6 SA startups win ATTACQ, LaunchLab smart cities challenge


Six South African startups have been named winners of the ATTACQ Smart Cities Innovation Challenge, gaining access to incubation and a share of ZAR100,000 (US$7,000) in seed funding.

Launched by ATTACQ and Stellenbosch University incubator the LaunchLab, the challenge took place over the last four months at various university campuses across South Africa, sourcing innovative smart city ideas to help build the Waterfall City urban development in Gauteng.

The challenge was open to anyone with solutions that address opportunities in locations technologies, transportation, security, Internet of Things (IoT), loyalty and technology to improve the experience in spaces where people live, work and play.

LaunchLab received more than 60 submissions, which were then narrowed down to the top 12 finalists. The finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of judges consisting of four senior executives selected from ATTACQ and the LaunchLab. Six winners were chosen to proceed into the LaunchLab Lift-Off Programme and receive seed funding.

They included Sxuirrel, an app that connects short-term storage seekers with property owners with additional space, app-based bike share system Poynt Bikes, and Hydrogen Fueled Drones, able to last 12 times longer than normal drones.

The other winners were space-entry app Appmit, online grocery-ordering system Y-shop, and on-demand location-based car wash service Drop Car Wash.

“We realised significant value from the previous  LaunchLab programme, and this one promises to be even better. We are currently working with two of the concepts from our 2016 Retail Challenge, and are customers of a third. Our intention this time round is to access new ideas and create the next breakthrough innovation in the smart cities sector, bringing the use of smart technology to a new level in Africa,” said Michael Clampett, head of retail asset management at ATTACQ.

“ATTACQ will carefully monitor the development of these six winning business ideas and work with the LaunchLab team during the next phase to gauge their potential to add value to our business and existing stakeholders.”

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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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