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Startup 90, one of many South African accelerators on a mission to find the startup recipe for success, has revealed its cohort of eight tech startups for this year.
From free parking to service delivery and mobile shopping, each of the eight startups aims to use web and mobile technologies to solve social and economic challenges in Africa.
Sandheep Ramluckan, the founder of Startup 90, notes that a total of 86 applications have been received this year:
We are really encouraged by the response that we received — not only have we seen an increase in the number of applicants, but there has been a marked improvement in the quality of innovations that are being brought to market. Furthermore, applications have not been limited to South Africa — we have had applicants from far afield as Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
He adds that the programme highlights funding readiness as a central theme and combines entrepreneurship development with specialist mentoring, offered by experienced tech founders, delivered in a collaborative workspace environment.
Below are the eight chosen startups:
Wanos is Wan Optimization software that is said to reduce network traffic costs and accelerates network speeds. This is accomplished by increasing data transfer efficiency through compression, deduplication, network visibility and quality of service. Wanos strives to be significantly useful, easy to use and accessible to networks everywhere.
Its founders are Antonie Henning and Beyers Cronje.
Tidy & Co. is said to be passionate about making meaningful gift-giving simple and effortless. The website stands out from its rivals with a unique Gift Finder. Simply answer a few quick questions about the person you’re buying for, and voila, Tidy & Co. will suggest a smart selection of potential gift options.
That means a beautiful, thoughtful gift can be purchased, without all the hassle and fuss.
Long-time friends, Nicole Chowles, Katya Mauff and Georgia Goedhals, make up the gifted team behind this new, local project. After receiving one too many cheesy mugs, the savvy pair decided to make it their life’s mission to rid the world of mediocre gifts.
“We support real moments in real relationships and aim to do that by helping people find gifts that will be meaningful, appreciated and actually used,” says Nicole. “We want the person who buys the gifts to get brownie points, get a promotion, get special treatment, or get laid!”
Forget fruit baskets, ugly paper weights, and heart-holding teddies. Instead, expect the most beautiful, hand selected products, sourced from across the Mother City and beyond its shores.
Friends of Brands is a Platform that connects companies, marketers, and agencies with online and social media influencers ultimately to lower the lead time and financial resources it takes for marketing teams to research individuals whose audiences they want to tap into.
Co-founders Siphiwo Ntshuntshe & Vuyo Tshonahave worked together on various affiliate marketing and e-commerce websites. Vuyo is a software development graduate while Siphiwo has a finance and economics background.
Eazishopper allows shoppers to access in-store items on their smartphones, complete grocery lists and make a purchase. This app is planned to work from the web for non-smartphone users as well as established app stores.
Co-founder Sinawo Landzela states that their main goal is to offer convenience to shoppers, save them time and money.
Park Free is a mobile app addressing the issue of traffic congestion caused by drivers looking for parking spots in central business districts. Park Free uses modern, mobile technology to show drivers where they can find free parking spots in the areas it operates in.
Parking areas are profiled giving drivers an indication of how safe the area is, along with information of how likely the driver is to find available parking in that area before even going to the area. The mobile application (App) also has GPS function which directs the driver to the exact spot where they need to drive around, thus allowing the driver to get to the open parking spot without driving around and contributing negatively to the congestion.
Founders, Siphilele Sibabalo Magidigidi and Marco Dickens aim to begin its operation in Cape Town before expanding to the rest of the country.
Park Free was awarded the Valspar Best Business Idea award 2014 at the Raymond Ackerman Academy in the University of Cape Town. After winning the award Park Free went on to compete at the intervarsity awards in Sandton Johannesburg. Merryl Lynch South Africa’s CEO has referred to Park Free as “the most commercially viable business idea in the Intervarsity competition”.
Geeks Online SA (GOSA) is an education startup that aims to pave a convenient transition for under-resourced public school learners hoping to attend university. GOSA will bridge this digital inequality gap through their interactive eLearning platform: a personalised and responsive tool built for various educational needs.
Its founders are Anele Geqiwe, a media production professional, and Busisiwe Ngxande who is a human resource management professional.
Education startup — Tech Tuition is a mobile platform simplifying mathematics and physics. Founders Leon Africa and Matthew Lombard believe that they will be providing an innovative approach to solve a critical educational issue in our country.
Both founders have been working as tutors in mathematics and physics. Leon has a BSc (physical science) with a double major in mathematics, and is completing a postgraduate diploma in software development, while Matthew has a BSc (computer science) with a double major in mathematics.
Tech Room aims to solve the problem of poor and slow service delivery faced by community health-care service delivery organisations. Founder Mduduzi Mavuma, who is a computer science graduate, aims to improve the productivity for medical practitioners by improving their administrative processes.