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Launchlab’s Ideas Pitching Platform Final Showcases Local Entrepreneurial Talent

Local entrepreneurial talent shines at LaunchLab’s Pitching Platform.





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.

Related: Pitch In Person For 2016 Launchlab’s Pitching Platform

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.

Related: MultiChoice Partners With LaunchLab To Drive Breakthrough Innovation Challenge

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.

Paid Media:

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,

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Entrepreneur Today

Win A Seat At 10X-e’s 10X-ECUTION Bootcamp (Valued At R5900)

Automatically receive 20% off the Bootcamp just by entering!






Transform chaos into systematically achieving business goals, at scale. Hosted by founder, Jason Goldberg

Enter by emailing your company name, your name and your designation to Monique:

About 10X-e:

Scaling – the Bermuda Triangle of growth – is hard, and fraught with failure. Very few of even the top 1% of ventures succeed at scaling, mostly due to poor execution, due to lack of experience scaling businesses. The 10X Program brings the ‘Science of Scale’ and seasoned Scale Up Leaders to help founders navigate the Bermuda Triangle of growth

Our team has helped some of the Continent’s most exciting high growth businesses scale up through the most treacherous parts of the journey. We tailor make multiple workshops to the specific needs of you, your team, and your business. Our workshops serve to address the most pressing challenges that your business faces, helping remove the hurdles towards 10X growth.

For more information on 10X-e, visit: 

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Entrepreneur Today

Off The Beaten Track

What Tourism Month means in South Africa and how Mango Airlines is focusing on local opportunities.





This September, being Tourism Month, we have so much to talk about in South Africa, and so many people to engage with, both domestically and abroad. We are privileged to be able to leverage a broad range of destinations – arguably world-class in nature, and they expand way beyond a beautiful mountain, and an ecosystem of game.

The vast majority of leisure tourists, however, remain attracted to the Mother City and various Safari destination, while business tourists tend to stick to hub cities for short durations of time before departing again.

“There is a golden opportunity to expand on the same offerings – while not detracting from them in any way. Our responsibility is to drive tourism into new areas, really emphasising the differentiators that are incredibly attractive to local and international tourists,” said Benediction Zubane, Head of Marketing at Mango Airlines.

“Often tourists visit one of the more well-known sites in an area, and are completely unaware of the other features and destinations close by. We’re seeing a lot of success in township tourism which goes to show how diversifying can really drive new tourism opportunities,” explained Zubane.

Related: Travel Tour Agency Sample Business Plan

According to Statistics South Africa survey on Tourism and Migration, nearly 3.5 million international travellers visited South Africa in August 2017. Top numbers were tourists from USA, UK, Germany, France and The Netherlands, with African visitors primarily coming from SADC countries. Zubane added, “This means there is vast opportunity to begin engaging with travellers in new countries across the globe. We need to become our own best ambassador, talking-up our famous and lesser known destinations, proudly showcases our uniqueness. We should also be tourists in our own country and start exploring the wonders of the Rainbow Nation.”

Mango is passionate about helping its SMEs and entrepreneurial community to successfully overcome the unique challenges facing the tourism industry: “There has never been a more opportune time for small businesses and entrepreneurs to benefit positively from tourism in South Africa, and we hope to celebrate alongside our SME community as they fly high – both literally and figuratively,” he concludes.

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Entrepreneur Today

FNB Receives 50 Million US-Dollars To Accelerate SME Development

First National Bank puts their focus on SME development in South Africa.





First National Bank (FNB) has received 50 million US-dollars from the DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft to deploy towards small and medium enterprise (SME) development in South Africa.

DEG is a development finance institution whose mission is to promote private-sector enterprises in developing and emerging-market countries as a contribution to sustainable growth and improved living conditions.

Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business says: “The new line of funding contributes to our ongoing efforts to accelerate our contribution to SME development in South Africa. We believe that SMEs are key to stimulating sustainable economic growth and job creation. Our intervention in SME development is not only limited to funding, we also invest heavily to improve capacity and supplier development capabilities in small businesses.”

FNB continues to pioneer products and services that have taken the angst out of South Africa’s entrepreneurs, from providing free instant accounting services to online documents reservation services, and forming public-private partnerships to digitise the registration of businesses.

“Our message to entrepreneurs is that we remain committed to providing meaningful solutions to help them grow. We have exciting developments that will take us further in our journey, all aimed at advancing the SME agenda by taking the anguish out of doing business,” concludes Vacy-Lyle.

Related: The 10 Most Reliable Ways To Fund A Start-up

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