other institutions in the NSI. Two of the start-ups raised international venture capital investment and were invited to join venture capital accelerator programmes in South Africa.