Startups share $1.35m worth of prizes at SA Innovation Summit

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African tech startups have shared ZAR20 million (US$1.35 million) worth of prizes after winning pitch competitions at last week’s SA Innovation Summit.

The SA Innovation Summit took place on September 11-13 at the Cape Town Stadium, bringing together over 3,500 delegates from 32 countries.

Five startup pitch competitions were held over the three days, with 78 startups pitching for a share in the prizes.

The Africa Cup, in partnership with the Unicorn Group, was won by Kenyan fintech startup Asilimia, which took home a ZAR5 million (US$339,000) investment offer and three weeks of acceleration. Second place was claimed by Vegetal Signals, and third by Origin Dynamic Systems’ Updraft, with these solutions securing smaller investment offers and acceleration support.

The ANDZA Entrepreneur competition, held in collaboration with the SA SME Fund, saw ZAR250,000 (US$17,000) in cash offered to LiquidGold Africa, an enterprise that produces a toilet with a nutrient recovery solution to create fertiliser from urine.

At the Winetech Pitching Den, meanwhile, Vegetal Signals won business development support to the value of ZAR150,000 (US$10,000).

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) Pitch & Perfect Masterclasses and Competition was won by Intelligent Safe Technologies, which secured ZAR300,000 (US$20,000). Intelligent Safe Technologies produces a smart, computer controlled high security dispensing system for high value retail stock.

At the TIA Inventors Garage, aimed at innovators and inventors with demos, working prototypes or products that are in the early commercialisation stage, Shuri, an enterprise that detects and monitors water leaks using satellite imagery and deep learning technology, took the prize of ZAR10,000 (US$680) in cash.

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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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