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Seedstars World has crowned the five winners from its Cape Town event. The five were chosen from a pool of 10 finalists who took part in an intense pitching competition on Tuesday evening.
The startups were competing for a chance to compete against the five equivalent winners in Johannesburg in a bid to take the South African crown.
From there, the winner flies to Zürich to take part in a bootcamp before the Seedstars global competition.
There they will compete against startups from 52 countries for a chance at US$500 000 in funding, among other prizes.
Seedstars claims that the average company has less than US$150 000 in funding before going through its programme. Once they’ve been through the venture builder, that number leaps up to a claimed US$500 000 plus in funding. The rewards then are big.
The Cape Town winners offer a wide-range of products and services, covering everything from on-demand emergency services to niche music streaming.
In no particular order, here are the five Cape Town winners:
Azimuth provides mining companies with frequent, accurate maps of unstable areas to minimise loss of life and damage to infrastructure.
The company claims that its product, already being piloted at 50 mines, is millimetre accurate and could save mines serious money. Using the satellite technology, they no longer have to send expensive surveying teams into expensive areas.
Perhaps more importantly though, it has the chance to save lives, not just in South Africa — where rock falls remain an ever-present danger, but around the world.
mySOS is a free, lifesaving tool for all South Africans. It offers clients access to appropriate emergency assistance.
Think of it as a universal 911 app that has the potential to be used around the globe. As soon as the app opens, a countdown timer to issue an emergency alert starts.
As well as being able to call any number of emergency services, the app allows you to locate nearby doctors, hospitals, dentists, and vets and to track you during hikes, bike rides and other strenuous forms of physical activity.
As the name suggests, NicheStreem builds specialist music streaming services for passionate fans of niche music.
The principle behind the app is that niche markets aren’t necessarily small. Millions of people, for instance listen to Afrikaans music. The same is true of Nigerian gospel music.
Rather than trying to capture one large market, it’s after multiple small ones. That’s something it believes the larger players, including Rdio, Spotify, and Apple Music haven’t been able to do to date.
Custos Media Technologies
Custos uses the Bitcoin blockchain to help media owners protect their content against piracy, by detecting the original infringer.
Ventureburn has written about the company previously and if the technology takes off then it could stand to make serious gains, especially with international exposure.
The RedFish group
RedFish is a platform that connects customers and tradesmen. People can use it to find anything from builders, architects and any other service provider for home improvement jobs.
This particular company has been active in the startup space for the past couple of years now and its place on the winners’ podium tonight suggests that it’s starting to gain traction. With similar services already operating in a number of international markets, it may battle to expand on that front. One way it could increase its viability is with a strong mobile proposition, bringing on-demand opportunities to its jobbing tradespeople.
In addition to the opportunity to pitch against the best startups Joburg has to offer, the Cape Town winner also received prizes in kind including hot-desking space, PR consultations and discounts on media services.
Seedstars World has already selected its winners for Maputo, Mozambique; Yerevan, Armenia; and Shanghai, China.