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Innovation

  • Just five days left to post solutions for MIT Solve’s global challenges

    Solutions for MIT Solve's four open global challenges are due next Sunday (1 July). The challenges offer selected "solvers" more than $650 000 in potential funding. MIT's Solve initiative seeks to crowd-solve four global challenges -- economic prosperity, health, learning, and sustainability -- through open innovation. Innovators who make it into this year's Solver class will each receive $10 000 in funding from MIT Solve Innovators from around the world can submit solutions to the challenges regardless of their stage of development. Finalists for each challenge will be selected by experts and industry leaders to attend a live pitch event where the best...

  • SA social enterprises have a week left to apply for Google Impact Challenge

    South African non-profits and social enterprises with innovative ideas regarding economic opportunity creation within their communities have until next week Wednesday (4 July) to apply for Google's Impact Challenge South Africa. The initiative, which is running for the first time in South Africa, provides 12 selected finalists with access to between $125 000 and $250 000 in grant funding, mentorship and other resources. The top four winners of the Google Impact Challenge South Africa will each receive a $250 000 grant A panel of local judges, which includes Basetsana Khumalo, Yvone Chaka Chaka, BCX chief digital officer and founder of Rekindle Learning...

  • Third annual MEST Africa Summit now underway in Cape Town

    The third annual MEST Africa Summit is now underway in Cape Town. The conference, which kicked off last night, will see investors, corporates and startups discuss the challenges and opportunities for startups as they scale to new African markets. Over 200 attendees from over 40 countries are expected at the summit, which takes place at Avenue Cape Town, a conference venue in the Waterfront, to listen to over 65 speakers. These include among others, MTN CTO Herman Singh, Facebook's Europe Middle East and Africa director of platform partnerships Julien Decot and Merck Accelerator head Munya Chivasa. The last day of the MEST Africa Summit will...

  • Ugandan behind malaria test kit wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

    Uganda software engineer Brian Gitta has been crowned the winner of the £25 000 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation for his Matibabu malaria test kit that enables users to conduct tests without having to draw blood. Gitta's test kit -- which uses a laser to detect changes in the shape, colour, and concentration of red blood cells, all of which are affected by malaria -- was selected ahead of three other finalists whose innovations included a tamper-proof electricity meter, and a textbook-sized mini-science lab. The Matibabu malaria test kit uses a laser to detect changes in the shape, colour, and concentration of red blood cells,...

  • KZN company headed by two women clinches FNB Business Innovation Awards

    The Saryx Engineering Group, a Richards Bay (KZN) based company headed by two women, was last night selected as the winner of the 2018 FNB Business Innovation Awards. The company was founded by Ingrid Osborne (pictured above) and Julie Mathieson in 2009 and develops innovative control and automation, as well as safety compliance solutions. FNB will sponsor the two to travel to Argentina in September where they will participate in an Endeavor International Selection Panel. Saryx Engineering Group was selected ahead of eight other finalists which included CompanyHQ, Howler, GAAP Point-of-Sale, NewSpace Systems, Olympic Paints, Pargo, Rhino Africa, and Skynamo. Sarynx Engineering Group founders Ingrid Osborne and Julie Mathieson Commenting on...

  • Here are the four finalists of £25 000 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

    A device that conducts fast malaria tests, a process that affordably recovers precious metals from autocatalytic converters, a tamper-proof electricity meter and a textbook-sized mini science lab. The four innovators behind these four innovations were yesterday selected by the London-based Royal Academy of Engineering as finalists of this year's Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. The four will pitch their innovations to a panel of judges on 13 June in Nairobi where the winner will receive £25 000, with £10 000 awarded to each of the runners up. The prize, which was first launched in 2014, aims to develop the entrepreneurial skills of engineers on the continent. In a statement yesterday...

  • Tap wisdom of others and have fun says Michael Jordaan in talk on leadership

    Good leaders are those that are able to tap and best utilise the wisdom of those around them. So, says venture capitalist and former FNB head Michael Jordaan. "The thing I learnt (while heading First National Bank between  2004 and 2013) is that if you can get the wisdom out of the best people in the room, that is quite amazing. "That also puts the conventional wisdom on its head -- that the leader is meant to know everything, that the leader is supposed to know the answer," says Jordaan, who today invests in startups through his venture capital (VC) company Montegray Capital. Jordaan...

  • Developing digital payments solutions? Here are the markets you should focus on

    A recent report by Visa shows net benefits businesses, consumers and authorities would gain if they transitioned from cash-based economies to full digital payments. The Cashless Cities: Realising the benefits of digital payments report -- which was compiled by economics and research firm Roubini ThoughtLab -- is based off data drawn from 3000 consumers and 900 businesses across six cities, which was then extrapolated to 94 cities around the world. Read more: Move to full digital payments could net Joburg over $3bn in benefits a year In all, the study covers 100 cities from 80 countries around the world. An infographic at the bottom of the...

  • Move to full digital payments could net Joburg over $3bn in benefits a year

    Businesses, consumers and authorities in the city of Johannesburg could gain $3.4-billion in net benefits by moving 100% of financial transactions conducted in the city to digital payments, estimates a new study by Visa. The report -- The Cashless Cities: Realising the benefits of digital payments -- was compiled by economics and evidence-based research firm Roubini ThoughtLab and released last week. The data was initially drawn from a study of 3000 consumers and 900 businesses that Roubini ThoughtLab conducted in 2016 across six cities -- Bangkok, Chicago, Lagos, Sao Paolo, Stockholm and Tokyo. Researchers looked at factors such as the cost-benefit impact of physical...

  • Here are six tips on strategy we learnt from Getsmarter’s Sam Paddock

    For most entrepreneurs, delivering the right strategy can not only decide the fate of the business but also influence how and if a business can scale. For Cape Town-based edtech startup Getsmarter, four years ago, a growing business necessitated a change in strategy. "We were scaling up the organisation, that comes with its set of challenges. We needed to reboot," said Getsmarter CEO Sam Paddock, speaking at an event held last week Thursday at Rise Cape Town. Paddock (pictured above) said at the time the company "ended up hitting its own ceiling". "At 70 people, things were falling over, processes weren't working as well...