SA agri-tech competition seeks innovative solutions for wine producers

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South African wine industry body Winetech has launched a competition for agri-tech startups developing innovative solutions addressing key issues confronting wine producers.

Winetech, which operates as a network of participating institutions and individuals which promote the South African wine industry, will host a Pitching Den at the SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town in September.

The competition is looking for disruptive, innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions for reducing the wine industry’s impact on the environment while maintaining growth and profitability, and will focus on climate change, water reclamation and resourcing, genetics, machine learning, AI and big data.

Selected startups will receive exposure to investment opportunities and channels to market, providing them with the opportunity to transfer their innovations to the more than 650 wine producers in the country. The winner will also be provided with incubation and acceleration to fast-track their company.

“We are really excited to engage with startups which can bring novel and innovative ideas that can contribute to the competitiveness and sustainability of the South African wine industry,” said Winetech executive manager Gerard Martin.

“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. This is done in order to help create a wine industry that recognises and uses science, technology and innovation as cornerstones for its success.”

Entries for the Winetech Pitching Den close on June 9.

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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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