The Launchlab Pitching Den names its 5 startup finalists


Part of Stellenbosch University’s Innovus, The Launchlab accelerator and hub for entrepreneurs has just concluded with this year’s Pitching Den which saw tens of startups present their business ideas to get their hands on a share of R80 000.

The four finalists, each within their respective categories of course, are StelliesFlats, Lumkani, Specular and RivierNuus.

Avelino Rodrigues, one of the organisers of the event, notes that the chosen startups are a diverse bunch. This, Rodrigues says, is mainly reflected by the diverse judging panel which saw a balanced mixture of corporate, VC, academic, and small business leaders including Stuart Gast from Invefin.

Apart from the money, the chosen startups will now get an opportunity to be housed by The LaunchLab as well as access to mentorship.

So from a news outlet to a web application and a hardware company, here are the winners:


As the name suggests, the startup has developed a platform for students to easily find accommodation in Stellenbosch. It won a total of R10 000.


Lumkani has developed a fire detection device that’s geared for urban slums in South Africa. The winner of SA Innovation Fund has so far managed to sell over 2 000 devices. It should be noted that the company hasn’t officially launched.

The company won the Deloitte & Alchemy A Challenge and received R30 000.


Workr describes itself as LinkedIn for the low-skilled labour force. It plans to reach low-income employees and high-income employers by using a website as well as a Mxit application.

The company won R10 000


The team of international students have developed an app that enables visually impaired people to see through the world’s eyes. Specular does this by using the smartphone’s camera and microphone so people can record and receive feedback on everyday objects they encounter.

Specular won the Deloitte Challenge and walked away with R20 000.


Riviernuus is a good news monthly newspaper about the people and events in the Dwarsriver Valley (Pniel, Kylemore, Lanquedoc, Banhoek, Groot Drakenstein). It won R10 000.

Superhero Status won the Golden Pitch for being most entertaining.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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