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Kenyan innovators win Africa Cup

Three days of pitching, across five competitions, has seen 78 of the world’s most innovative start-ups compete for their share of prizes, valued at over R20m at the 2019 SA Innovation Summit.

The SA Innovation Summit took place from Wednesday 11 to Friday 13 September 2019 at the Cape Town Stadium. The annual summit brings together over 3500 delegates from 32 countries and facilitates over R1bn in deal-making.

The Africa Cup

The Africa Cup in partnership with the Unicorn Group is open to innovative ideas, start-ups and early stage companies in tech and tech-enabled sectors. Finalists in the Africa Cup pitched their businesses in front of an esteemed panel of judges on the final day of the SA Innovation Summit. 

The following start-ups were announced as winners:

  • In third place, Origin Dynamic Systems’ Updraft, which merges artificial intelligence and legal expertise, won a R1m investment offer and one-week acceleration in South Africa.
  • The second prize was taken by Vegetal Signals, an enterprise that uses plant electrical activity to monitor stresses in crops, won a R2.5m investment offer and two weeks acceleration in Silicon Valley, Lagos or Budapest.
  • The winner, Asilimia, took home a R5m investment offer and three weeks acceleration in any of the three locations. Asilimia offers financial services to informal traders in Kenya, offering them affordable insurance and payment options.

ANDZA Entrepreneur competition

The ANDZA Entrepreneur competition, in collaboration with the SA SME Fund, aims to find the top investment-ready businesses in the country to fast track them to success and provide a platform to help accelerate their innovative ideas to greater heights and further develop the South African economy.

The winner of R250 000 in cash was offered to LiquidGold Africa, an enterprise that produces a toilet with a nutrient recovery solution to create fertilizer from urine.


The Winetech Pitching Den looks for disruptive, innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions for reducing the wine industry’s impact on the environment.

The winners of the Winetech Pitching Den will receive exposure to more than 650 industry representatives in South Africa, along with business development to the value of R150 000 to be taken up in South Africa. This prize was awarded to Vegetal Signals.

SEDA Pitch & Perfect 

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) Pitch & Perfect Masterclasses and Competition provides SMMEs across the country with professional tools on how to present business cases effectively and efficiently, in persuasive pitches to potential funders, improving access to market, technology and finance.

Intelligent Safe Technologies took the first prize of technology incentives valued at R300 000.Intelligent Safe Technologies produces a smart, computer controlled high security dispensing system for high value retail stock.

The TIA Inventors Garage

The TIA Inventors Garage is aimed at innovators and inventors with demos, working prototypes or products that are in the early commercialisation stage. The enterprises are evaluated on originality, need for their invention, growth potential, practicality and creativity. 

Shuri, an enterprise that detects and monitors water leaks using satellite imagery and deep learning technology, took the prize of R10 000 in cash.

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