Social entrepreneur James Cook, representing township co-working space provider and business accelerator Orenda, was announced as the winner of Innovate Bellville 2.0, the pitching competition hosted by the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) and startup incubator Startup Hatchery.

The winning team was selected after the final pitch session, held the Sanlam Auditorium in Bellville on 7 June. Cook wins a prize package of R5 000 in cash, plus business incubation and mentorship support, including R10 000 worth of marketing and branding collateral and legal and intellectual property advice.

The judges also awarded prizes to two runners-up. MJ van Driel, from Mewaste, presented his idea to use discarded recycled mobile phones as educational tools, for which he was awarded R3 000 in cash; and Thuthula Mngenela, from Ubuntu Co-working space, who pitched a concept that would connect formal businesses with informal traders in Bellville, won R2 000 in cash. Both runners-up also won business incubation and mentorship packages.

Innovate Bellville 2.0 forms part of the GTP’s living lab approach to the regeneration of the Bellville central business district (CBD). The competition was open to businesses with innovative ideas that could address issues affecting the Bellville urban centre. The brief was broad: ideas could address any issues, from improving public transport, creating jobs, creating inclusive public spaces, addressing homelessness, improving health and wellbeing, managing waste, facilitating mobility, attracting and retaining investment and regenerating the Bellville urban centre.

Warren Hewitt, CEO of the GTP, said: “It’s a privilege to welcome young, bright minds to the north and we’ve been so impressed by the innovative ideas that emerged through the competition. Innovate Bellville 2.0 is a component in our approach to offer Bellville as a test bed for new ideas that can help the CBD to grow and develop as a vibrant, prosperous, inclusive city region. Each idea presented could be applied in Bellville, and we’re delighted to offer the winners a chance to see their idea become reality.”

Tania Cunningham, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer for The Startup Hatchery, said: “The pitching teams have stepped out of their comfort zones during this entire process. Their ideas have shown true innovation and we’re delighted with their contributions.”

 

The eight finalists were:

  • Xabiso Lombo, whose team developed the Guardian Gabriel panic button, an SMS-linked location tracking device that notifies family members when a user is in danger.
  • James Cook, from Orenda, which provides co-working spaces and business accelerator entrepreneurship training within township communities, making office infrastructure and business skills training more accessible for new entrepreneurs.
  • Eden Padayachee, from Smartstress, a digital brain app that monitors stress levels and diagnoses stress at an early stage.
  • Lourentius van der Westhuizen, from Job Junction, a location-based app which matches casual job opportunities to individuals seeking work.
  • Thgandile Nododile and Siyavuya Gwanya, who developed Binwise, an incentivised waste management service using smart technology to track and process refuse loads
  • Cikiza ‘Kiki’ Bantom, of African Oasis, who wants to develop a pop-up restaurant serving five-star authentic African cuisine at varied locations in Bellville
  • MJ van Driel, from Mewaste who has created a mobile museum using recycled, discarded mobile phones as educational science kits in schools
  • Thuthula Mngenela, who wants to develop a one-stop co-working space in Bellville that facilitates a connection between formal and informal businesses
  • David Oyango, of Ethereal Investments, who has developed an investment bond which gives local businesses opportunities to scale and develop their ideas, providing renewable energy solutions to property owners

 

The pitch session judges were Warren Hewitt, CEO of the GTP; Arnold February, Area Manager of the Cape Town Metro team at Business Partners; Nicole Biondi, head of Marketing and Communications at venture capitalists Innovation Edge, and Professor Willem Clarke, of the HWEB Fund.

The finalists were chosen from over 30 applicants, who first submitted their ideas in a 30 second pitch on WhatsApp. Selected teams were given pitch training and a pitch deck template.