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Nine South African startups participating in the latest e-Track Venture Exploitation Programme (VEP) at the UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) Solution Space have made the cut to progress to the third round of the schools e-Track programme.
The start-ups were selected to participate in the VEP to accelerate the development of their venture by defining and developing the product and securing customer buy-in.
The programme is an initiative hosted by the University of Cape Town’s Graduate Business (UCT GSB) Solution Space in partnership with MTN Group. Founded in 2019, the programme aims to accelerate the development of high-impact ventures and help participants grow their business model as they move onto the next phase of the programme.
After an intensive 12-week journey, the teams’ progress was demonstrated through a Demo Day celebration, which included pitching their ventures to a panel of judges and experts.
Among the panel of experts and judges included Eero Tarjanne, MTN Group General Manager: Ecosystem Development.
According to Tarjanne, the quality of this cohort’s pitches was exceptionally high and has commended them on their product development and business model creation.
Nine South African startups progressing to the next phase of the programme
Out of the selected nine startups, only two to three will be selected to progress to the next level.
- Activity Hub, an online marketplace for tours and activities which offers real-time availability, secure payment, and instant confirmation for experiences
- CiTTA, a sustainable development data, and expert resourcing and networking platform with a database
- Guardian Health, a booking system for local clinics and community health workers to provide better resource planning
- FynRoot Productions sells a potted arrangement of fynbos plants and empowers individuals with the knowledge to grow and sustain fynbos plants
- Little Fish, an e-commerce channel to enable Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with limited capital to experience the benefits of the growing digital economy.
- iAfrika, an African language platform for content and digital skills development
- Ikhaya Space, a credit provider to high net worth individuals and businesses.
- Futures Academy, an independent online high school that offers a flexible learning solution for grades 10–12
- Go Themba, an eco-friendly mobile car wash app
Tarjanne singled out Little Fish as the venture with the most advanced capacity and potential to scale, awarding the start-up an R50 000 bonus prize coupled technological and business support to launch their app on Ayoba.
Co-founded by Brandon Roberts and Davith Kahwa, Little Fish is an e-commerce channel to enable Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with limited capital to experience the benefits of the growing digital economy.
“Essentially, we are a mobile-first platform that takes local businesses online. Digitisation is expensive and creates a range of new complexities for small businesses. But Little Fish enables users to engage, convert, and retain customers on our easy-to-use digital platform, while being cost-effective, focused on growth and hyper-local,” explains Roberts.
Co-founder of Little Fish, Davith Kahwa, says Little Fish’s Point of Sale soft launch has already been widely accepted and adopted.
“We have two thousand community members and 1,265 registered members in five countries. Our plug-and-play digital store gives members a digital distribution and presence. We also offer inventory management and payment acceptance tools while ensuring customers are engaged, as they would be on social media.”
In partnership with the UCT GSB Solution Space, Little Fish is reportedly going to release its flagship new e-commerce platform. Kahwa and Roberts are optimistic that this will be a success, projecting that by 2024, their venture will be the e-commerce platform of choice, with over 10,000 MSMEs on board in at least two markets.
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