Patented shopping bag carrier wins Startup Weekend Tshwane

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Hercules Kgaphola emerged the winner from the first Startup Weekend event held in the City of Tshwane, South Africa over the weekend, rewarded for Finger Mate, a patented shopping bag carrier.

The global event, which sees teams develop innovative products over a 54-hour period, was held in Tshwane for the first time on November 28-30, in a collaboration between The Innovation Hub, South African Black Entrepreneurs Forum (SABEF) and Tshwane Youth Business Council (TYBC).

It was aimed at mobilising entrepreneurs in the local townships in order to assist them to commercialise their business ideas.

Kgaphola was declared the winner out of 22 participants based on the viability and competitive advantage of his concept, and will be rewarded for with incubation at the Maxum Business Incubator at The Innovation Hub.

The participants were guided and mentored by industry experts and entrepreneurs, before pitching to a panel of judges, which included The Innovation Hub chief executive officer (CEO) McLean Sibanda, senior innovation manager at the IDC Mmbodi Nesengani and SABEF executive director Matsi Modise.

“In general because of the technology and the channels we use right now, it allows even the guys in those environments to interact in a global space. The ideas that came have an international objective. So that means having a platform like StartUp Weekend allows them to connect with the rest of the world. StartUp Tshwane is allowing the entrepreneurs to place their content on a structured platform with the potential of competing in a global space,” said guest judge Desmond Mongwe, who is now an incubatee at Maxum.

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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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