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Taz Technologies CEO Abdulaziz Mohamed has emerged the victor of the main pitching session at last week’s SA Innovation Summit.
Mohammed (pictured above, right) beat 25 entrepreneurs to win the event’s Main Pitching Den competition.
As the winner he will go onto represent Africa at next year’s Startup World Cup in Silicon Valley — where they would stand to win the grand prize of $1-million investment. A date for the event has yet to be set.
His Kenyan startup has designed Mpost, a solution which uses mobile phones to provide users with a unique postal code. In addition to this, the solution also allows customers to track letter and packages.
Runners up included Prospa founder South African Dhanyal Davidson and Muzalema Mwanza, one of the founders of Zambian biotech startup Safe Motherhood Alliance.
The SA Innovation Summit hosted four main pitching competitions, the biggest being the Main Pitching Den which was won by Kenya’s Mpost
The SA Innovation Summit partnered with US-based Fenox Venture Capital, biopharmaceutical giant Merck, IE Exponential Learning intellectual property law firm Adams & Adams and tech publication Popular Mechanics on some of the competitions.
FemBioBiz Pitching Den
Over 30 female bio-entrepreneurs and students from 10 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries participated in the FemBioBiz Pitching Den.
First prize went to Safe Motherhood Alliance‘s Muzalema Mwanza who pitched her Zambian startup’s sterilised baby delivery kit which contain essential supplies required to ensure clean, safe and hygienic delivery.
South African Nomahlubi Alicia will receive lab equipment from Merck for her innovation which converts fish scale waste into collagen to make biopolymer film that is impregnated with essential oils and vitamins to heal wounds, prevent infection and help with pain relief.
Off Grid Innovation‘s Allan Goldberg won first prize at the Inventor’s Garage for his iHarvey invention — a thermo-electric generator which converts heat into electricity. The iHarvey is capable of powering three high quality LED lamps all while charging a USB device simultaneously.
Goldberg won R30 000 from Adams & Adams to assist with the legal costs of protecting his intellectual property.
Runners up of the Inventor’s Garage were Murray Bredin with the Pivot Optimiser, an Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring and control system for irrigation pivots and pumps and Steven Blake with BioPay, a payments app which allows customers to pay for goods and services using their fingerprints.
GCIP-SA Pitching Den
The GCIP-SA Pitching Den focused on innovation in energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste beneficiation, water efficiency and green buildings and transportation.
The iWater team led by Esta van Heerden won first place in the cleantech category for their solution that allows for better monitoring and data interpretation of natural resources to develop and implement sustainable remedial solutions to protect resources for clients in the mining, industrial, agriculture, and municipal sectors.
Alan Hall and his Lusec Sanitation placed second in the cleantech category for their sanitation solution, while Tshwafo Motaung placed third for his company’s production of green brick material.
Carlos Sousa and the Lodox System team were placed first in the medical devices category for the Hydra Detector, a photon-counting direct conversion detector with improved image quality.
Giancarlo Beukes and the Impulse Biomedical team were placed second for the ZiBi Pen, a cost-effective Adrenaline Auto-Injector.
Portia Mavhungu and the PRD Logical Solutions team came in third in the category for the Para-tube, a seating device that retrofits into a wheelchair which has a built-in toilet and biodegradable bags, allowing the individual to use the toilet without having to leave the chair.
Igugulabantu’s Zinhle Ngidi won first place for her company’s research into the production of biodiesel using the tobacco plant. Ngidi beat Benedicta Mahlangu’s Afrobodies team which is working on the production of nano-antibodies.
Third place in the bio-processing category went to Thandeka Jalie and her Lactease team for their tonic that assists breast feeding mothers.
Featured image: Taz Technologies CEO Abdulaziz Mohamed speaking at the SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town after receiving first prize at the Main Pitching Den (SA Innovation Summit via Twitter )