Our sister organisation, Innovation Edge, is 1000 days old!
The first 1000 days of life is the most rapid period for brain development and growth. The first 1000 days for a new business is also a critical time – filled with opportunities for learning and connecting.
This is the story of the first 1000 days of the Innovation Edge.
Innovation Edge was founded by Ilifa, in partnership with Omidyar Network, in 2014 as a solution to extending our capacity to transform early learning through innovation.
Innovation Edge is a grant-making and investment fund that supports unconventional ideas with the potential to solve early learning challenges in under-resourced communities. The organisation provides strategic, financial and technical assistance to transform brilliant ideas into workable concepts, and supporting their transition to scale.
In its infancy (year 1) Innovation Edge focused on experimentation with sourcing ideas and developing its approach to Proof of Concept. By its second birthday, the organisation had invested in 22 South African projects, 6 successful Proof of Concepts and four transitions to scale.
Some notable investments include the EarlyBird Educare@Work which provides high-quality educare at work places, the Early Learning Outcome Measure (ELOM), and social impact bonds for ECD.
Now in its third year, Innovation Edge has progressed to having 30 investments in South Africa and Lesotho. It continues experimentation with new ideas, but with a larger focus on transition to scale.