At an excitement-filled evening, the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab concluded another successful Ideas Programme on 19 May 2016, when eleven aspiring entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges and a live audience.
The Ideas Programme, a bi-annual competition run on all four of the public university campuses in the Western Cape as well as at the technical vocational education training institution, False Bay College is open to all students and other aspiring entrepreneurs from the broader community in the Western Cape.
This semester’s Ideas Programme was enabled through support from Alchemy-A as well as partners, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Nedbank, Innovus and Stellenbosch University (SU). Participants were able to submit business ideas as solutions to challenges posed by industry partners within the following categories: Fintech & Big Data, Paid Media, Edutech, Agritech & Food, Cleantech and Exceptional. The Ideas Programme is a platform for industry partners to access breakthrough innovation that the LaunchLab can then incubate on their behalf.
The LaunchLab is an initiative of Innovus, SU’s industry interaction and innovation company. Led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Anita Nel, Innovus is responsible for innovation, entrepreneurial support and development.
“I am delighted about how the programme has grown since 2012 and am very pleased with the level of entrepreneurs and ideas pitched at the final event. It is encouraging to see how this programme is contributing to enabling a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Western Cape. This affirms that this programme is an ideal platform for young entrepreneurs to test the viability of their ideas and we are want to thank key ecosystem partners like government, universities and industry for their continued support,” comments Nel.
Philip Marais, the CEO of the LaunchLab announced the winners, saying, “These winners are not only an exciting sample of what our local entrepreneurs are up to but also provide valuable products and services that our corporate partners can benefit from.We believe the LaunchLab can provide a valuable service to industry giving them access to innovative and disruptive business ideas as well as playing an important role of facilitating collaboration between big business and start-ups. Both big business and start-ups have strengths the other does not have that we can help them to leverage to their mutual benefit,” adds Marais.
The LaunchLab received a total of 115 business pitch entries. Eleven finalists pitched at the Pitching Platform final and, the judges chose five winners who each won a share of seed funding which is to be used to launch or grow their businesses.
Here are the vertical category winners, with an indication of the seed funding allocation:
Fintech & Big Data:
BriteCap (R10,000): Tool for finding and paying lower-skilled employees
MyGrow (R10,000): Online platform for delivering emotional intelligence learning.
Scryo (R10,000): Technology enabling extremely lightweight on-screen audio and on-screen writing as a tutoring service for learners.
NewsForce (R30,000): Crowd-sourced news content with a bounty attached to items in demand.
Sxuirrel (R20,000): On demand marketplace for storage needs.
To learn more about LaunchLab please visit, www.launchlab.co.za.