3 SA innovations winners of MultiChoice media challenge

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Three South African teams shared ZAR100,000 (US$6,500) in prize money after being named winners of the MultiChoice Media Innovation Challenge hosted by Stellenbosch University incubator LaunchLab.

Disrupt Africa reported in February South African pay-TV company MultiChoice partnered the LaunchLab to launch a media breakthrough innovation challenge, which formed part of the incubator’s Breakthrough Innovation Platform.

The challenge was open to anyone with an innovative idea for the entertainment value chain, be it in production, processing, distribution or consumption, with applications narrowed down to the 10 best finalists. The finalists pitched their ideas to a judging panel during the final event held in May.

First place, and ZAR50,000 (US$3,300), went to NumberBoost, a spatial-data science tool for demographic analyses and targeting. In second place was Mediatisers, which walked away with ZAR30,000 (US$2,000) for its virtual marketing space tool, while third place and ZAR20,000 (US$1,300) went to Eightstreet Stories, a mini-series production house making short stories for exclusive mobile platform consumption.

The three winners will also be taken into the LaunchLab Lift-Off Programme, with Charmaine Smith, general manager for strategy and business development at MultiChoice, saying the organisers had been pleased with the quality of pitches at the final event.

“We wanted to access new ideas for analysing consumer behaviour data and video consumption trends, to find new and innovative ways of creating content and new ways of delivering entertainment. The final pitches delivered on our expectations,” she said.

MultiChoice will be monitoring the development of the business ideas carefully over the next 12 months to gauge their potential and see how they can add value to MultiChoice.

“LaunchLab’s Breakthrough Innovation Platform is ideal for established businesses that want to access new breakthrough ideas from outside their own businesses to tap into new markets and future revenue streams,” said LaunchLab chief executive officer (CEO) Philip Marais.

“External ecosystems like the LaunchLab are far better equipped to test new ideas quickly and at a low cost. It’s better for established businesses to stick with their proven business models while the LaunchLab helps them to find new business models – although they still remain part of the process, helping to judge the progress of the business ideas and to mentor the entrepreneurs through the LaunchLab Lift-Off Programme process.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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