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The South African tech startup scene is burning up right now. At every corner there is a new startup competition attempting to pave the way for young entrepreneurs. Greenpop came out tops during the Enterprise Elevator pitch event yesterday. The event was part of an initiative that supports South African “entrepreneurs in the startup or early stage of their development to prepare for and secure an investment partner”.
Greenpop was one of six startups that pitched in front of a panel of judges, which included entrepreneurs and business people.
“We received an overwhelming amount of entries for the pitch event and have been exposed to a number of exciting innovative entrepreneurs solving big social and environmental challenges” said event organiser Max Pichulik. “Our final selection was based on the strength of the applications and interviews — this was by no means an easy task.”
Greenpop — The environmental initiative hopes to educate people about tree planting through social media and other platforms. The founders believe working closely with nature provides a number of benefits – educational, social and environmental. The company argues greening and sustainable living can be fun.
Here are the rest of the finalists:
Future Power Solutions — This startup hopes to use wind power to solve South Africa’s energy crisis – their small vertical turbine is silent, inexpensive and can be practically set up. While most wind power technologies are imported, this one would create local employment opportunities and power the local Green Economy. Future Power Solutions is headed up by Brian Mawdsley.
Iono Broadcasting, — A mobile audio technology that provides customisable teaching content to both teachers and students. User-friendly and affordable, the audio files have the potential to supplement textbooks in schools. Moving into a growth phase, founder Ryan Dingley believes Iono is the perfect solution for accessible educational content in developing countries.
Trashback — This company believes that trash is an untouched resource with lots of potential. It motivates people living in townships across South Africa to recycle and better manage their waste. Trashback’s business model, still in its seed phase, uses a rewards system that offers vouchers in exchange for the amount of recyclables collected, which are then sold on to larger recycling companies.
Youth Village, an online portal provides young people with educational, lifestyle and career content. Founder Bruce Dube wants to create an effective platform where young people can engage, share and identify solutions to issues affecting them, while using the resources at their fingertips.
SpringAGE — This platform is designed to help young South Africans co-create ideas and start new businesses. SpringAGE works with motivated, young people to solve our country’s biggest problems through idea generation and new business creation. Founder Neliswa Fente believes in inspiring the youth and their ability to create opportunities of employment for others.
The finalists also get the opportunity to be fast-tracked into the Unreasonable Institute’s 2013 incubation program in Colorado, USA.
The event was sponsored by U-Start, an incubator project and First National Bank, the finalists will share more than R350 000 worth of prizes; this includes business coaching valued at R550 000 by FutureFit, a person-centred impact entrepreneurship development organisation. As well as investment readiness incubation by Impact Amplifier, an accelerator for impact entrepreneurs, valued at R20 000. The winner will also get a cash prize from FNB.