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A dozen innovative startups have received R6.5-million from the Western Cape government to help build out their great ideas.
Announced back in August 2014, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism partnered with the Technology Innovation Agency to create a fund intended to boost innovation throughout the province. The Design Innovation Seed Fund’s (DISF) aim is to assist pre-revenue startups that are either already in incubation or entering incubation.
Over 150 applications were received, and 12 winners were declared:
- Ajax Manufacturing — manufacturers of aluminium shoes used by professionals who climb poles (think Telkom workers, not pole dancers);
- Stroketech — audio headsets for swimmers (based in Vredenburg);
- Pro Project Engineering — makers of automatic bag packing machines;
- PURIS — a Paarl-based maker of natural aroma chemical
- Sea Monster — a combination of animated explainers, games and AR, based on a particular section of South Africa’s school curriculum. The startup has also part of Knife Capital’s Grindstone accelerator programme;
- Go Metro — a back-end analytics tool for mass transport;
- ASHTECH — a mobile solution for food safety compliance management;
- iMobiMaMa — a mobile health service for pregnant women;
- Forge Technologies— a rewards-based maths and physical science game aimed at high-school students;
- Nervedata — measuring tools for key operational data in businesses;
- Sicame — manufacturers of solar panel disconnectors;
- Ecoequilibrium — makers of solar-powered pool cleaners.
The Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, said one of the aims of the fund was to attract foreign investors to local startups: “The potential spinoffs of design commercialisation are huge for economic growth and job creation. This initiative has the potential to put the Western Cape on the map as a world-class destination for innovation.”
The winners prove that although a great deal of innovation is happening around Cape Town, some incredible ideas can even be found as far away as Vredenburg.