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Lumkani, the South African startup behind the innovative fire detecting device, is looking to raise US$45 000 through a crowdfunding campaign set to go live on 11 May.
The crowdfunding campaign is a requirement for winning Chivas Regal’s The Venture competition, which seeks to recognise and award social entrepreneurship. It’s part of the build up to the final event where 16 teams from around the world will meet in Silicon Valley to compete for US$1-million in funding for their ventures.
Lumkani notes that there will be a number of interesting rewards up for grabs. These include donating a fire detection device to a household, getting a device yourself as well as Lumkani gifts made out of beads laser-cut wooden flash drives.
Not only does Lumkani hope to equip households with these innovative safety devices, it’s also looking to gain some global recognition. “For us this campaign will raise our profile globally and give decision makers around the world the information that there is a solution to slum fires in their respective neighbourhoods, countries, municipalities etc.,” Lumkani MD David Gluckman told Ventureburn in an email.
Gluckman states that the crowdfunding philosophy fits in well with Lumkani’s overall business philosophy:
Like our device being a networked detector, our business values the same — network. A network of all stakeholders ranging from government to people living in informal settlements, private sector, middle to upper income earning families to NGOs. Especially in the early phase of our organisation, as much community support from all stakeholders is really important.
“We want South Africans who have disposable income to be part of our campaign (and business) to be part of a good news story which we need in SA and be part of social change,” Gluckman writes.
Lumkani is currently investing in a second version of its product which is hopes to launch within the next two to three months. It’s also looking to expand its market to Johannesburg before the fire-prone winter settles.
In addition to the crowdfunding pledges through Indiegogo, people are also encouraged to support by voting for Lumkani on The Venture webpage. The more votes the startup gets, the more Chivas will pledge to the campaign.
Both pages will go live on 11 May.
The total 3 000 devices will be split evenly between Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.