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Heavy Chef announces finalists of SA’s Five Most Exciting Startups list

Featured image: Heavy Chef Foundation chairman Louis Janse van Rensburg (CTSUW)

The Heavy Chef Foundation has announced the 12 finalists of its SA’s Top 5 Most Exciting Startups initiative ahead of an award ceremony that will take place this Thursday (5 December) as part of Cape Town Startup Week 2019.

The foundation, which is the research and fundraising arm of entrepreneurship learning platform Heavy Chef announced the 12 last Friday (29 November).

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This year’s edition has attracted over 600 nominations and 122 unique entries. Submissions closed last Wednesday (25 November).

SA’s Top 5 Most Exciting Startups will be announced by Heavy Chef on Thursday at Cape Town Startup Week 2019

The foundation said in an earlier statement that seven judges, namely Fraser Consulting’s Alexandra Fraser, Knife Capital’s Keet van Zyl, Future Females’ Lauren Dallas, Glengarry Capital’s Louis Janse van Rensburg (pictured above), TMF Youth Hub’s Lukhanyo Neer, Workshop 17’s Paul Keursten and Startup Grind’s Sandras Phiri assessed the entries.

The 12 finalists and their respective founders are:

  • 3X4 Genetics (Dr Yael Joffe and Jason Haddock): A genetics-based foundational health company founded last year that combines advanced genetic testing, nutrigenomic education and a global network of accredited practitioners to help people listen to their bodies and make sound, daily choices to live longer, healthier and better lives.
  • DigsConnect (Alexandra Procter, Greg Keal and Brendan Ardagh): Student accommodation marketplace
  • Dorp (Nick Dreyer, Ross Zondagh and Nic Latouf): An online retail platform
  • FinChatBot (Antoine Paillusseau and Romain Diaz): Develops chatbots that help financial service providers acquire and keep customers using artificial intelligence (AI) powered conversations
  • Franc (Thomas Brennan and Seb Patel): An investment app that offers users access to a cash (money market) fund offering higher interest rate returns than a bank savings account and an equity fund that tracks the best of the stock market.
  • Lula (Velani Mboweni and Xabiso Nodada): Crowd sources private shuttles, offering scheduled door-to-door rides that take commuters from home to work and back.
  • MamaMoney (Raphael Grojnowski and Mathieu Coquillon): A money-transfer service that provides a modern, safe and low-cost way for migrants to make international payments.
  • MyFanPark (Joy des Fountain, Dylan des Fountain, Wouter Lombard and Jean de Villiers): A platform that enables users to get a personalised video from their favourite celebrities.
  • Offerzen (Philip Joubert, Malan Joubert and Brett Jones): An IT talent marketplace platform that allows prospective employees to compare salary, work environment, learning opportunities and perks at different companies and thereby make an informed choice that suits their personal goals
  • Pineapple (Matthew Elan Smith, Ndabenhle Junior Ngulube and Marnus van Heerden): A peer-to-peer insurance platform that lets users insure personal belongings just by snapping a picture of them with a smartphone.
  • Trusted Interns (Jarryd Raizon): A platform for first-time job-seekers and early-career professionals to explore opportunities and get discovered by employers
  • Quicket (James Hedley, James Tagg and Mike Kennedy): An online ticketing platform that facilitates seamless transactions between event organisers and ticket buyers (Disclosure: Keet van Zyl’s Knife Capital is an investor in Quicket — Ed).

Van Rensburg, who is also the Heavy Chef Foundation chairman, congratulated the founders of the finalists in a newsletter sent out this morning.

“Your stories are certainly still unfolding but hopefully, this nomination will serve as a reminder of the good progress you have made to date,” he added.

Last year’s list of SA’s Top 5 Most Exciting Startups were made up of fintech Lifecheq, healthtech LifeQ, lingerie and swimwear startup Thursdays, aerial analytics firm Aerobotics and machine learning specialists DataProphet.

Read more: Cape Town firms dominate Heavy Chef’s list of SA’s most exciting startups of 2018

Featured image: Heavy Chef Foundation chairman Louis Janse van Rensburg (CTSUW)

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