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Paperight, a Cape Town-based Shuttleworth Foundation-funded company, has picked up a couple of awards last week. It was named one of the most innovative companies in South Africa, while also winning first place at the international Contec Startup Showcase in Germany.
In Germany, the Contec Startup Showcase saw Paperight beat five other international finalist competitors as it impressed the judges with its technological innovations and the social mission to greatly increase access to books in South Africa and other developing nations.
“It’s been an extraordinary week, as well as an incredible and humbling vindication of our work,” said Paperight Founder and CEO Arthur Attwell.
PubCoder, a startup from Italy, was named the runner-up at Contec Startup Showcase. The event is held as a precursor to the Frankfurt Book Fair which is seen as the largest publishing industry event in the world.
Back in South Africa, Paperight was awarded the Apex award at the Accenture Innovation Index Awards. This initiative was launched to promote business growth and job creation in South Africa. FNB was awarded the Zenith award as it stands as an organisation with an annual turnover of R40-million. Attwell notes:
“Access to books in South Africa is severely lacking. With Paperight we can make sure that schools always have textbooks and that no one ever has to go without books because there are no bookstores close to their home, or because they can’t afford them.”
Earlier this year, Paperight walked away with internationally sought-after awards in both New York and London. The O’Reilly Awards dubbed Paperight one of the Most Entrepreneurial startups in New York while gaining the Digital Minds Innovation Award at the London Book Fair -– one of the world’s most prestigious publishing events
“Our mission is to put every book within walking distance of every home,” Attwell said. The startup currently has agreements with over 100 publishers around the world, and offers a selection of over 1800 books at their over 200 outlets in South Africa alone. We’re sure these won’t be the last awards the company plans on claiming. Watch this space.