Innovation Awards

The Innovation Awards celebrate the best in mobile and tech from across Africa. Following the success of last years Awards which celebrated 10 winners from over 200 entries across 21 countries, applications are now open for 2016.
10 Award Categories 
The awards celebrate the positive impact in 10 categories from ventures who can clearly demonstrate innovation using mobile or technology to meet the needs of any African market(s).
Cape Town Awards Final
The Awards party returns to Cape Town on November 14th 2016, bringing together the mobile and tech community, enterprise, media, investors and innovators from across Africa.
Applications close on the 10 September 2016. For more details visit the competition website. 
(Hat Tip: VentureBurn )

Gauteng Accelerating Township Economy Innovation Competition

GATE | Gauteng Accelerating Township Economy Innovation Competition

The inaugural Gauteng Accelerating Township Economy (GATE) Innovation Competition is inviting entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and business owners based in Gauteng townships to submit innovative concepts for selection as winners in the five provincial corridors: Central (Johannesburg), Western (West Rand), Northern (Tshwane), Eastern (Ekurhuleni) and Southern (Sedibeng), focusing on the following sectors: ICT, Green Economy, Manufacturing, Public Health/ Medical and Biosciences.
Fifteen winners (3 from each corridor) will receive incubation services from The Innovation Hub’s eKasiLabs. In addition, winners receive seed funding: First place in each corridor: R50,000 Second place in each corridor: R30,000 Third place in each corridor: R20,000 The seed funding may be paid out in tranches based on incubation progress.
Entries close 31 August 2016. For more information, click here. 

Gauteng Township Entrepreneurship Awards

Township businesses are often interesting, representing some of the best of our entrepreneurial talent. But, let us not romanticise the township entrepreneurial experience – it is tough running a business successfully in a township for a variety of reasons, including that our cities were designed to keep townships out of the mainstream economy. The Gauteng Department of Economic Development has been running an enthusiastic campaign to support township enterprises. The latest intervention is to ecognise and reward entrepreneurial talent in township settlements whilst building and cementing confidence in township based businesses. From the competition website, they outline the intent in further detail:

As big business and large enterprises downsize, the role of entrepreneurs and SMME’s continues to gain momentum as positive and significant contributors to the growth and development of the South African economy and reduction of unemployment, poverty and inequality. The Township Entrepreneurship Awards (TEA’s) are one of the Gauteng Department of Economic Developments’ initiatives in answer to this call and the specific mandate to revitalize the Gauteng City Region townships’ economy.
The main objective of the awards is to recognise and reward entrepreneurial talent in township settlements whilst building and cementing confidence in township based businesses. Equally important is the impact that the awards will have in changing negative perceptions about township based businesses as well as encourage and inspire township entrepreneurs to realize the conceivable economic gains for communities within which they operate.
Key objectives of hosting the Township Entrepreneurship Awards:
– To revitalize the Gauteng township economy, by drawing public attention towards township businesses and their successes
– To unlock business opportunities in the townships and inspire investor confidence
Nominees will participate in a fourteen-part reality television series that will see the entrepreneurs going through a series of real and practical business experiences intended to sharpen and enhance their business skills. The various category winners will be revealed at the awards gala ceremony.

For more information, township enterpreneurship awards

Mind2Machine – An competition for IoT developers

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a space offering entrepreneurs exciting opportunities. MTN and OpenIX are running a competition. If you are into IoT you know what to do. Follow this link for more information. A bit more information from the competition site is provided below.

Are you a hotshot IoT developer? Does your company create exciting, innovative machine-to-machine implementations? Enter your best existing solution into the 2016 Mind2Machine Awards to be in the running for some excellent prizes and the prestige of being one of Africa’s top M2M developers.
Our format has changed from our inaugural iteration last year, and we are now looking for existing solutions. These include both commercial and social innovation-focused solutions, that take advantage of the burgeoning universe of connected things to deliver a standout solution to real business challenges.
We are looking for big, bold and exciting solutions that use M2M applications and technology to solve business problems. There are several category titles up for grabs, as well as the ultimate prize: the title of 2016’s top M2M developer or solution. In addition, the awards receive considerable press interest and coverage, an extra bonus for participants, helping them establish their names and reputations in this competitive space.

2016 Vertical Categories are:

  • Health
  • Automotive & Logistics
  • Agriculture
  • Financial
  • Energy & Water 
  • Infrastructure
  • Retail
  • Smart City
  • Smart Home
  • Other 

The following awards will be presented based on the Vertical Category submissions mentioned – only one winner per category will be announced:

  • Best Commercial M2M Solution (This will be an existing solution, in the market place & commercially viable. There will only be one winner, but they will submit under sub-categories)

  • Most Disruptive M2M Solution (This winner will be chosen from the initial categories. This will be an existing solution, in the market place & commercially viable)

  • Best Breakthrough M2M Solution (This will be a prototype solution that can go to market and is potentially commercially viable. There will only be one winner, but they will submit under the same sub-categories)


