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If you’re heading up a concept or startup stage venture, you might find Startup Knight worth your time. The Cape Town-based competition slash mini-accelerator, is prepared to buy your innovative, concept phase idea for R100 000. More mature or “startup phase” companies can walk away with an acceleration bundle: a R100 000 development contract and an additional and R100 000 marketing prize.
The competition, run by software company Byte Orbit, is coming back for round two. The inaugural version of Startup Knight produced one winner, Easy2Map, a map applications startup, that went on to secure additional funding from Google for Entrepreneurs. Easy2Map’s founders Dylan Kohlstadt and Steven Ellis subsequently launched a spinoff company called My Door Handle, which landed them an invitation to attend the Google for Entrepreneurs and BlackBox.vc entrepreneurial accelerator programme in San Francisco.
Easy2Map’s two WordPress plugins Easy2Map Photos and Easy2Map have amassed 8 313 downloads in total to date. Byte Orbit COO, Martin Ras says that Bye Orbit is currently working with the startup to enhance and expand its startup’s product portfolio.
Working with startups is part of the Startup Knight experience. The idea is promote, support and embrace South Africa’s technology startups with a “disruptive competition platform,” and that means partnering with the winners in order to provide ongoing support. Since the competition is hosted and sponsored by a software based company, Startup Knight is in a position to provide infrastructure and professional support.
The the team that wins the “startup phase” of the competition will receive R100 000 worth of software development from Byte Orbit. The additional R100 000 P.R. prize will see Byte Orbit working with the startup to jointly come up with a marketing plan. Depending on the needs of the winning startup the plan may include write-ups, billboards, radio ads and ad-words, for example.
The prizes in this phase will be awarded to the most innovative software business that stands to disrupt the South African tech industry. The winning startup will concede 15% equity to Byte Orbit.
The concept phase is designed to attract visionaries with the most innovative “concept phase” software products that will “turn heads in the financial and tech industry.” Byte Orbit points to ventures such as BitCoin, Square, PayPal, Mint and Freshbooks. Byte Orbit will pay R100 000 in cash to secure the intellectual property for the idea.
Earlier this year, Byte Orbit celebrated its 10th year in the software industry. Its CEO Amit Ramdath promises that the winners will be in good hands and that the startups and the concepts will be nourished as well as guided by an array of successful South African entrepreneurs.
Some of these mentors include well-known tech entrepreneurs:
Amit Ramdath CEO Byte Orbit, Martin Ras COO Byte Orbit, Charl Norman Co-Founder OnNet, Rob Gilmour MD RSA Web, Andre De Wet GM PriceCheck, Johan Nel CEO & Founder Umuntu Media, Shaun Adler Founder & Director Motillion, Daniel Guasco CEO Groupon SA, Farris Massoudi CTO Emerging Circle, Catherine Lückhoff Exco Member: Silicon Cape, Steven Ellis Co-Founder Easy2Map, Elmien Smit Co-Founder Runwaysale, Jesse Green CEO Perk, Karl Hammerschmidt Co-Founder Runwaysale, Kishan Kalan Co-Founder Runwaysale, Brad Page Media Director Neo@Ogilvy, Adii Pienaar Founder & CEO WhooThemes, Anthony Stonefield MD Africa Gramercy Ventures.
For important dates and entry information check out the Startup Knight site.