SA Innovation Summit announces competitions for entrepreneurs, investors

The SA Innovation Summit, set to take place in Johannesburg in September, has opened up entries to two competitions: the Inventors Garage and the SA Innovation Legends Pitching Den competitions.

The pitching den is open to high-growth start-ups, established companies and large corporates who are driving innovation on the African continent. “The Pitching Den was designed to recognise companies whose innovative tech-enabled solutions have the potential to make a significant positive impact on the growth of the continent,” says Dr Verhaeghe.

The overall winners will be announced at an Award Ceremony and stand a chance to win an overseas trip to meet international investors at Slush, a Finnish Innovation Conference supported by TEKES , PR exposure worth R200 000, the opportunity for IP consultation from Spoor & Fisher, matching-making and acceleration, and more. Through their respective Social Innovation platforms, the SAB Foundation will support the best Social Innovation with a prize worth R50 000. The Innovation Edge will be looking for opportunities to invest up to R1 million in ideas that have the potential to radically change the early life experiences of children, giving the best possible start in life right from the start. In addition to funding, the Innovation Edge could offer innovators with promising ideas the chance to attend a week-long incubation bootcamp offered by {code}bridge in Cape Town.

Entries to the Pitching Den are made online. Finalists will be invited to pitch their business to a well-rounded panel of judges at the main conference.

The Inventor’s Garage Competition meanwhile is open to anyone with a working prototype or product from proven concept to early commercialisation – whether a kitchen or garage inventor, a business or a seasoned innovator.

The first round of judging will then take place and those selected as semi-finalists will be invited to showcase their products or prototypes at the SA Innovation Summit’s exciting Market on the Edge. This will guarantee massive exposure, advice, mentorship and possible deal-making. The second round of judging happens at the Market on the Edge with initial entries also received online.

“The competitions are a big part of the Summit, with finalists and winners exposed to a large number of investors and incubators,” says Summit Director, Dr Audrey Verhaeghe. “While finalists also take part in the Market on the Edge and stand to win incredible prizes”.

“The goal of the Innovation Summit this year is Innovation Acceleration — scaling and impact for ideas that make a difference,” says Dr Verhaeghe. “The competitions are one way we are making this happen. We are also collaborating with the Swiss Start-up Summit this year, which will most likely lead to the SA Innovation Summit receiving far greater media reach in Europe – meaning even more exposure for competition winners.”

Both Competitions close on 30 July 2016.



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