Cape Town - South African startup company Paperight has won the Digital Minds Innovation Award at the London Book Fair – one of the world’s most prestigious publishing events.
Cape Town-based Paperight, which is based is funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation, beat out seven other shortlisted candidates after a short presentation in front of an audience of hundreds of the world’s publishing thought leaders, and won thanks to a popular vote.
Audience members were impressed by Paperight’s ingenious solution to book distribution problems in South Africa: by allowing photocopy shops to print books cheaply, quickly and – crucially – legally, Paperight is increasing access to books where they have never been physically and financially accessible before.
The award comes on the back of Paperight’s
win at a similar innovation showcase at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference
in New York City in February, and a seed grant from the SAB Foundation as part
of their Innovation Awards.
Unlike Paperight’s win at the O’Reilly Tools of Change Startup Showcase, however, where Paperight was the only shortlisted innovation from outside Europe and North America, this time Paperight also beat stiff competition from the Middle East.
“We’re incredibly honoured to have this
support from the world’s leading minds in digital publishing,” said Paperight
founder and CEO Arthur Attwell.
“It shows that as publishers we’re serious about solving the real problems of book distribution, getting the knowledge we create into the hands of people everywhere, no matter where they live or how much they earn.”