GeoJozi Challenge – GIS Competition

The application of Geographic Information System (GIS) to municipal government holds exciting possibilities. The GeoJozi challenge is calling on developers 30 years and younger to find digital solutions to addresses. Yes, you read right – street addresses and locations. The organisers summarise the challenge as follows:

The GeoJozi Challenge is a developer challenge that calls on young citizens of Johannesburg (30 years old or younger) to tackle our city’s toughest problems through the innovative use of Geographic Information System (GIS) data.
We are calling on young developers – 30 years old or younger – to find a digital solution to the many challenges that exist around street addresses and location in our city.
A street address informs us of location. It answers the question: “Where?” And that is where Geographic Information Systems (GIS) come in, because it is all about a specific position or coordinates on earth.
If you are a Johannesburg-based developer, sign up for the GeoJozi Challenge and work with the City of Johannesburg to improve the lives of our citizens. You stand the chance of winning R150 000 for your winning idea. Second and third places will earn you R100 000 and R50 000 respectively.

To find out more, go to the GeoJozi website. 

AFRICA TECH NOW VILLAGE Open for Applications: Closes 31 August 2016

Getting on to an international platform to scale a business, find investors and get your hustle going globally is incredibly difficult. If you are a business with a ground breaking innovation, Africa Tech Now might be an opportunity worth considering. Applications close on the 31 August 2016, and below is an extract from the competition website.

Africa Tech Now is the #1 event showcasing the African entrepreneurship ecosystem at International CES 2017, promoting the continent as the next digital and innovation hub.
AFRICA TECH NOW VILLAGE will offer promising African Startups the ability to demonstrate their innovations during the show. Being the world’s largest tech event, CES is an incredible place to get exclusive access to investors, buyers, clients and business partners. Is your startup driving the digital future of Africa? Take your chance and apply now!


The competition is open to technology start-ups based in Africa with the aim of selecting the most promising ones. The selected start-ups will have the unique opportunity to exhibit their tech innovations in Las Vegas and get international exposure. The applications will be reviewed by a panel of international experts who will select the 10 best start-ups. The winners will be announce at the end of September.


The 10 selected start-ups will be offered the incredible opportunity to attend the CES in Las Vegas free of all charges. They will be offered:
  •  Before CES: workshop trainings;
  • At CES: Participation as an exhibitor or a visitor; Invitation to VIP networking events.


  • Your start-up must be a registered company not older than 3 years

  •  Your product / service / app must be a ground-breaking innovation.

  • Your product / service / app must be applicable to the consumer technology space.

  • Your innovation should be in the following fields : IOT, Robotics, Drones, 3D printing, E-health, EdTech, virtual reality, E-commerce, Cloud computing, App economy.

  • Special attention will be given to “Tech changing the world” innovations : innovations contributing to sustainability & inclusion.

  • Special attention will also be given to start-ups that stand out in the field of Transport, Tourism & Technology. Air France as a partner will offer flight tickets to 3 start-ups among the 10 selected as part of the Air France Award.

To get all the details and to apply, visit the VC4A. Click here

Recurring Billing from PayFast

Payment solution PayFast announced in late July that it is introducing recurring billing for online stores. Yes, you heard that correct. A reputable South African payment solution with recurring payments. This makes subscription based services easier, and will likely provide a boost to businesses in a wide range of industries. In there announcement, they outline the two methods of recurring payments:

The feature enables numerous business models, activities and applications. At launch, the service will allow for merchants to create two methods of recurring payments; one being a subscription model, the other an ad hoc model. The subscription model supports membership or retainer style business models that provide stable and predictable income. The ad hoc payment solution enables applications such as app payments, single page checkout, or automatic account top ups. Read up on the details of each and how to enable recurring billing for yourself.


The true value of the subscription business model is in its predictability. Billing is automated and long-term financial planning is easier as future payments are almost guaranteed.
A typical service is server hosting. The customer is billed on a monthly basis for a set fee. Traditionally in South Africa this billing model has been implemented by means of a debit order. Our subscriptions offering, however, shifts towards a credit card-based payment model. In line with global trends, it offers a more streamlined solution to the merchant with greater customer convenience and control.

Ad hoc payments

An ad hoc recurring payments solution sounds something like a contradiction in terms, invoking both regularity and irregularity. It is precisely that combination that adds a multitude of additional applications to the function of recurring billing. The relational aspect of the transaction is the recurring part – the buyer and seller enter into an agreement where the buyer authorises the seller to charge their credit card for an agreed purpose. However, the amount paid and transaction dates can differ for future individual payments.
Let’s look at some examples of how this feature could be implemented. Say you want to monetise your app. Authorising each and every transaction is an obstacle to the customer experience. PayFast’s Ad hoc payments would streamline the process, allowing automated app purchasing after the first transaction has been authorised, for future use.
Or, you have an e-commerce business. Ad hoc payments offer huge value for web based stores where customer loyalty is key. Through the use of tokenization you can now access customer purchasing details, and offer a single page checkout.

This is worth exploring for a range of businesses. There launch announcement and landing page provide all the details that you need to get started.