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Herman Bester, the co-founder of Stellenbosch-based wearables startup MyLifeline, has emerged the victor of the second season of the Santam Safety Ideas Challenge, walking away with R200 000 in seed funding.
The finals of the challenge, an initiative of insurance company Santam run in collaboration with Stellenbosch-based business incubator Launchlab, were held yesterday at Santam’s head office in Cape Town.
The competition aims to encourage South African innovators to develop innovative safety and security solutions.
The panel of judges was made up of Santam executives Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, Ebrahim Asmal, John Khawulezile Lomberg, Ray-ann Sedres and Johan Etsebeth; the Department of Trade and Industry’s director of innovation and technology Nontombi Marule; Launchlab CEO Philip Marais; and Edge Growth investment head Greg Macfarlane.
MyLifeline has developed an IoT-enabled watch that is equipped with a panic button, GPS tracker and an emergency response app
Bester’s Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled watch, which is equipped with a panic button, GPS tracker, and an emergency response app was selected ahead of four other innovations.
The device, which is waterproof and also comes in a version that can be attached to a lanyard or keyring, is linked to a 24-hour control room and can be used wherever there is mobile network reception.
Other finalists who pitched at the event include Solar Turtle founder and CTO James Van der Walt who pitched a secure solar energy kiosk designed to power rural communities.
Brent Tollman presented More Eyes, a biometric data and machine learning solution designed to track, signal and predict crime. His pitch was followed by Khotso Maloi and Kgothatso Mokatsa of Bathopele Innovations who pitched a device that can be used to track, find and retrieve lost or stolen vehicles and home appliances.
The last to pitch was presented by Info Tab duo Lebogang Selao and Nkosinathi Mamafa who pitched an information sharing app which also features a panic button, video recording and identity verification to help users share their personal information in the event of an emergency.
The challenge — which is now in its second year — had as its first winner Cape Town based security startup Jonga which won R150 000.
Featured image: MyLifeline co-founder Herman Bester pictured in the centre (with dark blue shirt collar) with the judges of the Santam Safety Ideas Challenge (Santam for Business via Twitter)