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    All the 2021 Gauteng Accelerator Programme Innovation competition winners

    The Innovation Hub has announced the winners of its prestigious 2021 Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP) Innovation competition at a virtual award ceremony on Thursday, 24 February.
    Source: Supplied
    Source: Supplied

    With novel business concepts including an Internet of Things (IoT) system to prevent load shedding, a digital payment platform for spaza shops, and a portable DNA testing “lab”, both first-prize winners and their runners-up will all receive a share of R3m in seed funding.

    In addition to seed funding, the winners and runners up in each competition category will receive incubation services with technical and business mentors, and intellectual property lawyers. The winners will also receive access to The Innovation Hub’s network of industry and government partners.

    The GAP competition aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurship across the five categories of ICT, bioscience, medical, green economy, and the township economy, solving some of the country’s most pressing challenges. Since the competition’s launch in 2011, it has received over 1,400 entries and The Innovation Hub has since invested over R22m towards over 116 start-ups.

    All GAP candidates are required to undergo an intensive year-long business education programme, following which an independent panel of judges selects the final winners based on their strategy and market potential.

    The first-prize winners of each category are:

    Biosciences: Genomyx Lab-in-a-Box by Ronny Mukala Kabongo

    As the winner of the biotech category, Kabongo’s Genomyx Lab-in-a-Box (LIAB), offers a portable molecular next-generation sequencing (NGS) laboratory solution for DNA testing in the field, as well as in conventional laboratories. The LIAB includes tools for DNA sample extraction, DNA library preparation, DNA sequencing, and DNA analysis.

    Medical: Liaison.Health Careware by George Hofmeyer Bennie

    Bennie’s Liaison.Health Careware, the winning entry in the medical category, provides an end-to-end modular software platform that performs large-scale health data analysis using blockchain technology.

    ICT: Wakoomulla by Nthabiseng Mhlanga

    The winner in the ICT category, Mhlanga’s Wakoomulla platform gives small and micro-enterprises such as spaza shops and hairdressers the chance to get paid through the Wakoomulla app instead of card or cash. There is a Wakoomulla app available for smartphone users as well as a text message-based option (USSD) for non-smartphone users.

    Green: Autumn Green by Paseka Litabe

    The green category’s winner, Litabe’s Autumn Green, has created a system that connects power grids with appliances and machines in the household, industrial, and commercial sector. This system then automatically communicates with the national grid in order to perform load management and, should the grid be under pressure, switches off non-essential appliances until the grid is stable.

    Township Economy: Inqaba Yesizwe Phyto-pharmaceuticals by Phindi Hani

    Finally, Hani’s Inqaba Yesizwe Phyto-pharmaceuticals took the top prize in the township economy category with a nano silver antiviral colloidal silver that is effective against a variety of infections and illnesses including pneumonia, herpes, shingles, and warts.

    Pieter Holl, CEO of The Innovation Hub, commented: “By the wide variety of entries that the GAP competition received, it’s clear that South Africa is full of ambitious innovators and original thinkers with enormous potential and capability.”

    “The judges’ decision was not an easy one given the talent on display, and we would like to offer each of this year’s winners our heartfelt congratulations for this significant achievement. They have set a very high bar for business innovation in South Africa, and we firmly believe that their businesses will be game-changers for the country.”

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