3 LaunchLab Breakthrough Innovation Platforms

3 LaunchLab Breakthrough Innovation Platforms

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The Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab encourages innovators from all walks of life to put forward their innovative ideas and concepts in our breakthrough Innovation challenges below.

Specifically we are working with Mercedes-Benz (world leading mobility company) looking at improving their operations and marketing in South Africa, Santam (short term insurance) on improving safety in South Africa and ATTACQ (commercial property developer) on smart city technology that they can use in their developments, including the new Waterfall City in Gauteng.

1Win your share of R150 000 ATTACQ seed-funding in our Smart Cities Innovation Challenge!

The world of retail is changing, and ATTACQ has decided to take it up another level, by bringing technologies into ATTACQ’s properties, including Waterfall City, to make it the premier location in Gauteng to live, work and play.

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We are looking for entrepreneurs with solutions that address opportunities in:

  • Location technologies
  • Transportation
  • Security
  • “Black screen” technology
  • Loyalty
  • Technology to improve experiences in spaces where people live, work and play.

So don’t miss this opportunity to make your business idea become a reality – book your pitching slot today to stand a chance to become the innovative driver of smart urban development in Africa!

Throughout the challenge, progress and news will be shared online and on social media platforms, utilizing the hashtag #ATTACQSmartChallenge.

Visit www.launchlab.co.za/attacq for more information.


2Calling all Safety innovators to submit their #Santamsafetyideas ideas now!

The Santam Safety Campaign encourages South Africans from all walks of life to put forward innovative ideas and concepts that have the potential to help keep South Africans safe. The campaign which was launched in July last year has generated more than 150 entries from across South Africa.

The top finalists selected in the inaugural phase were all worthy contenders for the title and an incubation prize valued at R150 000. The opportunity to participate in an incubation process saw their concepts or ideas being developed into working prototypes – and possible, viable business ventures.

If you have a workable concept or idea that relates to home, vehicle or business safety that can help keep South Africa safe, you can enter by following this process:

  • Submit a short video entry online at santam.co.za/safetyideas before 29 September 2017, explaining your idea. Register online to attend a workshop in the dates and times available to further understand the requirements before submitting your entry.
  • Between 15 and 20 finalists will be chosen based on originality, market attractiveness, how long it will take to get the product out to market, and applicability.
  • A panel of experts will select the 10 best concepts, which will receive seed funding to cover mentorship and incubation at the LaunchLab.
  • Prototypes and high-level business plans will be developed for the 10 best concepts in an intensive, 14-week LaunchLab Knowledge Acceleration Programme.
  • After a 4- to 6-month Countdown Programme, in which extensive mentoring and coaching will take place, the top final business plans will be presented to a panel of Santam and Sanlam investors.

For further information, visit https://www.santam.co.za/safetyideas/.

Throughout the challenge, progress and news will be shared online and on social media platforms, utilising the hashtag #SantamSafetyIdeas.


3Mercedes-Benz South Africa Innovation Challenge

The Mercedes-Benz South Africa Innovation Challenge will target two streams. It will ask interested students and professionals (as a first stream) and existing start-ups (as a second stream) to pitch their innovative ideas around a set of challenges, tailor-made to advanced manufacturing and benchmark sales and marketing topics, as identified by Mercedes-Benz South Africa.

The challenge spans various topics – ranging from:

  • big data and machine learning for manufacturing,
  • the digitisation of logistics and production,
  • app-based solutions for the evaluation of the condition of pre-owned vehicles,
  • chatbot solutions for manufacturing learning and many more.

All interested parties can register for their pitching slot at: www.launchlab.co.za/mbsainnovationchallenge

Throughout the challenge, progress and news will be shared online and on social media platforms, utilising the hashtag #MBSAInnovationChallenge

A shortlist of candidates/teams in both streams will then be notified and enter the second phase of the process where the ideas will be polished and benefit from access to Mercedes-Benz South Africa, Daimler AG and STARTUP AUTOBAHN expert role-players.

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Where will the LaunchLab be recording pitches?

The LaunchLab breakthrough Innovation Pitching Platform will kick-start on participating campuses around the country;

  • Stellenbosch University (SU) – 11 & 28 September
  • The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) – 14 September
  • The University of Johannesburg (UJ) – 19 September
  • WITS University – 21 September
  • Central University of Technology Free State- 27 September
  • The University of Pretoria – 20 September

Who is eligible to enter these innovation challenges?

The contest is open to all aspiring entrepreneurs, from student and non-student communities, ranging from concept to an existing business, running until the 29th of September. It is a platform that provides a great opportunity for aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas in the different innovation challenges and stand a chance to win their share of seed funding for direct business needs and LaunchLab incubation support to the value of R150 000.

How does one enter?

Participants can enter their business ideas by doing an informal 3-minute video pitch – recorded at the various campuses mentioned above or can be submitted online at the following links provided under each challenge. Entrants may pitch more than one idea, but only one idea can win!

Each of the brand representatives, experienced entrepreneurs, academics and representatives from the local investor community have been selected as judges and will determine the winning ideas at the final events. In each section below is a brief overview of what each innovation challenge requires from the interested party.

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