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Entrepreneurs are important. They help drive economies by creating jobs and their disruption of industries can help push innovation forward. Giving them a helping hand is therefore pretty important, which is what the Global Forum, currently taking place in East London, South Africa is all about.
And now, Ventureburn can reveal the top five startups from the event’s Dragons’ Den contest. The winners, selected from the top 20 we wrote about recently, are in reverse order of ranking: Amant Antennas, Microforester, Afroes, Mpayer and the winner GreenGar.
In winning the contest, Amant Antennas and Microforester both net themselves US$5 000, while Afroes and Mpayer each landed US$8 000. As the winner GreenGar earned itself US$12 000 in prize money.
The Global Forum is hosted in partnership with the South African Department of Science and Technology and infoDev, a global partnership program in the World Bank Group. “Its mission is to enable innovative entrepreneurship for sustainable, inclusive growth and employment in developing countries,” says the event site.
The Global Forum, which is in its fifth year, is an impressive event that attracts around 500 — 600 business incubator managers, policy-makers, SME entrepreneurs, financiers and development agencies from all continents for a unique south-south and north-south networking and knowledge-sharing experience.
Fifty entrepreneurs that were invited to the event were chosen from various startup competitions such as DEMO Africa and the like. Entrepreneurs that applied were required to motivate their inclusion into the top 50. Like most competition, the list has been narrowed down to 20 companies following a round of pitching to a judging panel.
Below is a reminder of what each startup does:
Amant Antennas — Amant Antennas focuses on wireless design innovation.
MicroForester — MicroForester is involved with planting trees in developing nations and remote regions. They offer a cheaper mobile app to help people perform tree-planting in order to stimulate reforestation.
Afroes — Afroes focuses on “digital media solutions” like games to create powerful educational and social messages.
Zege Technologies (Mpayer) — Mpayer is a mobile and web solution that enables businesses to accept and track any form of payment such as mobile money or cash. It also allows businesses to back up transactions to analyze customer development and growth and also engage with their customers intelligently.
GreenGar — An application development company, its interests span over a range of categories with broad appeal. The most popular apps are Whiteboard: Collaborative Drawing and Brain Tuner. The company now mainly focuses on making presentation and collaboration more productive.