Design Innovation Seed Fund supports more Cape Town businesses

Posted on: 9. January 2023

After opening a new round of applications in July 2022, the Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF) has now met its target with regards to the number of projects onboarded in its current allocation of funding. The DISF is a project of the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) in Cape Town.


In the July 2022 application phase, 156 applications were received, and the project contracted the final local innovations.


The DISF funds designers, inventors, entrepreneurs and product developers with pre-revenue innovative technologies and tech-enabled ideas and products on an 80:20 split. These individuals/businesses are not able to raise funds easily from traditional banks or funding agencies because of the high risk associated with early-stage innovations.

The DISF is a project of the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) with investment funds provided by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and support from the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) – Cape Town is the capital city of the Western Cape province. The DISF is managed by CDI Capital

 – a niche emerging impact funder, and subsidiary of the CDI non-profit.

Earlier this year CDI published an Impact Report which explored the cases of some of the local innovations supported to year-end 2021, and showed that the DISF seed funding also enabled the projects supported so far to generate R139m in further investment from public and private sources, and create 256 jobs. And as at the end of quarter two of 2022, the fund has now disbursed R3.47m in total in the current round of funding.