Applications open for SA Wine Industry Innovation Challenge

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Winetech has partnered Stellenbosch University-based incubator LaunchLab and Faculty of AgriSciences for the first Wine Industry Innovation Challenge.

The challenge is an opportunity for South African entrepreneurs with products or ideas that support the wine industry, and offers prize money of ZAR150,000 (US$10,600).

Finalists will receive exposure to a broad network of investors at a final pitching event, where they will pitch in front of a panel consisting of wine industry representatives, business leaders and technology experts.

“We are passionate about advancing the South African Wine Industry, and paving the way for success by creating and sharing knowledge. We make it our mission to identify, prioritise, commission, complete and transfer research, development and innovation projects and initiatives that will directly contribute to strengthening the profitability and competitiveness of the industry,” Gerard Martin, executive manager of Winetech, said.

“The wine industry is under severe pressure from many angles, so in order to compete successfully in a very dynamic global marketplace, the innovation challenges are becoming more complex. As the old formulas and playbooks seem less relevant with emerging non-traditional competitors, it is becoming clearer that a new, more experimental mindset is needed to test new approaches to innovation.”

Interested parties must submit a three-minute video pitch providing a brief summary of the innovation, details of the problem it addresses, and how the business intends to become sustainable. Applications are open until September 28.

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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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