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.
We are looking for entrepreneurs with solutions that address opportunities in:
- Location technologies
- “Black screen” technology
- 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.
Herman Mashaba To Talk On City Of Jo’burg Job Creation Initiative
Herman Mashaba to talk on City of Jo’burg job creation initiative at 2019 Business Day TV SME Summit.
Leading organisations at the SME Summit
SME Insurance Checklist For New Year
Malesela Maupa, Head of Product and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers, advises SMEs to consider the following factors when reviewing their policies.
Business owners who are planning for the year ahead should not overlook the importance of reviewing their insurance policies to ensure they are adequately covered against insurable risks.
Malesela Maupa, Head of Product and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers says, every year businesses face unique challenges ranging from credit and market risks, technological disruptions, compliance, operational and regulatory risks, amongst others. As a matter of precaution, insurance policies should at least be reviewed or updated once a year.
He advises SMEs to consider the following factors when reviewing their policies:
- Employee movements – if there are any employees who have left or joined the company, ensure that your policy is updated accordingly.
This type of cover normally depends on the role and contribution of the employee to the business. For instance, directors may be covered for Key Person Insurance and Directors & Officers Liability insurance.
- Protest Actions – this year is the national election year and leading up to elections we can expect to see an increase in the frequency and severity of protest actions, riots and strikes. Thus, it is essential to ensure that adequate special risks cover is in place from the South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA).
SASRIA provides cover to both individuals and businesses against special risks like civil commotion, public disorder, strikes, riots and terrorism at affordable premiums.
- Cyber risks – it is essential to communicate with your insurer or broker and find out if there are any new risks that your business should be protected against. Cyber incidents continue to be a major risk for businesses especially in the SME sector. Over the last couple of years there has been a major increase in the number of reported cyber incidences.
More businesses are now facing increased cyber threats due to their increased dependency on technology, relating to their internal and customer data being compromised by fraudsters. It is therefore essential to have some form of cyber risk insurance cover and/or enhancement of data security protocols.
- Regulatory changes – every year there are a number of regulatory changes that impact businesses directly or indirectly, which may result in fines and penalties for non-compliance.
- Natural catastrophes – the increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather conditions, coupled with intensifying natural catastrophes will continue to have a significant impact on businesses.
Businesses should ensure they are adequately protected against these risks to avoid incurring sever financial losses.
- Business changes – should a business consider moving to a new location, purchasing new premises or venture into new business activities, these types of changes could have a major impact on its risks profile. As a result, the policy needs to be updated accordingly.
- New and Enhanced products – An innovative culture has taken over the insurance industry and ever so often we see the introduction of new products or the enhancement of existing products. Get in touch with you broker to advise you on any new products that might add value to your existing insurance portfolio.
“Reviewing your policy regularly gives you peace of mind knowing that you can focus on running your business effectively, without worrying about unforeseen risks,” concludes Maupa.
Seven Reasons Businesses Should Promote Flexible Working
By Paul Burrin, VP, Sage People
What hours did you work yesterday? Chances are, it wasn’t 9-5.
The world of work as we know it is changing. With new technology making it easier to work anywhere, anytime, the traditional 9-5 is effectively dead.
Having flexibility in their working schedule is now a key priority for employees, helping them to successfully juggle work and personal responsibilities.
In fact, more than 80% of 3,500 employees Sage People polled globally placed importance and value on flexible and remote working.
Valuing a work life balance has become increasingly important – whether this is to meet family needs, personal obligations or just to avoid rush hour – it is clear that giving employees increased control over their work schedule is good for employees, making it good for business.
With that in mind, here are seven reasons business leaders should be embracing the benefits of flexible working.
1. The world of work has changed
The line between work life and home life is much more blurred than it was just a few years ago.
For example, it’s now common for people to demand virtual meetings, the ability to work from home, and even have ‘duvet days’ when required, rather than having to suffer through the dreaded commute for hours every day.
Furthermore, modern work responsibilities are often cross-functional, requiring staff to interact with more people in different time zones.
As a result, constraints on how, where and when we work should be updated to reflect this cultural shift.
Businesses must be prepared to accept that the working world has changed if they want to truly motivate and engage employees.
2. There’s a war for talent
With top talent becoming more challenging to attract and retain, many industries are facing widespread skills shortages.
This means in-demand employees can be more selective – and the desire for flexibility is a key factor.
For example, a recent study found that 54% of people would be willing to move jobs to gain greater flexibility.
Employers who offer flexible working will attract the best talent and will also be more likely to retain these employees for longer.
3. Flexible working boosts productivity
Workforce productivity has become a global issue. Our research shows that employees are typically working only 30 hours a week, which means there’s a whole day when they’re in the office, but not actually working.
What’s more, most people who work a 40-hour week feel they are productive for only 3.75 days out of the 5-day working week.
Revolutionising productivity in new ways, such as giving employees the freedom to work in the way that best suits them, could go a long way towards narrowing the productivity gap and enabling businesses to get the most out of their staff.
4. Flexible working empowers employees, and shows you trust them
Our research also found that workers want to feel valued and recognised, with two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed seeing this as the most important aspect of their working life.
For many, this is more vital than office perks like games in the office or free food.
Giving employees the freedom to work in their own way shows they are a valued and trusted member of the team. It also empowers them to perform to a high standard and be as productive as possible.
5. It supports worker wellbeing
The health and wellbeing of staff has become more of a priority for businesses in recent years, while also being increasingly vital for employees themselves.
Over a third of employees polled (39%) believe HR and people teams could do more to improve wellness at work, with initiatives such as providing fresh fruit or offering a subsidised gym membership now proving popular.
Flexible working can help in this area by reducing stress (no more mad dashes in heavy traffic), making it something companies need to pay attention to.
6. Employees want flexible working
One of the most important reasons for businesses to embrace flexible working is simply because it’s what staff want.
According to Fuze, nearly 50% of workers across all generations want to be more mobile at work, rising to 70% for those aged 16-44.
Employees want to be able to pick up their kids from school, start and finish early if they have international calls first thing in the morning, or be able to head to a doctor’s appointment without fear they may be considered to be slacking.
Businesses would therefore be wise to listen to what their employees want and respond accordingly.
7. Technology has changed
The most straightforward argument for remote working is that staff simply no longer need to be in the office to do their jobs effectively.
Most workers now have all the tools they need on their smartphones and tablets, which means they can comfortably work from anywhere – a coffee shop between meetings, their home, or somewhere they can work undistracted.
For example, cloud technology gives employees secure access to documents externally, while collaboration and communication tools enable staff to work together from opposite sides of the globe.
Isn’t it time the way we work changed to reflect these capabilities?
Ultimately, enabling flexible working should be a focus for all businesses. From aiding talent retention, to creating positive workplace experiences – which is important to 92% of people – the long- and short-term benefits could prove invaluable.
Most importantly, giving employees flexibility will result in a happier, more engaged and more productive workforce.
In an age of continuing disruption and increasing competition, that’s not something businesses can afford to ignore.
Download Sage People’s research on what employees really want from their employers.
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