News / Announcing Techqala 2018 - Business innovation/Start-up accelerator in Cape Town

posted on: July 31, 2018

Techqala vision

After taking a break last year, we’re delighted to announce that Unboxed will be running Techqala again this year.

What is Techqala?

Techqala is part startup accelerator, part innovation camp and part bonding experience. Based in Cape Town, it brings together local South African startups and international corporate innovators for an immersive week of learning and creative business thinking.

The days are loosely structured as follows:

  • Early morning gathering for breakfast and conversation
  • Workshops to explore concepts around Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Agile principles
  • Free time to apply the concepts to the startup businesses
  • Re-group to explore the learnings and socialise

With Cape Town specific activities thrown in such as a trip up Table Mountain or wine-tasting on a local wine farm, this really is an opportunity to escape the day job and explore some radical thinking.

Why do we do it?

Launched in 2015 and further developed in 2016, Techqala was conceived of as a way to combine two of our passions - supporting purpose-led startups and driving innovation and change in large, complex organisations.

Why should you join us?

Whether a startup founder or an established business leader, Techqala will give you:

  • Inspiration and ideas to innovate and transform
  • Techniques to adopt, adapt and share
  • Space and time to think differently
  • Lasting relationships with extraordinary people

Everyone who participates in Techqala has a transformational experience. Here are some of their stories.

Toby Garrood and Roisin Fitsimons, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

“Techqala was an extraordinary experience. Spending time with the team completely transformed the way we think about our services at Guy’s and St Thomas’. We are still developing ideas that came out of that week in Cape Town nearly two years later.”

Toby Garrood, Clinical Director, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (attended 2016 with Roisin Fitzsimons, Allergy Service Lead for Quality, Patient Experience and Transformation)

Buntu Sithole, Cape Town Entrepreneur

“Techqala is an amazing experience, filled with an amazing energy. It’s a unique opportunity to hone your innovation skills through profiling, lean startup processes and the Business Model Generation. Techqala is a home where you can feel comfortable exchanging ideas with brilliant people from many different backgrounds. Techqala is both highly challenging and deeply supportive, it’s a week I won’t miss for anything!”

Buntu Sithole, Idealist, innovator, autodidact, INTP-A and entrepreneur from Cape Town (attended in 2015 and 2016)

Richard Stobart, Chargy, Unboxed and Techqala

“Techqala deploys cutting edge startup methodology from Europe to the heart of South Africa - supporting real entrepreneurs as they start their companies via an exciting, energy-packed programme. It is the most rewarding and enjoyable week of my year.”

Richard Stobart, Founder of, Unboxed and Techqala

The plan this year

As with everything at Unboxed, we take an agile approach - learning by doing, adapting as we go and iterating frequently. This year, we’re condensing the experience into 5 days from the 4th - 8th December - three intense learning days with a day at each end to travel, settle and relax. We’ve also decided to set a theme for 2018 - we’re focussing on sustainable health and wellbeing.

What does it cost?

We don’t run Techqala for profit, but we do like to cover costs.

If you work for an established organisation then you organise your flights and accommodation and make a contribution to cover costs (we suggest £300 per person)

If you are a startup based in South Africa, as long as you’ve got somewhere to stay, there is nothing pay.

Design thinking workshop

Get involved

There are limited spaces so we have to be selective. Please register your interest on the Eventbrite page and let us know why you want to come.