SA start-up competition winners announced

2013-11-14 09:20
Apps have emerged as a driver of smartphone adoption. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Apps have emerged as a driver of smartphone adoption. (Duncan Alfreds, News24) (Duncan Alfreds)

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Cape Town - The competition to fund local start-ups has concluded with a winners' announced in both start-up and concept phase in Cape Town.

The Startup Knight competition hosted by Byte Orbit concluded with several finalists made up of local technology entrepreneurs vying for R200 000 investment for 15% of equity.

Micket was named as the start-up winner.

The company uses a mobile ticket in an innovative way to marketing events. The firm employs social networking and encrypted QR codes to market events.

In the Concept category, AirTaxi earned the glory with an idea to pay for taxi fare with mobile airtime.

Mobile technology

Many of the finalist concepts featured solutions for local conditions where, despite a high penetration rate of mobile phones, users are cost sensitive for online services.

Mobile technology is widely seen as an enabler, particularly in developing countries with little infrastructure.

Technology platforms like Ushahidi proved to be critical in delivering relevant information on the violence in Kenya following the 2007 election.

Ushahidi (which means "testimony" in Swahili), was a web application created to map the reported incidents of violence happening during the post-election crisis in Kenya.

"You know after the chaos of the elections [in Kenya] we got huge attention from the international media, but none from the local media. About five months afterward, they wrote one tiny column about us. Ridiculous, to us, they were irrelevant," Eric Hersman, co-founder of Ushahidi told News24 about his Kenyan experience.


A local investor said that South African start-ups could benefit from the experience of other African countries.

"If we could follow the open data examples set in certain African territories, combined with location information, could produce a far greater accountability for government and politicians. It remains to be see if this doable with new legislation moves," said Brett Commaille, CEO of AngelHub.

Byte Orbit said that it had a positive response from the Startup Knight competition and intends hosting it again in 2014.

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Read more on:    technology  |  mobile
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